How can I check to see if my kid signed up for something online?

The Internet is full of enticements to sign up for something. Sometimes these come-ons make it sound as if you've won a prize and all you need to do to receive your winnings is register. If your kid registered for an account, downloaded a program, or entered a contest, you may not know unless you notice a new program on your computer. Here's how to get to the bottom of things, starting with the least intrusive:

  • Ask your kid. Explain that there are a lot of scams out there that can spread viruses, so it's important that they ask permission before signing up for something.
  • Check the browser history. Look for telltale words such as "registration page" or "thank you for registering."
  • Check your kid's email. Companies sometimes send a confirmation email to the address used in the sign-up. If your kid is under 13, kid-targeted websites and apps are supposed to get your permission before they collect or use any personal information from your kid (although it's easy for kids to dodge any age restrictions and say they're older).
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