One of the great challenges has been integrating and reconciling our online lives with raising our children. We want them to benefit from what the digital world has to offer, but we want to keep them safe, too— safe from inappropriate content, chatty predators, phishers, scammers and financial fraudsters. The digital world is here, each of us can choose to participate or not, but we all must accept the consequences of whichever choice we make.
Our children are still very young, but from the time they became conscious of money and its power to buy candy, we have taught and encouraged them to manage their money.
Here is our rule: when our children receive money they must divide it evenly into four accounts. The first is savings for college. The second is for spending or saving as they choose now (under parental advisement). The third is for long term savings for something big they want. The fourth is for giving to those in need.
We’ve obviously chosen to go digital; therefore, we are always looking for ways to participate safely, and we think we may have found an answer to one of the most difficult problems: a safer way for children to save, spend, and give online.
It’s called Virtual Piggy.
The way it works is parents register their account using a preferred credit card or paypal account for future purchases along with a shipping address. Next, parents set up accounts for each child and sets parental controls including who kids can buy from, how much they can spend, you know, limits. Since financial and shipping information is stored in the parent’s account, the child never has access to it. Children are able to check out at Virtual Piggy merchants using only their username and password.
So it’s safer for parents because their children never have access to their parents credit card or account, and it’s safer for children because they never use your credit card or give any personal information like names, ages, birthdates or contact information. Virtual Piggy is also a certified licensee of the TRUSTe® Children’s Privacy Program, which has been approved by the Federal Trade Commission as an authorized safe harbor under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule.
Why not check it out for yourself during this holiday season to see if it is right for you? Virtual Piggy has a Member Value Program where you can get special promotional codes for offers from partner merchants like O’Neill, Sephora, and the ASPCA.