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As Ferguson struggles, Georgia teens create app to rate police departments

As the nation watches Ferguson, Missouri work out its troubled police-community relations, a group of teens from Georgia have created an Android app to help communities rate their police departments on a scale of A to F. The app is called Five-O (inspired by the TV show) and it’s the brain child of 14 year […]

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Tech can make driving dangerous, but also safer

By Larry Magid A lot has been written about how technology can make driving more dangerous, and it’s certainly risky to text, fiddle with your phone, configure your GPS, mess with your radio or even speak on the phone while driving. But tech can also make us safer. For example, my car is equipped with […]

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IAC’s Ask.com buys Ask.fm and hires a safety officer to stem bullying

Ask.com, which is owned by IAC/InteractiveCorp., has acquired Ask.fm, a Latvia-based question and answer site that has come under criticism because of past incidences of bullying.  The site, which allows people to anonymously ask questions of others, is widely used by teenagers who — in some cases — have been known to be less than […]

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Massive data breach shows skills of Russian hackers

I grew up during the Cold War and, like most people at the time, was conditioned to fear the Soviet Union, which many people simply referred to as “Russia,” even though it included several other Soviet republics. Worry was so strong that the title of a popular 1966 comedy film said it twice: “The Russians […]

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Google to reward sites with HTTPS security in search rankings

If you look at the web address of any financial site and most e-commerce sites, you’ll find the letters “HTTPS” in front of the site name. HTTP, which is on all websites, stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol and S stands for “Secure.” The simplest way to describe HTTPS is that it encrypts the data between […]

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Five teens & ‘one mature adult’ create Push for Pizza app

We at ConnectSafely probably won’t nominate these kids for our One Good Thing program but it’s hard not to admire young people who find a niche and then fill it. As CNET News explains, “Push For Pizza was built by five teenagers and one mature adult who love and appreciate pizza,” the company’s bio reads. […]

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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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