Protecting your child’s data

Get advice on how to protect your child’s data online and tips on how to help them make smart choices about what they share about themselves and others.

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Talking to your child about their online reputation

Many of the sites children like to use ask them to reveal information about themselves, from pictures of them and their friends, their names and where they live, to their favourite music, films and games.

It’s great for them to build relationships and share their interests but it’s also important to talk to your children so they understand what could happen if they share too much online.

How to help children share safety and protect their data
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It’s great for your child to build relationships and share interests online but it’s important to talk with them about what could happen if they share too much.

Talk about privacy and information you shouldn’t share online. This includes their real name, address, phone number, school, and town in which they live.

Encourage your child to think about which friends they share with – are they likely to share this with others. A conversation with close friends is often open to all friends or even everyone on the internet

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Get hints and tips on how to protect your child’s digital footprint.

Visit advice hub

Data Detox toolkit to help you declutter devices and stay in control of personal data

Teach them about privacy

  • Make sure your child is aware of the information they shouldn’t reveal online. This includes their real name, address, phone number, school and town in which they live. See

Be careful who they share with

  • Children and especially teenagers who use sites such as Facebook and Whatsapp can have hundreds and even thousands of online friends. The more friends they have, the less likely they are to know them all well, which means they could have less control over the content they share. Encourage your child to think about which friends they share information with.

Stay anonymous

  • In chatrooms children may find themselves talking to other people they don’t know. In this case they should never reveal their personal details. The more information they reveal, the easier it can be for someone to build up an identity for them.

Clean up apps on devices

  • Together with your child review the apps and website they use and encourage them to delete or remove any that they no longer use. This will stop apps holding on to their data and limit incidents of catfishing or ID theft if an account is not checked on a regular basis.

Take time to read the T&Cs

  • If your child is opening a new account or signing up for something online, although it can be drawn out, take some time to read the T&Cs. This will give you an idea of how your child’s data will be used and who it may be passed on to. Share this CBBC video with your child on ‘Terms and conditions explained‘.

Encourage them to manage passwords

  • It’s important to remind children not to share their password with friends and change them every so often to keep their data safe and secure. Saving passwords into browsers on shared devices can be problematic, so it’s always a good idea to only do this if the device is their own.

Review privacy settings on social networks

  • Encourage them to review the privacy settings on the social networks they use and periodically review their friends list to make sure they are sharing their digital lives with people they know and trust. It’s also a good idea to talk about what is safe to share with people they’ve only met online. Sharing information with someone they’ve only met online can be risky so it’s best to advise them to try and key personal information private. Use these ’12 quick online privacy tips for parents‘ from Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Highlight what a positive digital footprint looks like

  • Our online reputation advice hub has a range of ways to can help children create a positive digital footprint that will serve them as they grow.
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CBBC Lifebabble – Share this with your child to help them learn about digital rights

Manage children’s social activity

Give young people the tools stay on control of what they put out about themseleves and others others on social. Here’s our essential toolkit to get you started.

Online toolkit to manage their social activity

GDPR and children’s rights – what does it all mean?

ICO ‘Your Data Matters‘ campaign to explain how personal data is used under the GDPR

GDPR or General Data Protecton Regulation is a law that came into affect in May 2018 to make sure that everyone’s data especially children’s data is used properly and legally by all organisations that have access to it.

In simple term it gives you more control over how your data is used and ensures that every organisation that handles it keeps you informed on how they plan to do this.

For children, the law established an age of consent of 13 across a range of apps and websites. So if your child is signing up to a online service or social platform and  they are under 13 they will need to receive parental authorisation to before they can open an account. Find out more about children’s digital rights by visiting the 5Rights website.