Children's Data danger

With Internet Safety Day 2017 fast approaching, here at Quickline we're thinking more and more about how to take the necessary precautions to stay safe online.

Most people are familiar with the typical threats of accessing digital content, but what is often forgotten is the issue of data protection, especially when it comes to children. The Children's Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, has recently said that many websites have "impenetrable" terms and conditions, which often contain privacy waivers that allow companies to sell on their information. This means that children can't possibly understand what they are agreeing to when they sign up for the latest game or social media craze, leaving their private information vulnerable.

It's a scary prospect to think about how your eight year old's information may be passed around online. To help fight this, we need to educate children on these matters and make parents more aware of the consequences of signing up to social media sites. Ms Longfield said that, "parents are always going to be on a losing battle which is why we need to take greater action to shift the balance of power towards children". Knowledge is power, and the more we educate children on how to act responsibly online, the safer the Internet will be.

Many adults too could benefit from this information. Be honest with yourself, when was the last time you actually read the terms and conditions of service before you signed up for something? Similarly, many adults are quick to share the most intimate details of their lives online, including places they regularly visit and pictures of their children, making them an easy target for online predators. Don't put yourself and your children at risk, keep as much as possible private.

It may seem like a headache to constantly read through terms and conditions, but next time you do you might be surprised at how many of your rights you are signing away. Take the time to do so and you might avoid a nasty surprise later on down the line.

Stay safe and don't forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook @QuicklineUK to see our participation in Internet Safety Day 2017's Emoji Charade game on the 7 of February.