Tuesday, April 16 2024

Protect Children's Privacy Online

Whether playing, shopping, studying or just surfing, today's kids are taking advantage of all that the web has to offer. But when it comes to their personal information online, who's in charge?

In an effort to put parents in the catbird seat, the Federal Trade Commission has established new rules for website operators to make sure that kids' privacy is protected while they're online. These rules are part of the 1998 Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. Here's a look at what the law requires, starting April 21, 2000.

Website Operators Must:

Post their privacy policy.

Websites directed to children or that knowingly collect information from kids under 13 must post a notice of their information collection practices that includes: types of personal information they collect from kids-for example, name, home address, email address or hobbies.

  • how the site will use the information-for example, to market to the child who supplied the information, to notify contest winners or to make the information available through a child's participation in a chat room.
  • whether personal information is forwarded to advertisers or other third parties.
  • a contact at the site.

Get parental consent.

In many cases, a site must obtain parental consent before collecting, using or disclosing personal information about a child.

Consent is not required when a site is collecting an email address to:

  • respond to a one-time request from the child.
  • provide notice to the parent.
  • ensure the safety of the child or the site.
  • send a newsletter or other information on a regular basis as long as the site notifies a parent and gives them a chance to say no to the arrangement.

Parents Should:

Look for a privacy policy on any website directed to children.

The policy must be available through a link on the website's homepage and at each area where personal information is collected from kids. Websites for general audiences that have a children's section must post the notice on the homepages of the section for kids.

Read the policy closely to learn the kinds of personal information being collected, how it will be used, and whether it will be passed on to third parties. If you find a website that doesn't post basic protections for children's personal information, ask for details about their information collection practices.

Decide Whether to Give Consent

Giving consent authorizes the website to collect personal information from your child. You can give consent and still say no to having your child's information passed along to a third party.

Your consent isn't necessary if the website is collecting your child's email address simply to respond to a one-time request for information.

Monday, April 8 2024

Safe Food Storage Prevents Illness

The best rule of food storage in the home is to refrigerate or freeze perishables right away. The refrigerator temperature should be 40 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius), and the freezer should be zero F (minus 18 C). Check both "fridge" and freezer periodically with a refrigerator/freezer thermometer.

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Wednesday, March 13 2024

Food Preparation: Keep It Clean

The first cardinal rule of safe food preparation in the home is: Keep everything clean. The cleanliness rule applies to the areas where food is prepared and, most importantly, to the cook.

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Wednesday, February 28 2024

Costly Coupon Scams

Cents-off coupons are providing big bucks for scam artists who offer business opportunity and work-at-home schemes featuring coupon certificate booklets and coupon clipping services. Using the Internet to market these so-called opportunities, fraudulent promoters are promising entrepreneurs, charity groups and consumers earnings of "hundreds per week" and "thousands per month" simply by selling coupon certificate booklets or cutting coupons at home.

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Friday, February 23 2024

Preventing Foodborne Illness

The idea that the food on the dinner table can make someone sick may be disturbing, but there are many steps you can take to protect your families and dinner guests. It's just a matter of following basic rules of food safety.

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Friday, February 9 2024

The Lowdown on Chain Letters

Everybody's received them - chain letters or email messages that promise a big return on a small investment. The promises include unprecedented good luck, mountains of recipes, or worse, huge financial rewards for sending as little as $5 to someone on a list or making a telephone call.

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Saturday, February 3 2024

Are Cosmetics Safe?

Serious problems from cosmetic use are rare, but sometimes problems arise with specific products. For example, FDA warned consumers about the danger of using aerosol hairspray near heat, fire, or while smoking. Until hairspray is fully dry, it can ignite and cause serious burns. Injuries and deaths have occurred from fires related to aerosol hairsprays.

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Monday, January 29 2024

Still Paying Private Refinance Insurance?

If you put less than 20 percent down on a home refinance, lenders often require you to have Private refinance Insurance (PMI). PMI protects the lender if you default on the loan. The Homeowners Protection Act of 1998 - which became effective in 1999 - establishes rules for automatic termination and borrower cancellation of PMI on home refinances.

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