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House Rules for online privacy

House Rules for online privacy 

To mark this occasion here locally, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has launched “House Rules” which is a new interactive tool to assist parents in setting rules that can help mitigate the online risks facing their children.

“We want families to consider their online behaviour and how personal information may be collected, used and disclosed so that children will learn to think twice before sharing any sensitive details,” Commissioner Daniel Therrien said in a statement. “Having a privacy plan setting out the family dos and don’ts can help everyone work together to protect privacy.”

With this new tool, creating a family privacy plan has never been easier. Parents can select from a list of things that their family would like to do online like playing games, social media, using a mobile device, downloading apps, sharing videos and photos, emailing or texting, and online shopping. After making the necessary selection users are then given a list of rules. For those rules that they would like to add to their family privacy plan, a simple click or check mark in the box will add that to their customized privacy plan. Furthermore, there is the option to add your own house rules as well.

After all the rules are checked, the next step is to create your complete list of rules. With a click on create you are then taken to a new page with your specific rules that can then be printed and placed next to your desk or common area that will serve as a reminder on the dos and don’ts to follow in protecting your privacy online.

To provide a sense of the rules in this interactive tool, here is a sample:

  • If we don’t know someone in person, we won’t communicate with him or her online without asking our parents, or an adult we trust, first.
  • We will make our passwords hard to guess and we will not share our passwords. It is important to know that some people do go into other people’s accounts and try to cause trouble.
  • We’ll take the time to review who our online “friends” really are and delete people we don’t actually know. A friend of a friend is really just a stranger.
  • We will not leave our device(s) in a place where someone could easily steal it.
  • We will always ask our parent or an adult we trust before making purchases online.

In addition to the new interactive tool, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada is also introducing a new tip sheet for individuals to help us be better suited with the basics of privacy protection.

“I would encourage all Canadians to take a moment this Data Privacy Day to think about what they can do to better protect their privacy,” said Commissioner Therrien. 

To view the interactive tool, go here.

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