Tell The Kids To Fib

A U.S. agency says laws are needed to protect children's privacy online. But you can do better

Sometimes you have to teach your kids to fib--or at least learn one of the grownup versions: using a pseudonym. Online, it's the best way to defend your privacy. This often arises when you go to a web page looking for something like free, trial software. Many sites won't let you proceed to their goodies without divulging some personal data--which they will shamelessly rent, sell or trade to who knows whom. So I simply make up a name, address, phone number, zip code or e-mail address. And I encourage my children to do the same.

(Note: I do not do this...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!