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Let’s stop persecuting ‘Auschwitz selfie girl’ for smiling at a camera

I grew up Jewish so I’m naturally very sensitive to the horrors that took place at Auschwitz during the Holocaust. I’m also very critical of Holocaust deniers and those who would minimize what the Nazis did to Jews, gays and other “undesirables.” But I think we need to give that young girl who took a […]

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EFF launches free Privacy Badger for Firefox and Chrome to block hidden trackers

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF.org) has released its free Privacy Badger plug-in for Firefox and Chrome that shows trackers and widgets that may be surreptitiously recording your web activity. This would include such things as third party tracking cookies placed by ad networks or “widgets” that create Like buttons for Facebook or a “Tweet this” function that also […]

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Privacy and security tips for newly-minted college students

This post first appeared on Forbes.com by Larry Magid Congratulations. After a long and sometimes stressful childhood you (or your teen) are ready for college. It’s a big step that involves a great deal of freedom and independence and an exciting time. When I started college, the big “risks” were gaining weight (the “freshman 15″) and […]

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Google to stop labeling apps with in-app purchases as ‘free’

This post first appeared on Forbes.com By the end of September, Google will no longer label apps as “free” if they allow for in-app purchases. The change will certainly take place in Europe but is likely to affect Google users around the world. Disclosure: I’m co-director of ConnectSafely.org, a non-profit Internet safety organization that receives financial […]

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Home automation and ‘Internet of things’ is great — but think about privacy and security

This article is adapted from one that appeared in the San Jose Mercury News Your home is getting smarter and more connected, which is mostly a good thing. But, as we start to connect our homes to the “Internet of Things,” we need to be aware of the privacy. security and safety implications. Although technically the […]

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Time for public to weigh in on ‘net neutrality’

In May, the Federal Communications Commission issued a proposed new rule on network neutrality that critics say would open the door to fast and slow lanes on the Internet. The reason I’m writing about it now is because Tuesday is the deadline for posting comments on the proposal. You can comment on other people’s comments […]

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The ‘real world’ is a lot more dangerous than cyberspace

This post first appeared on Forbes.com The media is full of horror stories about online dangers, but — in all but a few categories — offline risk dwarfs its online equivalent. Stranger danger vs. trusted adults Let’s start with children. Every parent worries about their kids being harmed by strangers, but – whether offline or on — children are at far […]

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LG’s new tracking device for young children

There are lots of apps that can allow a parent to track their child’s phone. Assuming the phone and kid are together and the phone is turned on and in range, you can also use those apps to track your kid. But now there’s a wearable device from LG just for that purpose. The KizON wristband, […]

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Advice for reducing risk when using mobile phones

This article first appeared in the San Jose Mercury News I recently helped write a free online booklet called “A Parents’ Guide to Mobile Phones,” available at connectsafely.org/mobile, but much of the advice applies to all cellphone users. Were it not for some parenting tips such as the section on buying a child’s first phone, it could just […]

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Why I don’t want to hear about any new parental control products

It’s hard to get through a week without hearing about a new product designed to protect children online or on mobile devices. Some of these products block content, others give parents some control over who their kids can communicate with but most offer some sort of monitoring, giving parents a glimpse into what their kids […]

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