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Do kids need special protections or do we all need them?

We have always taken child safety more seriously than adult safety, even where children are not necessarily at greater risk than adults. It’s probably instinctual. As every parent knows, protecting one’s offspring is not something we even have to think about. We just do it. Children not always a special case But when it comes to risk, children […]

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Google pulls scanning and ads from education apps

In addition to its consumer and business services, Google is also in the business of providing apps for education with apps such as Gmail, Drive, Docs, spreadsheets and YouTube for Schools. These apps, according  to the company, serve more than 30 million students, teachers and administrators. Disclosure: I’m co-director of ConnectSafely.org, a non-profit Internet safety organization that receives financial support […]

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Facebook adding more user-control of app privacy

This post first appeared on Forbes.com Speaking at Facebook’s F8 developers’ conference, CEO Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged that “Over the years one of the things we’ve heard over and over again is that people want more control over how they share their information, especially with apps.”  He added, “If people don’t have the tools  they need to feel comfortable using your apps […]

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From connected learning to P2P learning

With kids in your life, certainly you’ve heard of tutorials and instructional videos on YouTube. But of course they’re not just for kids, and it’s exciting to think about all the learning, from guitar lessons to algebra to DIY plumbing, that goes on all over the Web and mobile platform – self-directed, -customized and -paced […]

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Illustrated guide to Microsoft’s defense on latest Internet Explorer security flaw

This post first appeared on Forbes.com Microsoft has released a new advisory about the “zero day’ security flaw affecting Internet Explorer. The advisory says that the risk affects all versions since 6, up to the most recent (11). Calling it a “remote code execution vulnerability,” Microsoft warns that “An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain […]

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Continued downward trend in bullying & other violence for US youth

This is news that we could use more of: US 2-to-17-year-olds have been exposed to decreasing sexual victimization and violence, including bullying. Examining “50 types of violence that kids might witness or experience themselves,” researchers at the University of New Hampshire and University of the South found “significant declines in kids’ exposure to 27 types […]

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A taste of Turkish Internet censorship

This column first appeared in the San Jose Mercury News ISTANBUL, Turkey — Today’s column was supposed to be about alternatives to the broken user-name and password systems, but as I was doing my research, I hit upon an obstacle that required me to change topics. I had planned to comment on a report about a security […]

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Pretty faces in social media vs. mass media

The story about the impact of all those ‘pretty friends’ in social media on self-esteem offers one good explanation for self-presentation fatigue. Researchers in the UK, Iowa and Ohio used Facebook to look at the impact on body image of selfies in social media vs. photos of celebrities and other beautiful people in magazines. They […]

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Risk implications of kids going mobile: Research

Even back in 2010, the EU Kids Online researchers in 25 countries noted that “the ways through and the locations from which children go online are diversifying, and this trend is continuing.” It has indeed continued. Increasingly obvious to parents, the mobile platform enables “ubiquitous internetting,” as Dutch researchers put it way back in 2006). […]

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Anonymous apps and services are not synonymous with ominous

I’ve heard a lot of consternation about apps and sites that let users post anonymously and, indeed it is possible to use services like Whisper, Ask.FM, Secret, and Yik Yak to be annoying, mean, or downright cruel. But the same can be said for any tool that enables social interaction, whether it’s a social network, […]

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