BBB: Managing Children’s Online Privacy

After Google agreed to pay a record $170 million fine and promises to make changes to protect children’s privacy on YouTube for violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule, the penalty raises awareness of parents need to be vigilant as children are increasingly connected to the Internet. Better Business Bureau (BBB) encourages parents to lead the way in teaching their kids the language of online privacy and protect them from being easy targets for online scammers. In the United States, about half of kids are on some form of social media by age 12, according to the Common Sense Media census report released in 2016. The report found that, overall, 56 percent of the children had their own social media accounts, based on parent survey responses. The reported data showed the average age when initially signing up for social media was 12.6 years old. “This early online interaction makes children prime targets for identity theft. They are clean slates with no blemishes on their credit report. Their details can be stolen and the theft itself can go undetected for years” said Michael Sedio, Chief Operations Office and General Council of Better Business Bureau PacificSouthwest. BBB warns about the most commonly reported scams: Creating accounts on websites: Social media sites are no exception. Many will sell unauthorized user details to advertisers looking to engage in targeted marketing. Contests and giveaways: Contests and giveaways require a hefty amount of personal information to enter. Many are merely scams created for that purpose. Phishing: Adults are not the only ones who receive spam and junk mail. Kids often get junk mail and without as much experience online, are more

likely to be susceptible. While some emails may be legitimate, a vast majority are not and the last thing parents want, or need, is a $500 bill from a fraudulent website where a purchase may have been made. File sharing sites: Many websites allow children to download free media. What they may not know is…these sites often come with the risk of downloading a virus that allows identity thieves to access their computer and personal information.

BBB shares tips on how parents can manage their children’s online privacy: Know About COPPA. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act protects personal information of children under the age of 13 on websites and online services—including apps. COPPA requires those sites and services to notify parents and get their approval before they collect, use or disclose a child’s personal information. However, if your nine-year old tells Instagram they are 13 (the age requirement to use the app), he or she won’t be protected by this law.

Teach Your Kids the Language of Online Privacy. Discover, together, the meaning of the most common terms found in privacy policies and terms of agreement: personal information, cookies, third party, license, user content, location information, log file information, monetization. Do a Google search if you don’t know what they mean. Read Privacy Policies Together. Parents can have their children read the privacy policies and terms of use of any apps they want to use. If children grumble that “they are too long” or that “it takes too much time,” remind them of the importance of knowing what they are signing up for and insist. Get To Know About Settings. Nearly every social media application offers a suite of privacy settings. For example, on Instagram simply navigate to “Settings” and then scroll down to “Privacy and Security.” From there, select “Account Privacy” and elect to make your account private. On Snapchat, simply select the cog wheel icon and scroll down to the “Who Can…” section. Set “Contact Me” and “View My Story” to “My Friends” (this can also be set to a custom list of friends). Don’t Share Your Location. These days nearly every app automatically tracks a user’s location. It’s a good idea for children to disable this feature on the apps they use. Plus, advise them not to geo-tag their posts with their location either. Tell them: You don’t want to announce the fact your family is vacationing out of state while your house sits empty.

Use Parental Controls If Necessary. Although the best way to keep a child’s online privacy safe is to teach them to manage it themselves, it doesn’t hurt to have their backs by using parental controls, especially when they are young. Today Android, iOS, and most web browsers offer built-in features that allow parents to monitor their children’s online activities, but third-party apps are available as well. Share with care. What is posted online can last a lifetime: parents can teach their children that any information they share online can easily be copied and is almost impossible to take back. Talk to them about who might see a post and how it might be perceived in the future and share with them anything they do online can positively, or negatively, impact other people. Personal information is like money. It is vital to value and protect personal information. Information about kids, such as games they like to play and what they search for online, has value – just like money. Parents should inform their kids about the value of their information and how to be selective with which apps and websites they visit and utilize. Stay current. Keep pace with new ways to be safe online, stay up-to-date with new technology and ways to manage privacy. Visit or other trusted websites for the latest information about browsing the Internet safely. Tune up your search engine. One’s search engine can be pressed into service for free. Once parents set restrictions, Google will block sites with explicit material (Preferences/SafeSearch Filtering).

Set Up Online Gaming Privacy. Online gaming is the norm these days. Gaming often allows people to chat with one another while playing the game, through either text or voice. This can often be used to find information out from children.

If parents, family members or guardians think a site has collected information from their kids or marketed to them in a way that violates the law, it is important to report it to the Federal Trade Commission at and report the scam to BBB scam tracker.

HCB Announces New President & COO

Horizon Community Bank is pleased to announce the Board of Directors has appointed Ralph Tapscott as President and Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Tapscott succeeds Jerry Ernst who will remain as Chief Executive Officer until retiring from day to day management of the bank around the end of the year, as previously announced. Mr. Ernst will continue to serve on the Board of Directors for Horizon Community Bank.

Horizon Community Bank is excited to bring Mr. Tapscott back to Lake Havasu City to join our
executive team. With over 29 years of executive experience in the banking industry, Mr.
Tapscott brings significant experience, insight and depth to our executive team as we proceed
with our plans for future growth and expansion. Mr. Tapscott’s expertise in business
development, financial controls, commercial credit, risk management and banking operations
will enhance our management team.

Mr. Tapscott has spent much of his career working with community banks. Most recently, he
served as President and Chief Executive Officer for Republic Bank of Arizona. Prior to that, Mr.
Tapscott held the position of President and Chief Executive Officer at Mohave State Bank,
where he served for 7 years.

Mr. Tapscott is active in the community and the banking industry. He has served on the boards
of the Arizona Business Council, Phoenix Rotary Club, Lake Havasu City Rotary Club, Arizona
Bankers Association, Western Independent Bankers Association and Lake Havasu Area
Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Tapscott earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance from Texas Tech University as well as being a graduate of the Pacific Coast Banking School, University of Washington.

Ralph and his wife Koena are excited to be returning to Lake Havasu City, a place they consider
home. Mr. Tapscott will begin duties at Horizon Community Bank in the 4th quarter of 2019.