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Today’s technologies have numerous benefits. However, many parents still do not understand the risks that can stem from their families’ online behavior.
Parents can be personally liable if their child uses the web to defame, harass, or threaten their peers. That can lead to personal injury lawsuits from invasion of privacy to libel and defamation of character.
The triggering acts and penalties provided under parental liability laws vary significantly in each state. In California, Civil Code § 1714.1 makes a parent liable for the willful misconduct of a minor that results in injury or death to a person or damages the property of another.
Problems can stem from online habits that seem benign.
- Social media privacy settings might not be set to the highest level, making it easier for anyone to “friend” your child and view their posts.
- Indiscriminately sharing photos can divulge private information, such as where your family lives and where your children go to school, making it easy for criminals to create a digital profile.
- Posting any real-time updates from instantly posting photos to “checking in” to a location presents both security and privacy concerns.
Educating your household about thoughtful online behavior can minimize most potential threats and help defend your family’s reputation and wealth.
Talk to your children about the legal and safety issues the come with using the internet and social media.
To help protect your financial assets in the event of a personal liability lawsuit, talk to a trusted insurance advisor about the coverage choices that address your situation.