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Tech gifts popular for young children this year

A survey commissioned by PBS Kids found that 54% of parents say they plan to purchase or give a tech gift to their children this holiday season. Nearly six in 10 (59%) of parents younger than 34 plan to buy a tech gift for their kids. Tablets (28%) and video game consoles (18%) top the […]

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Tell us ‘one good thing’ about using tech to make the Internet or the world better

This article first appeared in the San Jose Mercury News About 11 years ago, the European Commission established Safer Internet Day, an annual event that focuses on making the Internet a better and safer place. It takes place on the second day of the second week of February, which means it falls on Feb. 11 […]

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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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Tips for safe online holiday shopping

This post is adapted from one that first appeared in the San Jose Mercury News It’s hard to believe Black Friday and Cyber Monday are only days away. If this year is typical, throngs of people will be crowding stores starting on Friday, and those not pounding the pavement at brick-and-mortar stores will be pounding […]

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Preventing and recovering from bullying — what works and what doesn’t

For the past several days I’ve taken a deep dive into the world of bullying and cyberbullying at two back-to-back conferences – the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) conference inWashington DC last week and, this week, the International Bullying Prevention Association (IBPA) conference in Nashville. Even though I was bullied as a child and recently co-write the free […]

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Family Online Safety Institute tackles ID theft and the ‘Internet of things’

Washington, DC: Every fall around this time, people from the tech industry, government, non-profit groups and academia gather in Washington for the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) annual conference. Over the last few years, the conference has dealt with a wide variety of issues including cyberbullying, reputation management, security and keeping kids away from inappropriate content. Although […]

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NSA snooping and youth rights at Internet UN’s Internet Governance Forum

This post first appeared in the San Jose Mercury News BALI, Indonesia — For the past eight years, Internet “stakeholders” from governments, nonprofit and activist organizations and the technology industry have gathered at the United Nations-sponsored Internet Governance Forum to talk about Internet policy issues such as child protection, free speech, privacy and freedom of […]

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Internet Governance Forum tackles child protection vs. child rights

Bali, Indonesia — I’m at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF #IGF2013) in Bali where I’m participating in a workshop on child protection vs. child rights. As a child safety advocate, I’ve long argued that young people need “digital literacy” to understand how to safely navigate the online world. That can be protecting their emotional well-being by […]

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Facebook lets teens post publicly: Why that’s a good thing

Facebook announced today that it’s changing its policy to allow teens to post publicly. Prior to today, Facebook members aged 13 through 17 were only allowed to post to a limited audience that maxed out with friends of friends. In a blog post, Facebook said that teens will also “be able to turn on Follow so […]

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Let’s not underestimate the impact of cyberbullying

For advice on how to deal with cyberbullying, check out ConnectSafely.org’s new free online booklet, A Parents’ Guide to Cyberbullying I’ve written several columns about how people tend to exaggerate the number of kids who are affected by cyberbullying, but just because I’m a stickler on wanting to report accurate numbers from credible sources doesn’t mean […]

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