About Larry Magid

Author Archive | Larry Magid

Smartphones are popular holiday gifts for kids that come with responsibility

There will be lots of smartphones under Christmas trees and Hanukkah bushes this year, but if you plan to get one for a teen or pre-teen, consider first having “that talk” with your child. By “talk,” I don’t mean the birds and bees, I mean a conversation about smartphone safety, privacy and security. A while back […]

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Prepare your family-tech before a major storm or power failure occurs

Whether it’s winter storms, fall hurricanes  or just random occurrences, power failures are a fact of life and can happen any time and anywhere. If they do occur, they can affect your family’s technology and that same technology can be a life saver in an emergency, assuming it’s ready to use. So to be safe, […]

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Safety & civility advice for anonymous apps

A growing number of apps allow people to post anonymously. Some of the better known ones include Ask.fm, Whisper, Secret and Yik Yak but there are new ones all the time, including After School, that’s been downloaded more than 100,000 times including by students from more than 14,000 U.S. high schools, according to Recode.net. As […]

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Sexual harassment victim’s secret weapon — ‘telling their mothers’

Alanah Pearce, a 21 year-old game reviewer from Brisbane, Australia has had more than her share of online hate, including rape threats. But, she told Alternet about her plan for dealing with her young harassers. I only realized quite recently that the majority of sexually explicit comments or messages I get come from young boys, not […]

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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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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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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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Survey finds parents mostly OK with kids’ use of tech

A survey released today by the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI), found that “93% of parents feel that their child is at least somewhat safe when he or she is online,” while only 37% say their child is “very safe.” The survey found some ambivalence when it comes to using smartphone apps and playing online […]

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