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Vine’s a great new video app, but kids need to be careful what they shoot

by Larry Magid Vine is a fun new iPhone app from Twitter that has lots of people shooting and sharing very short videos. Although it’s too early to know if this app will catch on with teens and tweens, my guess is that a lot of young people will find it appealing. Some people have […]

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Are schools turning alleged bullies into criminals?

by Larry Magid A recent story from the Gilroy Dispatch gives me concern about the unintended consequences of our recent campaigns to stop bullying. The report, which lacks specific details, quotes police officials referring to the children involved as “suspects”and “victims.” It reads more like a crime blotter than a serious discussion about how to encourage youth (and […]

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Sign a family contract for online safety and smart use of technology

by Larry Magid   Several years ago, my site SafeKids.com, developed a Family Contract for Online Safety and every few months I make sure it’s up-to-date. The idea of a contract, or series of pledges, is to get everyone in the family on board as to what it means to use today’s technologies safely and […]

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Parents and kids on Facebook — Who friends whom might surprise you

Chart shows that younger children are more likely to friend their parents (Source: Facebook) Researchers at Facebook took a look at friending patterns within families and discovered that teens — especially young teens — are more likely to friend their parents than the other way around. Facebook found that over 65% of friendships between 13-year-olds […]

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Facebook’s semi-automatic mobile photo sync: What you need to know

by Larry Magid Facebook announced on Monday that it is allowing users of its iOS and Android mobile app to automatically sync photos to their Facebook account so that they’ll be available to share as soon as you log on via a computer. But don’t worry about accidentally posting embarrassing photos. When you enable sync, photos wind up in […]

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Tips for secure online holiday shopping

by Larry Magid This post fist appeared in the San Jose Mercury News By all accounts, the online holiday sales season got off to a good start. Tracking companies reported big increases for this year’s Thanksgiving weekend and Cyber Monday, including a 70 percent increase in shopping from mobile devices. Of course, Thanksgiving weekend and Cyber Monday […]

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Internet Governance Forum to tackle issues about online safety, freedom

by Larry Magid I’m in Baku, Azerbaijan, at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), a United Nations-sponsored “multi-stakeholder” forum to discuss a wide variety of issues regarding Internet governance. Unlike many U.N. forums, IGF is attended not just by government officials but also by corporations, non-governmental organizations, and scholars interested in how to handle global Internet […]

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Facebook provides privacy education for new users

Facebook now offering privacy lessons to new users About two years ago, Anne Collier and I wrote A Parents Guide to Facebook, which we’ve revised a couple of times. But now new Facebook users will get a privacy primer from Facebook itself. On its blog, the company announced that new users will get lessons on the following […]

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Tracking kids’ cellphones: Reassurance or overparenting?

Thanks to my ConnectSafely.org co-director Anne Collier for her thoughtful post about cell phone tracking that concludes “most parents don’t really need software to parent.”  I of course agree. What she said about tracking apps, tracks (no pun intended) what I’ve long said about content filtering. The best filter isn’t the one on the device, but […]

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October is ‘Bullying Awareness Month’ but when is ‘Most Kids Don’t Bully Month’?

by Larry Magid October is National Bullying Awareness Month and that’s mostly a good thing because it reminds us that bullying can be hurtful and can be prevented.  But part of “awareness,” is being aware that most kids don’t bully.  In fact, numerous studies have shown that the norm among most American (and other) kids […]

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