Google ditching CAPTCHA for ‘I’m not a robot’ checkbox

A couple of decades ago — before former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s anti-crime initiative helped reduce lawlessness — I stayed with a friend in New York but was annoyed at how much work I had to do to get into his apartment. I had to unlock a bolt lock, a regular door lock and a “police […]

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Twitter improves abuse reporting and blocking

After some much publicized trolling incidents, including cruel comments that prompted Zelda Williams to (temporarily) quit the service in the wake of her dad Robin Williams’ suicide, Twitter has announced improved tools for reporting abuse and blocking abusive Twitter users. In a Tweet and a blog post, the company announced that it is “rolling out […]

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Safe holiday online shopping tips

When you see a great deal online, make sure you examine the fine print. The biggest “gotcha” is usually shipping costs. Many online merchants will offer free shipping during the holidays, but some will add substantial fees that could wipe out any savings. Be aware of sales tax and any other fees. Depending on whether […]

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Social problem data & youth: Cause for celebration

“We should be celebrating young people’s good judgment and self-control — and extolling their parents and teachers,” writes David Finkelhor, director of University of New Hampshire’s Crimes Against Children Research Center, in a Washington Post article just before Thanksgiving. “They have brought delinquency, truancy, promiscuity, alcohol abuse and suicide down to levels unseen in many […]

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Of parenting & a class called ‘Wasting Time on the Internet’

One of the central stereotypes of (or maybe urban legends about) us, our tech and our time is people filling every free or empty moment doing something on a screen – texting, playing a game, posting a photo, listening to a tune, checking email, reading a book, etc., etc. It makes us feel guilty or […]

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Takeaways from premier US anti-bullying conference

This Thanksgiving week in the US, I’m thankful to have heard the following from two outstanding researchers and a well-known author in the bullying prevention field speaking at the just-ended International Bullying Prevention Association’s (IBPA’s) annual conference in San Diego: “We don’t talk enough about the ecosystem around kids,” said educational psychology professor Dorothy Espelage […]

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Anonymous apps get bad raps, but they fill gaps: The good side of anonymity

There are a growing number of social media apps that encourage anonymity. Popular services such as Ask.fm, Secret, Whisper and Yik Yak allow people to post under an assumed name, or no name at all. A new one, called Rooms, is actually owned by Facebook — the very company that popularized the “real-name culture.” Plenty […]

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Do surveys about parents’ concerns increase digital-parenting confidence?

Predictably, the media coverage of a new survey of parents on digital-age parenting focused mainly on their concerns about tech and the Net. We need to question that – question the value of repeatedly reporting about concerns if, as a society, we want parents to feel confident in helping their children navigate today’s media. Here are […]

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ConnectSafely partners with app developers to fight Ebola

ConnectSafely has been working with the co-founders of Journey, an app development platform company based in South Africa, about raising awareness, funds and resources for an app they developed called Ebola Care. The app is designed to help health care workers in affected West African countries photograph, geotag and track Ebola patients and provide the relevant […]

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Americans lack confidence about controlling privacy

Whether it’s from government snoops or online marketers, most Americans feel that they have little or no control over how their online personal information is being collected and used. These are the findings of a study, Public Perceptions of Privacy and Security in the Post-Snowden Era, that was released today by the Pew Research Center. […]

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