Digital Basics

A quick overview of our site, including links to essential info and online tools to get you started.

What Is a Privacy Parent?

Does the everywhere-ness of the Internet worry you? Ever wonder what Google knows about your browsing history? (Click here to find out.) Do you help care for a child who spends a lot of time staring at a screen? Are you concerned that the smartphone in your granddaughter’s pocket is broadcasting her location to massive, private companies? Do you want to do something about it? If so, you’re already a Privacy Parent: Informed, aware and empowered. is here to help give you even more useful information, heighten your awareness, and increase your personal privacy protection with additional practical tools of empowerment.

Why Is It Important to Be a Privacy Parent?

Time and data are the real currency of the 21st century, and the internet is set up to capture as much of yours as possible. Unless you plan to take wildly extreme measures, you’re going to need to be comfortable with our increasingly wired world. It’s important to be aware of the pitfalls and risks inherent to this tech-infused life. With reliable, accurate information, you can steer clear of those hazards. You’ll be empowered to make sound decisions about how and why you, your children and your grandchildren should log on and—just as importantly—log off.

How Do I Use

Start with our Privacy Checklist of dos and don’ts to see how you rate on our “Priv-O-Meter” (no way you’ll find one of those elsewhere). Then dig through this site and others like it. We have stacks of clear, concise “Explainer” articles about everything from avoiding email scams to understanding apps like TikTok — our hand-picked Must Reads are a good place to start. We also have a Glossary of Digital Terms — the insider lingo you’ll encounter at the Apple Store and in conversation with your kids’ babysitter. And we’ve got links to stories “In the News” we think might interest you and deepen your understanding of the threats to digital privacy. One more thing: You don’t have to be a parent of madly texting tweens to find this site useful. Anyone keen on controlling the terms of their digital experience is welcome here.

Our Privacy Conversation Starter

We put together a brief set of questions to help our readers, our friends, our family members and ourselves really think about digital security, privacy and the extent of our relationship with the internet. We think it’s a quick and thought-provoking conversation starter, especially good for dialogues between you and your kids. Click here to give it a look.

And If You Do Nothing Else…

Take these four steps toward a better, safer digital life. 1) Keep your phones away from the dinner table. 2) Check your social media settings and make sure your feeds are private, not public. Do the same for your kids. 3) Check your app settings to make sure they aren’t monitoring and sharing your location. Again, do the same for your kids. (There are exceptions to this one; maps and “find my phone” features need to know where your phone is.) And finally, 4 ) Stop ignoring those prompts and update your software. You’re off to a good start.

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