Sorry, kids: Some Santas are not so nice

by Categorized: Scams Date:

It’s easier than ever to have your kids write a letter to, or receive a letter from, Santa. Just do it online, but be careful: Some of these sites are more naughty than nice and only want to get your personal information.

Some advice for parents from the Connecticut Better Business Bureau:

• Check whether the website shares information with third parties, including advertisers, and whether the company publicly discloses the information or retains the information for any future purpose.
• Determine that children are not asked to share more information than is reasonably necessary to participate in the activity, such as a first name and email address.
• Limit the personal information children share with Santa and omit physical addresses. Santa already knows where all the children live.
• Check sites for unwelcome content. Some websites are geared toward adults and may contain language or advertising that parents may not want children to see.
• Verify hyperlinks in the website to assure that children don’t access inappropriate content. Hover your mouse over the hyperlink without clicking to see where the link goes.

If you want to make perfectly sure no one invades your child’s privacy, consider writing the Santa letter yourself and sending it to the child or leaving it on your child’s bed or somewhere else where he or she can find it.

You can learn how to protect yourself, finances, identity and family, and find reviews of businesses, websites and charities by calling 203-269-2700 or online at www.bbb.org.

The Courant is using Facebook comments on stories. To comment on courant.com articles, sign into Facebook and enter your comment in the field below. Comments will appear in your Facebook News Feed unless you choose otherwise. To report spam or abuse, click the X next to the comment. For guidelines on commenting, click here.