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Sign a family contract for online safety and smart use of technology

by Larry Magid   Several years ago, my site SafeKids.com, developed a Family Contract for Online Safety and every few months I make sure it’s up-to-date. The idea of a contract, or series of pledges, is to get everyone in the family on board as to what it means to use today’s technologies safely and […]

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Parents and kids on Facebook — Who friends whom might surprise you

Chart shows that younger children are more likely to friend their parents (Source: Facebook) Researchers at Facebook took a look at friending patterns within families and discovered that teens — especially young teens — are more likely to friend their parents than the other way around. Facebook found that over 65% of friendships between 13-year-olds […]

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Facebook’s semi-automatic mobile photo sync: What you need to know

by Larry Magid Facebook announced on Monday that it is allowing users of its iOS and Android mobile app to automatically sync photos to their Facebook account so that they’ll be available to share as soon as you log on via a computer. But don’t worry about accidentally posting embarrassing photos. When you enable sync, photos wind up in […]

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Internet Governance Forum to tackle issues about online safety, freedom

by Larry Magid I’m in Baku, Azerbaijan, at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), a United Nations-sponsored “multi-stakeholder” forum to discuss a wide variety of issues regarding Internet governance. Unlike many U.N. forums, IGF is attended not just by government officials but also by corporations, non-governmental organizations, and scholars interested in how to handle global Internet […]

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Facebook provides privacy education for new users

Facebook now offering privacy lessons to new users About two years ago, Anne Collier and I wrote A Parents Guide to Facebook, which we’ve revised a couple of times. But now new Facebook users will get a privacy primer from Facebook itself. On its blog, the company announced that new users will get lessons on the following […]

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Tracking kids’ cellphones: Reassurance or overparenting?

Thanks to my ConnectSafely.org co-director Anne Collier for her thoughtful post about cell phone tracking that concludes “most parents don’t really need software to parent.”  I of course agree. What she said about tracking apps, tracks (no pun intended) what I’ve long said about content filtering. The best filter isn’t the one on the device, but […]

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October is ‘Bullying Awareness Month’ but when is ‘Most Kids Don’t Bully Month’?

by Larry Magid October is National Bullying Awareness Month and that’s mostly a good thing because it reminds us that bullying can be hurtful and can be prevented.  But part of “awareness,” is being aware that most kids don’t bully.  In fact, numerous studies have shown that the norm among most American (and other) kids […]

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Finally, a kid-filtered iPad browser, but not from Apple

By Larry Magid There is finally a way to let kids access the web on an iPad without having access to porn. The Apple iPad is a phenomenal success not only among consumers and business users but in schools as well. It turns out to be an incredibly popular device for children  who take to its user interface immediately and intuitively.  It’s no wonder that lots of iPads wind […]

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Social discovery: What parents need to know

by Larry Magid One of the hottest new trends is social discovery — websites and smartphone apps that help people meet new people. Although there can be some overlap, these services differ from both dating sites like Match.com and traditional social networking sites like Facebook.  Unlike dating sites, they don’t necessarily focus on romantic involvement and they differ from […]

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Could new government rules jeopardize children’s privacy and safety?

By Larry Magid The Federal Trade Commission’s proposed revisions of the rules that implement the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) is well meaning and well-timed. It’s well meaning in that the FTC truly does care about the privacy and safety of children and it’s well-timed in that it’s the first revision since COPPA was implemented back […]

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