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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

[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/114814971" params="" width=" 100%" height="166" iframe="true" /] 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. […]

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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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Students in social media: There’s monitoring & then there’s monitoring

There’s an upside and a serious downside to monitoring students in social media, and the upside doesn’t involve outsourcing (that was an understatement). You’ll see what I’m talking about when you get to the downside down there, but let’s start with where and how it would actually help.… In her thoughtful commentary, “What inner city […]

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Can Google kill the tracking cookie?

I usually don’t write about rumors, but reports that Google may be working on a replacement for tracking cookies is worth speculating about because it can have enormous implications when it comes to our online privacy. There are reports that Google is working on something called AdID which would transmit anonymous user data to advertisers who agree […]

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Most online adults know they’re not anonymous but take steps to protect privacy

A recent survey from the Pew Research Center found at the more than a fifth (21%) of adults have had an email or social media account hijacked and more than a tenth (11%) have had information important information stolen, such as a social security number, credit card or bank account numbers. The report, Anonymity, Privacy, and […]

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‘The Kids Are (mostly) All Right’ when it comes to privacy and bullying

This post is adapted from one that appeared in the San Jose Mercury News The question of “what’s the matter with kids today?” has  probably been with us for millenniums, but it was certainly the top of mind in 1963 when the lyrics for the song “Kids” from the movie “Bye Bye Birdie” asked that question […]

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