Commentaries – Staff

New research: Sextortion can ruin lives

May 11, 2016

By Larry Magid Sextortion typically involves a perpetrator (typically male) getting hold of a picture of someone (typically female) and threatening to widely share those images.

Encryption is a form of child protection

March 31, 2016

By Larry Magid One of the main arguments for those worried about encryption is that it can shield terrorists and those who exploit children, because of the concern that criminals can use encryption to "go dark." And, while that can be true, it's also true that encryption helps protect children from those very predators and other criminals, along with bullies and others who might harm kids. Encrypting is not just for privacy and security but also for personal safety.

Safer Internet Day has lessons for us all

February 3, 2016

For the past 13 years, countries across Europe have celebrated Safer Internet Day on the second Tuesday of February. And, since 2014, the event has also been celebrated in

Data Privacy Day: Passwords are broken but here are partial fixes

January 28, 2016

By Larry Magid Security experts recommend that you use long passwords (at least eight characters more is better — some say 14 or more) and that they not be dictionary words, real names, birthdates or anything else that can easily be guessed by humans or software. Later I'll tell you some tricks to create a relatively strong password, but even if you use these, your passwords are not 100 percent secure.

Europe’s new privacy regulations may limit teens

December 17, 2015

By Larry Magid I worry about the law's impact on children. European countries already have rules similar to the U.S. Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), that requires verified parental consent before a child under 13 can provide personal information to commercial services, but a last minute provision to the European regulation raised the age of parental consent from 13 to 16.
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