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How to protect children and adolescents from sexual abuse

by Larry Magid The conviction of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky on 45 counts of sexual abuse of children has, once again, put child sex abuse on the front page. Like the vast majority of child sex abuse cases, Sandusky’s crimes took place in the physical world — they were not Internet related. […]

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Skout’s ‘flirt, friend, chat’ may be fine for adults, but not for kids

by Larry MagidThis article appeared in the San Jose Mercury News When you go to download Skout on an iPhone, the tagline is “flirt, friend, chat,” and you’re invited to “join the fastest growing FREE social scene with millions of guys and girls waiting to meet you!” Skout’s iPhone icon is a heart. And, thanks to the […]

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CDC study: Too many teens text while driving

Nationwide, 32.8% of students had texted or e-mailed while driving a car or other vehicle on at least 1 day during the 30 days before the Centers for Disease Control conducted its 2011 Youth Risk Survey (PDF).  That percentage jumped to 43% for 11th graders and 58% for high school seniors. In a seperate report, the CDC found: […]

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Understanding Facebook’s new privacy policy

Facebook has made some changes to what it calls its “data use policy,” which is essentially the same as its privacy policy. The company has also added a  ”Facebook Terms and Policies” hub that serves as a central landing page for all of Facebook’s policies, including a link to its Data Use Policy.  Facebook also published […]

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Consumer Reports finds very small percentage of Facebook users ‘are sharing too much’

by Larry Magid When Consumer Reports writes about home appliances, it tells you their strengths and weaknesses but I’ve never seen any dire warnings about how you can lose your hand if you stick it in a garbage disposal. Even when they review cars, they don’t fill their articles with awful statistics about how thousands […]

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PRiZE anti-bullying music video by Mary & Brianna Ferraro

This sweet song,  recorded by 14 year old twins Mary & Brianna Ferraro, was written when they were 11. Take a listen (and look) and scroll below the video to read the lyrics. It’s one of many great peer initiated efforts to help combat bullying and encourage resilience.   Lyrics, music and vocals by Mary & Brianna […]

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FTC’s digital privacy report has welcome recommendations

This article first appeared in the San Jose Mercury News by Larry Magid The Federal Trade Commission’s final report on digital privacy contains some very welcome recommendations. The recently released report, title “Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change,” looks at challenges consumers face in “today’s world of smart phones, smart grids, and […]

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How to control Facebook app privacy

by Larry Magid Facebook is more than a social network. It’s also a platform that allows independent developers to create applications, or “apps” that greatly expand what the service can offer. Games, including social games like  Words with Friends, are very popular, but there are also education apps, photo sharing apps, apps to share interesting reading material, music apps and much more. […]

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Kony 2012: A lesson in critical thinking

It seems that just about everyone is talking about the Kony 2012 video that’s received more than 70 million views since it was posted last week.  It’s part of a campaign by the non-profit group Invisible Children to bring awareness to the evil deeds of rebel leader Joseph Kony who’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has been terrorizing Ugandans and […]

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FOSI Qatar conference: Child online protection involves tensions between regulation and free flow of information

I’m in the Persian Gulf state of Qatar for a two-day conference where representatives of government, non-profits and businesses from throughout the Middle East will join their counterparts from other regions to discuss “Promoting Online Safety and Cyber Ethics in the Middle East.” The conference is run by the Washington-based Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) along with […]

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