How About Some Privacy Education for All Our Stuck at Home Kids?

March 24, 2020 - Sherri Fowler, Analyst

Like many of you, I am a mom of a kid who is off school. This is uncharted territory for all of us – I never even had a snow day growing up. Many of us are trying to be creative with what other types of learning we can provide our kids at this time. So, before they become even more obsessed with Fortnite, TikTok and Snapchat (sorry parents, Facebook is not cool anymore), there couldn’t be a better time to introduce them to some privacy learning.

The Privacy Commissioner of Canada has produced some excellent resources available at www.youthprivacy.ca. On this website you will find many activities, games and presentations for kids from kindergarten to grade 12 – you might even learn something new about privacy yourself. This site includes resources for teachers and parents to help support your child’s privacy learning.

One of my favorites is the Data Defender game aimed at kids in grades 4 to 6 that was created by Media Smarts through funding from the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. In it, Algo Rhythm – or Al for short – gives the game player extra moves in exchange for the player agreeing to provide certain details about themselves such as birthdays and friends’ email addresses. Throughout the game, you learn about the tricks used online to get you to give up your personal data.

You will also find a great graphic novel: Social Smarts: Privacy, the Internet and You. The site describes Social Smarts as, “…the story of a brother and sister who learn (sometimes the hard way) about the privacy risks related to social networking, mobile devices and texting, and online gaming.” Social Smarts is geared towards teenage readers.

On the site you will also find fun activity sheets and games for younger kids to introduce them to privacy at an age appropriate level.

If you need help to begin a dialogue with your kids about privacy and their online presence check out Topics to Talk About. This includes discussion ideas and guidance on conversations ranging from the importance of password protection to sexting.

I encourage you to check out www.youthprivacy.ca as it has so much great stuff to create a privacy savvy generation.

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