Many adults remember the days when kids would write letters to the North Pole, in the hopes that the real Santa Claus would read their Christmas wish lists and bring them the presents they wanted. Well, Dear Santa letters have finally caught up with the pace of technology, as many websites that claim to offer children a way to send their wish lists to the North Pole have been set up. According to the Augusta Chronicle, over 60 domain names relating to Dear Santa letters were already established by late November.
While helping your child craft an email to Santa might seem like a cute idea, there’s definitely reason for caution when you use one of these third-party websites, particularly since these websites specifically cater to young children, who need the supervision of their parents when they’re online anyway. The Children’s Advertising Review Unit states that all websites that market to children should reveal the full name of the company and disclose whether they share any collected data with other companies. This policy may seem extreme, but is it so outrageous to demand to know who our children are communicating with online?
This non-profit review committee recommends that parents sit with their kids as they fill out their Santa letters and help them write a wish list that keeps their personal information safe. Children should not provide any physical description of themselves, nor should they give their real names or mailing addresses. Parents should also read over the site’s requirements to find out how much personal information the site asks children to provide. If a company requests more than a first name and a valid email address, the site may be intending to use this information for marketing purposes.
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