Many parents are understandably wary about the prospect of their children accessing the internet.
The risks are numerous and varied. They may accidentally (or intentionally) view mature content. They might become victims of cyberbullying, or worse – be contacted by child predators. They could inadvertently reveal important personal data that could be used against them or your family at a later date.
But in this day and age, it is inevitable that all kids will go online eventually, and they will likely start at a younger age than what was considered the norm only a decade ago. Rather than try to delay it, parents should be proactive.
New search engine aims to protect children
While many different options for online parental controls exist, they can be difficult for many parents to understand and use effectively. But one new website takes a fresh approach toward online security.
Known as “Kiddle,” this search engine could be best described as “Google for kids.” While it is not officially affiliated with the Google brand, Kiddle does rely on Google safe search to function. It goes even beyond that, though. According to a report by Tech Times, the search engine presents results that have been hand-picked by editors whose job it is to ensure that each website is age-appropriate and easy to understand. And if your child is a little too curious for their own good, don’t worry. Kiddle is designed to prevent users from looking up profanity.
But the real benefit of Kiddle is that it not only protects your child, but also the rest of your family. The website is committed to ensuring user security. It collects no personal information and clears user logs every 24 hours. This is a particularly useful feature for those who are concerned about their children becoming victims of identity theft.
Child ID theft is more common than you think
The Federal Trade Commission estimates that about 5 percent of the 410,000 identity theft complaints made in 2015 involved individuals age 19 or under. Unlike adult victims of identity theft, children and their parents are far more likely to go years without realizing that anything has been compromised. That’s because few parents bother to check their children’s credit reports until they are older, leaving them blind to any potential problems.
All it takes is a name or an address. A stolen Social Security number can be a particularly stark problem. While ID theft threatens everyone, children who spend a lot of time on the internet are at a high risk because they may not understand the importance of keeping their information hidden from strangers. And even if they do adhere to safe practices, some websites make an effort to collect personal information that could later fall into the hands of those who might misuse it.
Ensuring that your children only browse the internet through a safe search engine like Kiddle can go a long way to protecting them from identity theft throughout their youth. However, never assume that your child is completely safe from thieves. The FTC recommends that parents regularly check their children’s credit reports until they are 16, so any issues can be addressed before they start thinking about college and applying for student loans.
An identity theft protection service like Identity Guard can help. By monitoring credit files and Social Security Numbers, our service can alert you to certain activity in your or your child’s credit file that could indicate fraud. If there’s a problem, you’ll be able to address it long before it gets out of hand.