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The real goal of unplugging

I love the parenthetical in the headline of “Five Ways to Break Your Kids’ Screen Addiction (and Yours, Too),” by Yahoo family tech columnist Dan Tynan. Because – if there’s such a thing as screen addiction and it’s not just something fashionable to (anxiously) joke about – what we model for our kids in our […]

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Experts say UK’s optional filtering equals choice, not censorship

Under pressure from Prime Minister David Cameron and other British officials, major UK Internet service providers are now requiring customers to opt-in or out of Internet filters that affect every device in the home. And, starting this week, most public Wi-Fi networks in the UK will have porn filters so kids can’t get around parental protections […]

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Kik Messenger’s smart new safety features

Kik Messenger, which claims to be the US’s 7th most popular social app and ranks even higher in some other countries, today released a new version that gives its 120 million+ users more control over who can text them. Over the past year, its creators at Waterloo, Ontario-based Kik Interactive noticed the app has become […]

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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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