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Ukrainian parental controls got top spot

To mark the fifth-annual Safer Internet Day today, the European Union unveiled a three-year study it sponsored of parental controls software and services. In the study, the big-name brands in the US "were all beaten to the top spot by a small partnership that employs no more than 50 people, mostly designers and developers in […]

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Self-produced child porn: Good discussion

It's good to get the thinking of three legal scholars on this growing problem (I first picked up on it way back in 2004). They spoke at a University of Virginia Law School event entitled “Self-Produced Child Pornography: The Appropriate Societal Response to Juvenile Self-Sexual Exploitation,” Virginia Law Weekly reports. The professors talked about this […]

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Library bans social sites for PC security

The Lexington County Public Library is banning social-networking sites, but not for the reasons most people would probably come up with. "The primary reason for the decision was research that shows social-networking sites can make computer systems vulnerable to viruses," reports The State in Columbia, S.C. "The sites are becoming prime targets for malicious hackers," […]

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New game ratings for UK

Britain is working on a new game-ratings system to replace its old, unworkable one, The Guardian reports. "A legally enforceable cinema-style classification system is to be introduced for videogames in an effort to keep children from playing damaging games unsuitable for their age." The system will make it illegal to sell a game to a […]

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Social networking in the classroom?!

There was a debate going on recently over at The Economist, and the pro-social-networking side won. For parents or anyone interested in social networking's benefits and not just its risks, let me zoom you in on a very meaty discussion, starting with points from the Economist debate's opening arguments, both pro and con (not answers, […]

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Teens posting personal info: Study

For their safety online, kids have been cautioned for years not to give out personal information online. Well, we now know from researchers at the University of New Hampshire's Crimes Against Children Research Center that giving out such info isn't in itself a safety risk (see "New approach to online-safety education suggested"). We now have […]

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MySpace opens to widgetmakers

Like Facebook, MySpace has opened its doors to people who create parasitical little software applications for profiles on its site. It's offering developers tools to create these little apps riding on its "platform," the New York Times reports. Called "widgets," they can add a lot of fun and functionality to users' experience on MySpace and […]

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Social sites safer than chat, IM: Study

Parents, don't just talk with your kids about social networking – chat sites and instant messaging really need to be in the conversation too. Despite the news media's focus on social-networking sites as the locus of online child exploitation, it turns out chat sites and instant-messaging are where most sexual solicitation and cyberbullying is happening. […]

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PC Magazine on parental controls

Parents might be interested in the latest reviews of filtering and monitoring software here at PC Magazine. The top-rated products are Net Nanny 5.6, Bsafe Online, Safe Eyes, and Webroot Child Safe. Note that these are "client" software products you install on the family computer. If you have the latest operating systems on Mac and […]

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18-year-old registered sex offender

He was 17 when he downloaded child-abuse images. From the news reports, we don't really know why he did so. We do know that when he was interviewed by prosecutors, he "made full admissions," saying "he had no idea why he had done it," and "had no previous convictions, cautions, warnings or reprimands," the Hemel […]

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