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Parents' Guide to Protecting Kids' Privacy Online

Is there a way to get a simple explanation of privacy settings on sites like Google+ and Facebook?

On both sites, the simplest explanations are actually right next to the box where you post. These contextual instructions are ideal -- in theory -- because they tell you who you're sharing with every time you upload something.

Facebook uses an "inline audience selector" to let you easily choose who sees anything you post. It's a great tool, but it requires you to be pretty vigilant about creating various lists of friends and assigning them levels of sharing status.

Google+ uses "circles" to illustrate whom you're sharing with. But, again, you have to groom your circles frequently to know who's in each circle -- and, frankly, it's still a little confusing.

Most companies' privacy policies and settings are constantly evolving, so it's smart to check them and tweak them frequently. And remember: The whole point of Facebook, Google+, and other social sites is to share information. So if you think their privacy settings are hard to understand, there's a reason. A good rule of thumb is that the longer and more complex the explanation, the more money the company is making off that particular piece of information. — Common Sense Media

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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