What does the future hold for your child’s online privacy?

The age of technology comes with myriad benefits, and also means we have become dependent on the internet for almost everything.

Image from pixabay.com

As research gets better, computer chips are becoming smaller, yet faster than ever before. The rise of IoT (Internet of Things) has been a game-changer in everyday technology. In most homes, children own smart appliances such as phones, tablets and laptops.

They might not know anything about hacking, online privacy or phishing, and will literally go into any website or download games. Outside our homes and everywhere you go, everything is connected to the internet in one way or the other. Every application our children use asks to access their personal information. What does all this connectivity mean for their online privacy now and in years to come?

Internet separation might be necessary

Children at some point will have separate internet. The right to children having not tracked internet will be every child’s basic human right. This will mean that when children learn to give out their personal information as young children, they are less likely to be cautious about the same in adulthood. This will be a big blow for big data repositories who make money from mining people’s data. Companies such as Facebook may lose revenue to the tune of millions over the next ten years as children’s data privacy laws eliminate under thirteen-year-old children from the social network’s audience.

IoT and children’s safety

The rise in Internet of Things (IoT) or connected devices in our homes make the need for children’s privacy rights more urgent. Today, more children are using more smart devices. They are the leading users of smartphones and speakers, and rank top in watching YouTube. In the first place, these devices were not designed with children in mind, and the internet is basically fashioned for adults.

New technology is needed to ensure these children stay anonymous and safe in a largely adult internet world. Attacks such as brute force attacks, phishing and other internet privacy concerns must take priority now, and even more in the future as we fully become automated. Once we get to this point where all IoT devices are logged to the internet, then it means your entire child’s life will be online, so to speak.

The whole world will be a series of interconnected devices which means that large corporations and the government and worst of all, pedophiles, will be watching your child’s private interactions, one way or the other.

What is the future of social media and future predictions?

As much as social media has been hailed to be the leading cause of cybersecurity issues, no child or teenager is likely to give up their social media accounts. This is their personal space where they interact and share with friends. With the upcoming growth of Virtual and Augmented reality technology, we are likely to see more advanced social media technology in the near future, and more children getting involved in social media.

The personal data that major social media companies such as Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat collect is enough to create huge databases based on the children’s browsing habits. This data is already in use by companies to target clients and to order the design of novel products. Data accumulates daily and most of this data concerns our children’s daily online activities, which need to be protected.

How to protect your child’s online privacy

To protect your child from unsavory characters or from giving too much personal information, there are several things you can do.

  • Talk to them about internet safety and teach them about hackers and their methods of operation if they are old enough.
  • Install trustworthy security software on their devices such as antivirus and a VPN to increase security
  • Set up their personal clouds and set up any devices they use to access the internet. Make sure they have a passcode that only you know and ensure all the devices have blocks on any risky sites.
  • If they are younger, make sure they browse while accompanied by an adult

As technology gains momentum, children are becoming more tech-savvy than their parents. As a parent, keeping up with technology is not an option because you have to keep tabs on what the children gain access to. There are pedophiles who target little children or teenagers and they are sly in disguising themselves, so being vigilant is a must. IoT is hurtling into the future and you can’t afford to be left behind.

To be forearmed is the key to safe children.