Don’t be tempted to use “free public wi-fi” when you or your kids want to go online waiting for a flight or in other public places. I certainly have been. But when I’ve yielded to temptation once or twice, I’ve closed right out of it, put off by the strange new symbol that turned up – different from the usual connected parallel curved lines where my MacBook’s AirPort icon usually is. Turns out my instincts were good. To me, the symbol just looked like my computer was being spied on. NPR helpfully explains that, “when a user selects it, he or she isn’t connecting to a router or hot spot, but rather directly to someone else’s computer in the area.” It’s like logging into a botnet, or really an ad hoc network of nearby computers whose owners did succumb to temptation, but don’t worry: It won’t necessarily turn your computer into a zombie. “Connecting to the ad hoc network isn’t inherently harmful, despite its virus-like spread, [but it can] provide an access point for hackers to come in and check out the user’s files.” So don’t even go there. For more on zombies and family discussion about them, see the second half of this post.
NetFamilyNews – by Anne Collier
- New Facebook policy targets guns, other regulated items
- Google’s new learning tool that learns
- The flap over Talking Angela the chatbot app
- About the worldwide ‘selfie’ phenomenon
- How technology will improve the well-being of young adults
- Calling our children narcissists on ‘a sociopathic scale’: Really!?
- Nothing complicated about this: Read ‘It’s Complicated’!
- Teens’ own (wise) perspectives on life with social media
Analysis & News – by Larry Magid
- Adults spend 11 hour a day using electronic media
- Smartphones that promise user privacy
- Author danah boyd on why teens and social media are ‘complicated’
- Security experts at RSA decry government hacking
- In defense of Internet safety education
- ‘Neknominate’ is a stupid and potentially deadly online dare game
- Confessions of a binge viewer
- People who suffer from so-called ‘game addiction’ have other problems