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‘Grooming’ by phone too

Online safety news that appeals to fears are counter-productive, so I hope the US news media will approach cellphone safety more intelligently than they did predation on the Web. But, as with the Web, parents do need to be aware of the downsides to this other very useful communications tech too. CNN reports that, according […]

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Where online kids’ worries lie

A quick snapshot from a UK researcher halfway through her cyberbullying study: Well-known psychologist Tanya Byron told the Oxford Media Convention that "children are more worried about being bullied in cyberspace than any threat from paedophiles," the Financial Times reports. On pedophiles, she quoted one girl as telling her, "We kind of know who the […]

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US social networking: Fresh numbers

Here's a fresh snapshot of where and how much Americans are social networking. Hitwise just announced its latest figures, finding that – out of Hitwise's group of 53 leading social sites – MySpace averaged 76.35% of all US visits last year. Next came Facebook.com, Bebo.com and BlackPlanet.com with 12.57%, 1.24%, and .87% respectively. As for […]

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Malicious widgets

You've heard of malicious Web sites – sites people go to by mistake which upload malicious software to their computers. Well, now social networkers need to be aware of malicious widgets. [Widgets are those mini applications people use to add fun and functionality to their profiles – e.g., a slide show, a music playlist, a […]

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Video sites’ traffic way up

Nearly half of US Internet users have been to sites like YouTube, and use of video-sharing sites has grown 45% just in the past year, according to a new study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. What's more, the BBC cites new Nielsen figures showing that some video-sharing sites' traffic has doubled since […]

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MySpace & 49 attorneys general: Agreement

Two years of negotiation between MySpace and the US's state attorneys general culminated in an announcement today that they'd reached an agreement on "Key Principles of Social Networking Sites Safety." Not all that I heard as I listened in on the press conference is new (MySpace has implemented dozens of safety measures and programs in […]

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‘Teenage hell': What to do

What is it going to take to convince teens of how important it is to think about the impact mean behavior can have online? For example, just annoyed with a high school friend, three teens "placed an ad in [the 15-year-old's] name soliciting sex with men, listing his home phone number," the San Jose Mercury […]

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MO cyberbullying: Case not closed

There have been two new developments in the tragic cyberbullying case in Missouri that broke last November (see "Extreme cyberbullying"): 1) Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles are looking at charging the adult neighbor who created the imposter profile that led to the Missouri teen's suicide, the Los Angeles Times reports. "Prosecutors in Missouri said they […]

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Imposter profiles: Ongoing problem?

We don't see that much about them in the news media, but we certainly do in ConnectSafely.org, and MySpace even has a dedicated email address for reporting them: imposterreport@myspace.com. CIO magazine says imposter profiles aren't going away anytime soon in "Fake Social Networking Profiles Still Big Problem, But Don't Expect Social Networking Sites to Care." […]

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UK’s top social sites

With Britons so keen on social networking (recent Ofcom research found 1 in 4 logged into a social site at least 23 times a month!), the UK's Computing Which? consumer magazine recently took the subject on. It tested the "10 most popular sites [in Britain] for ease of setting up and using the site, the […]

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