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Dealing with the nasties online

Pondering positive ways to deal with online negativity seems to be a trend – maybe even a blooming social norm! Because, in response to social cruelty like the recent tragic trolling of Robin Williams’s daughter Zelda Williams, other people sympathized, defended her and started thinking of ways to counteract cruelty like that. Negativity grabs our […]

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

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/161040882" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="150" iframe="true" /] 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 […]

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Zooming in on social norms (sidebar)

This is a sidebar to my earlier post about social norms as one of the solutions to social cruelty online. Social norms are practically super powers. As I mentioned in my main post, this doesn’t occur to us much because, well, these are norms, after all – part of the wallpaper, socially speaking. They’re everyday […]

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For our kids & ourselves: Presence in a digital age

Presence has never been harder or more needed – in this age of hyper transparency, connection, opinion and information, all in a media environment that’s networked, so that “speed of delivery” is a calculation of the past (it’s all just here already). Presence is needed by adults as much as children. It means different things to […]

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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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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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For digital summer camp, kid-source a game (or play this one!)

One year ago this month, its 3rd-through-6th grader designers launched the fifth and final iteration of Escape to Morrow, an open source digital game they designed in Minecraft for Minecraft players. The five iterations – including writing and rewriting backstories, creating maps, finding mods (Minecraft modifications out on the Web) and producing the trailer – […]

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The real goal of unplugging

I love the parenthetical in the headline of “Five Ways to Break Your Kids’ Screen Addiction (and Yours, Too),” by Yahoo family tech columnist Dan Tynan. Because – if there’s such a thing as screen addiction and it’s not just something fashionable to (anxiously) joke about – what we model for our kids in our […]

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