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For Immediate Release:
May 8, 2020
Contact: 518-486-9844
press@dos.ny.gov
Follow us on Twitter @NYSDOS

Consumer Alert: The Division of Consumer Protection Provides Safety Reminders for Keeping Kids Safe at Home and Online

A Review of Privacy Policies for Popular Children’s Video Conferencing Apps Reveals Ways Parents and Guardians Can Protect Child’s Privacy

Be Sure to Practice Fire Safety in the Home and Keep Children Safe from Common Household Hazards

The New York State Division of Consumer Protection (DCP) is alerting parents and guardians how to keep children safe at home. With the remaining of school year being taught remotely and children using popular video conferencing apps and a variety of online tools, parents and guardians can take several steps to protect their child’s privacy online to secure their immediate and long-term safety. Consumers are also reminded that it’s important to keep children safe in the home by staying up to date on fire prevention and preventing injuries from common household hazards.

“With New York State on ‘PAUSE’ during this unprecedented public health crisis, kids and families are spending more time indoors and online,” said Secretary of State Rossana Rosado. “It’s important for parents and guardians to ensure the home is safe for the entire family. Following these simple safety tips and engaging the family in these fun activities will help prevent harm and unnecessary trips to health care facilities.”

Information Privacy
More children are turning to video services to do schoolwork and stay connected with each other. To adapt, companies are making more services available, often without additional privacy protections or considerations. DCP reviewed the following services and their privacy policies to inform consumers about their privacy risks while utilizing these different platforms: Facebook Messenger for Kids; Google Education (Parent Company: Alphabet Inc.); Zoom & Zoom for Education; and Skype.

Below are tips to help protect your child’s privacy online:

Fire Safety Tips:

The New York State Division of Consumer Protection serves to educate, assist and empower the State’s consumers. For more consumer protection information, call the DCP Helpline at 800-697-1220, Monday through Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm or visit the DCP website at www.dos.ny.gov/consumerprotection. The Division can also be reached via Twitter at @NYSConsumer or Facebook at www.facebook.com/nysconsumer.

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