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Technology doesn’t cause bullying and –despite some claims — it can’t prevent it

by Larry Magid(this article is a work in progress and subject to editing and revision) My inbox is full of pitches for products and services that claim to prevent bullying.  Most use some type of word recognition to either block offensive messages or report them to parents.  But even if you add the word “cyber” to […]

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Internet Governance Forum to tackle child porn, digital citizenship & other global issues

I’m in Nairobi, Kenya, this week to serve as a panelist at the United Nations’ Internet Governance Forum (IGF). I’m not sure what will be accomplished, but it’s an opportunity for “multi-stakeholders” from around the world to talk about important Internet-related issues such as child protection, cybercrime, privacy, censorship, managing critical Internet resources and making […]

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Although it’s not our most pressing issue, and sister have always supported efforts to educate children and teens on the importance of respecting other people’s digital property rights.  Indeed, one of the points in SafeKids’ Teen Pledge for Being Smart Online is “I will respect other people’s digital property and space. I won’t steal, […]

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Survey: Parents mostly savvy on kids’ Internet use

By Larry Magid For many years I have said that the best way to protect children on the Internet is to develop the filter that runs in the computer between their ears and, based on a recent survey commissioned by the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI), a lot of parents apparently agree. For the most part, […]

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Cyberbullying: A serious problem, but not an epidemic

This is an updated version of post that first appeared on in 2009. Updated to coincide with CBS News 48 Hours special on bullying. by Larry Magid The first things you need to know about cyberbullying are that it’s not an epidemic and it’s not killing our children. Yes, it’s probably one of the more […]

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Interview with Justin Patchin of Cyberbullying Research Center

Ahead of CBS News’ 48 Hours special on bullying, co-director and CBS News and CNET Technology analyst Larry Magid spoke with with Justin Patchin, co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center.  You can listen to the entire interview as a podcast and  read more at CNET More audio: Larry’s One minute CBS News Tech Talk  […]

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Digital citizenship & media literacy beat tracking laws & monitoring

By Larry Magid As we start the new school year, there are two trends in online child protection that are worthy of scrutiny. The first is the growing trend towards software and services that monitor what kids are doing online and with their phones. The second are proposed “do not track” laws that would require […]

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How not to be a phone hacking victim

Caller ID Spoofing Another relatively simple method of phone hacking is to use a spoofing servicethat makes it appear as if the hacker is calling from the phone he or she is trying to break into.  As a convenience feature, many phone mail services allow you to avoid having to type in a PIN every time you check […]

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Google to (re) enter social networking arena

by Larry Magid It’s too early to know how it will affect kids and families, but Google is launching a new social networking service to compete with Facebook. Google has tried its hand at social networking before but has never hit a home run. Its Orkut social networking service is popular in Brazil but not […]

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Talk with your kids about being safer online

by Larry Magid Although there are plenty of tools that can be used to try to control or monitor what your kids are doing online, the best approach for most parents is that oldest of tools called conversation. Having an occasional chat with your kids about how they’re using technology can go a long way […]

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