COPPA Violated, Children Face Online Dangers - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

COPPA Violated, Children Face Online Dangers

Today Texas is the first state to take action to enforce a law to protect your child's personal information from online predator's. The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act or COPPA was implemented in 1998. 
   
Attorney General Greg Abbott has filed a law suit against two popular children's web sites, thedollpalace.com and gamesradar.com for violating the act. Saying they both are requiring minors to give names, ages, and addresses to register on the site.  Dollpalace.com takes a step further by asking children to fill out a 10 page profile to dress up dolls.

The profile asks questions like, 'What do you like to do for fun?' and giving answer options like 'Skinny Dipping.' It also asks drinking habits and questions about sexual issues. Information that leaves them exposed to online predators.

But, the law can only do so much to protect your child from online predators. Parents are being warned about online dangers and what they can do to protect their kids from online dangers. 

A local Psychologist Dr. David Egerton says that when children are asked for personal information online, it allows sexual predators to find a child to target, because they know what they are looking for. 

"Children who are isolated for one reason or another, maybe they have failed to develop social skills or maybe they just haven't been accepted and they feel a need to have contact with another person, children who are uncomfortable dealing with people on a face to face basis, but may be more comfortable playing a role and at the same time not being aware that can be dangerous."
   
And Egerton says parents need to know sexual predators are good at what they do.

"If we can persuade children to have a secret with us, one secret, we can persuade them to have another secret because we have a special relationship."
   
Here is some advice to follow to protect your child from predators. 
"We never release our name, we never release our address, we never release our telephone number and we never release any personal information such as clothes that we wear, body dimensions, because if they are asking it's for the wrong reason.

Also, Egerton says parents need to pay attention to what their children are doing online and communicate to them the dangers of making friends with strangers online.

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