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Experts say UK’s optional filtering equals choice, not censorship

Under pressure from Prime Minister David Cameron and other British officials, major UK Internet service providers are now requiring customers to opt-in or out of Internet filters that affect every device in the home. And, starting this week, most public Wi-Fi networks in the UK will have porn filters so kids can’t get around parental protections […]

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Missing Children’s Day — let’s bring them all home

Since it was founded 30 years ago, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) has helped reunite thousands of missing kids with their families. I have had the privilege of serving on NCMEC’s board for nearly two decades and, since that time, we have seen a dramatic increase in the recovery rate thanks […]

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Internet security is a global issue that requires global cooperation

This post first appeared in the San Jose Mercury News PARIS — The National Cyber Security Alliance, or NCSA, is a Washington, D.C.-based organization that promotes online security and safety. Its board consists of representatives from Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Comcast and other U.S. companies, and it works closely with the Department of Homeland Security to […]

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Facebook changes new user default privacy setting to friends only — adds privacy checkup

This post first appeared on Forbes.com. Until now, when new Facebook users sent out their first post, the default setting was public, which means that anyone could see it. It’s long been easy to change the audience to Friends only but if you didn’t know about that option, you could have accidentally told the world […]

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Snapchat settles FTC charges about disappearing posts that don’t disappear

As I reported nearly a year ago, Snapchat’s so-called disappearing messages don’t necessarily disappear. It has always been possible for people receiving a Snapchat message to capture the screen either directly from the device or by taking a picture of it with another device. There was also a report about a forensics firm that had successfully restored supposedly deleted […]

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PBS Kids app lets parents control and monitor screen-time

Calling it a way to give parents a “super power,” PBS Kids is now offering a free app that lets parents monitor and control what their kids are “watching, playing and learning” on PBSKids.org. The app, called PBS KIDS Super Vision, now available on iPhone and iPod touch,  enables parents to remotely see what apps their […]

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Google Classroom offers assignment center for students and teachers

This post first appeared on Forbes.com Google is launching Classroom, a new offering in its Google Apps for Education to provide students and teachers with a central place to create, store, organize and provide feedback for classroom assignments. The service, which is in beta and available only in some schools, allows teachers to: Create and collect assignments: The […]

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Your smartphone camera can be a practical tool

This post first appeared in the San Jose Mercury News Everywhere I go I see people using their cellphones to take pictures of themselves, people around them or interesting things that they encounter. But your phone’s camera can also be a practical tool. I use my smartphone camera for all sorts of things that no one would […]

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Do kids need special protections or do we all need them?

We have always taken child safety more seriously than adult safety, even where children are not necessarily at greater risk than adults. It’s probably instinctual. As every parent knows, protecting one’s offspring is not something we even have to think about. We just do it. Children not always a special case But when it comes to risk, children […]

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Google pulls scanning and ads from education apps

In addition to its consumer and business services, Google is also in the business of providing apps for education with apps such as Gmail, Drive, Docs, spreadsheets and YouTube for Schools. These apps, according  to the company, serve more than 30 million students, teachers and administrators. Disclosure: I’m co-director of ConnectSafely.org, a non-profit Internet safety organization that receives financial support […]

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