“Dear Santa” sites: Is your child’s privacy protected?

Has your child expressed interest in sending a letter to Santa? If so, then maybe you’ve heard of the “Dear Santa” sites that allow children to send a letter to Santa or, in some cases, persuade Santa they were good this year. While these websites can be fun, bbb advises parents to check the sites out carefully to avoid having their child’s privacy invaded.

BBB advises adults to review the sites carefully before allowing children to share any personal information. Try to determine who is seeking the information, how it will be used and whether it will be shared with third parties.

Websites directed at children should have a privacy policy that explains the site’s information collection practices. The website should include the name of the company and complete contact information, including a physical address and telephone number.

BBB advises parents to:

  • Check whether the website shares information with third parties, including advertisers, and whether the company publicly discloses the information or retains the information for any future purpose.
  • Limit the personal information children share with Santa and omit physical addresses. Children may be told that Santa already knows where all the children live.
  • Check sites for unwelcome content. Some sites are geared toward adults and may contain language or advertising that parents may not want children to see.
  • Click on hyperlinks in the website to assure that children don’t access inappropriate content.

Have your children used any of these sites?