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Facebook’s ‘Nearby Friends’ feature: What you need to know

This post is adapted from one that first appeared on Forbes.com Facebook is rolling out a new feature for its mobile app that allows you to  share your approximate location with friends. The opt-in feature (it’s turned off by default) enables you to find and be found by nearby friends. The feature can be turned on […]

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Identity theft a problem from cradle to grave — Kids most vulnerable

by Larry Magid April 8, 2014 was a scary day. Microsoft ended support and security updates for Windows XP, leaving millions of users vulnerable to hack attack from what will soon be an out-of-date operating system riddled with vulnerabilities. But by the end of the day, we had something else to worry about. Security researchers […]

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The app ecosystem & very public secrets

These are crazy times in the mediascape, and not just because of crazy valuations of startup apps. How do all these socially risky apps get out into the digital ecosphere? They don’t take a lot of people, time or other resources to build anymore – not like digital media products and services of lore, anyway, […]

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Will safety ever be ‘baked in’ to social apps?

Whether or not social apps can be made as trolling- and cyberbullying-proof as possible before they hit the app stores is a question more and more people are asking – and asking that question is a step in the right direction. The spanking-new anonymous app Secret is already making some changes after a “flap” in […]

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Smartphones that promise user privacy

This post first appeared in the San Jose Mercury News Thanks in part to whistle-blower Edward Snowden, the former contractor with the National Security Agency, there’s increased interest in a new crop of services, apps and phones designed to protect our personal data from prying eyes, including those of government agencies. FreedomPop’s new Privacy Phone […]

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Protecting your privacy from corporations, government and yourself

Thanks in part to Edward Snowden’s revelations of NSA snooping, privacy was a dominant theme in 2013 and will continue to be in 2014. To me, there are three major sources of risk when it comes to privacy: corporations, government and yourself. Corporations – including Internet and social networking companies – thrive on data. For some […]

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How to unfollow someone yet still be Facebook friends

Why Unfollow It’s nice to have friends but if you have too many Facebook friends you can becoming inundated with what they post.  It’s a classic “signal to noise ratio” problem. If too many people are posting too much content, than you wind up missing the content that you really care about. One solution is to unfriend […]

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Twitter improves encryption against NSA and other snoops

Twitter has added Perfect Forward Secrecy to its arsenal of tools to keep private user data  from falling into the wrong hands.  The new protocol is being added to the HTTPS encryption that is already in place on Twitter and many other sites (including most legitimate sites that collect financial data). The Forward Secret protocol, […]

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Facebook to no longer let you opt-out of being found via search

Click for Larry Magid’s 1-minute CBS News & CNET segment about Facebook dropping the search setting Facebook has eliminated a setting called  “Who can look up your Timeline by name?,” which controlled whether you could be found when people typed your name into the Facebook search bar. In a blog post, Facebook’s chief privacy officer […]

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Beware of the Internet Safety Industrial Complex

By Larry Magid I got a call recently from a woman who works for a company that makes an app designed to “keep kids safe” by enabling parents to monitor their texts and social media activities. The pitch included some dire statistics such as “70% of kids are cyberbullied” and — like other companies that […]

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