Girl Scout Cookie Sales Go Digital, Move Poses Internet Safety Risks

In the new "Information Age," it seems that everything eventually ends up on the Internet. Up until the beginning of December 2014, however, Girl Scout cookies were an exception. Most Girl Scouts would begin by selling a few cookies to close friends and relatives, then move on to canvassing their local neighborhoods door-to-door, and finally expand to other nearby towns. 

The recent announcement by the Girl Scouts of the USA that members will soon be allowed to set up their own personalized websites to market Girl Scout cookies to a wider audience has been met with mixed reactions by parents.

The Promise of Online Sales

By enabling Girl Scouts to contact far-off relatives, parents' co-workers, friends of friends, and even outright strangers, overall sales are sure to boom. Valuable experience will likely be gained in running these "miniature online businesses," which will serve them well in years to come. Scouts will be able to post their photos as well as a short "cookie commercial" video online. They will also be able to send eCards to potential customers. 

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Digital Parenting: Recent Changes to Facebook's Privacy Policy

This is from one of our favorite Internet safety blogs, The Sue Scheff Blog, and is written by Erin Steiner.

Should you be worried? As a digital parent, the short answer is yes.

For those who haven’t heard, Facebook recently updated its privacy policy for teenage users of the system. Now there is no such thing as “too young to learn about online reputation management.”

Until last week, Facebook automatically made the profiles of users aged 13-17 private and only viewable to friends and friends of friends. Now their profiles are automatically public. That’s right. You’re newly-minted 13-year-old can broadcast his thoughts to the whole world with just the push of a button.

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Your Kids and Their “Internet Posse”

Parents may not get it. Actually, I didn’t get “it” until I was forced to evaluate child-directed websites as a part of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) compliance, as newly required by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). 

Starting July 1, 2013, the FTC requires that sites and applications directed primarily to children, effectively allow parents to review where their child’s information is shared, and delete that internet footprint, or record of sharing.  This sharing of child information through ad networks, cookies, clear gifs, beacons, etc. is what one can consider your child’s “Internet Posse”.  They are a Posse as they are not there just for the initial sharing of internet activity, but in behavioral advertising networks; they can follow your child’s internet activities outside of the child website that they visited.

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Protecting the Puzzle Pieces of Your Child’s Identity

This guest post is brought to you by Tami Nealy, Senior Director of Corporate Communication with LifeLock. Today, she writes about child identity theft protection, one of the latest digital dangers parents should be educated on. 

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