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Safe computing includes minding your ergonomics

 I recently set up a new home office, which not only involved countless trips to Ikea, but also having to deal with ergonomics — something I hadn’t thought much about since the last time I set up an office. Merriam Webster’s online dictionary defines ergonomics as “a science that deals with designing and arranging things […]

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Safety, security and privacy risks of fitness tracking and ‘quantified self’

Symantec is out with a report that raises questions about the safety and security of wearable technology. In a report, How Safe is Your Quantified Self, Symantec “found security risks in a large number of self-tracking devices and applications,” including the finding that ”all of the wearable activity-tracking devices examined, including those from leading brands, are vulnerable to location tracking.” A report from ABI Research […]

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Don’t let stalkers or abusers and creeps track your phone’s location

Modern cell phones know where you are. This can be a very good thing, but — in the wrong hands — it can also lead to potential abuse. As Kaofeng Lee and Erica Olsen point out in the article, Cell Phone Location, Privacy and Intimate Partner Violence from the website of the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV): Sharing […]

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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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