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Your smartphone camera can be a practical tool

This post first appeared in the San Jose Mercury News Everywhere I go I see people using their cellphones to take pictures of themselves, people around them or interesting things that they encounter. But your phone’s camera can also be a practical tool. I use my smartphone camera for all sorts of things that no one would […]

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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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Family Contract for Smartphone Use

Pledge for kids and teens I will not touch or look at my phone when it’s dangerous to do so such as driving, riding a bike or walking. I will be considerate of others and not use my phone to text or talk when it may disturb others or at inappropriate times or places such […]

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Balancing external with internal Internet safety ‘tools’

As we welcome in a new year, some thoughts on the promise and protective properties of compassion and resilience for our children (and all of us)… In the US and probably many other countries, the Internet safety discussion has focused largely on external safeguards: filtering, monitoring and other parental control tools, household and school rules, […]

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A courageous target turned upstander

Read Caitlin Seida’s story for a great example of resilience and how to be an upstander online. Caitlin had publicly posted an unflattering Halloween photo of herself, forgetting to make it private, and the photo – along with plenty of nasty comments – went viral. What started out to be a fun Halloween became a […]

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The kids who are most at risk offline (& online)

In 2009, the Internet Safety Technical Task Force published a finding that the young people most at risk online are those most at risk offline, a clear indicator to me that online risk is not a unique new problem brought on by the Internet. In their thorough review of the online risk literature released right […]

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Perspectives, data on little kids’ media use

Research findings characterized negatively in the US as “the digitization of young childhood” could be seen as a sign of growth and prosperity in countries where the Internet is mostly mobile. Even in the US, the growth of young children’s use of cellphones and tablets could be saying as much about American families’ shift away […]

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We need to neutralize ‘negativity bias’ against kids’ Net use

This post is not about technology. It’s about how we (humankind) have been wiring our brains to think about technology. We have quite a hole to climb out of. Not only are our brains already “wired to scout for the bad stuff,” the Huffington Post reports, referring to what neuropsychologist and author Rick Hanson calls […]

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Rosalind Wiseman on how to talk with our sons

One of the things we ConnectSafely folk often say to parents asking us about online safety measures is, first and foremost, “Talk with your kids.” We say that for a number of reasons, the chief one being that there is no single safety measure – whether it’s a rule or parental-control tool – that’s right […]

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Mistakes, aggregated extortion and second chances

This is the chilling side of the digital footprint (something that everybody has) – chilling because the takeaway seems to be that nobody can make a mistake anymore. Web sites with names like BustedMugshots and JustMugshots claim they’re doing society a favor by publishing photos that document arrests (not convictions) en masse. And when prospective […]

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