About Larry Magid

Author Archive | Larry Magid

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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Time to redefine and de-silo online safety efforts

I’m in Washington DC to attend the Family Online Safety Institute’s (FOSI) annual conference that gets underway on Wednesday. This year’s theme is Redefining Internet Safety, and while I don’t yet know how others will redefine it, I do know that the professionals involved in helping people be safer and more secure online have a […]

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Tech and Ebola — Facebook’s initiative and the Ebola Care app

The tech community is rallying to help fight Ebola which has become a serious threat, mostly in West Africa with 13,000 cases so far, according to the World Health Organization. Tech companies are stepping up to the plate, including Facebook, which launched an initiative that includes an easy way to donate online, with proceeds going to […]

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Media guidelines for reporting on youth risk surveys

There is an old saying that figures don’t lie but liars figure. That’s a good thing to keep in mind when examining how some companies market the results of surveys. OK, perhaps lying is too strong a term, but I’ve seen too many press releases that promote the results of a survey but don’t tell […]

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Online harassment is a problem we all must confront

Last week was Digital Citizenship Week, which was mostly about the online rights and responsibilities of teens and children. But after reviewing the results of a recent Pew Research survey on adult harassment, I’m starting to think that we need a digital citizenship campaign for adults too. The Pew survey found that 40 percent of […]

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