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Parents: Check your (online) behavior

By Sue Sheff: We frequently hear and discuss the behavior of youth on social media, but we rarely discuss how adults behave online. And while you’ve probably heard how kids engage in sexting and other risky behaviors online, did you know that according to one recent study, one in five parents admit to sharing intimate […]

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Sony’s hacked emails present a teachable moment

The Sony hack, which the FBI  is now blaming on North Korea, wound up exposing emails between Sony executives and others in the entertainment industry, including some embarrassing bombshells about Sony executives and some very well known movie stars and other industry insiders. There’s a lot others can learn from Sony’s misfortune, including being extra careful about what […]

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Smartphones are popular holiday gifts for kids that come with responsibility

There will be lots of smartphones under Christmas trees and Hanukkah bushes this year, but if you plan to get one for a teen or pre-teen, consider first having “that talk” with your child. By “talk,” I don’t mean the birds and bees, I mean a conversation about smartphone safety, privacy and security. A while back […]

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Safety & civility advice for anonymous apps

A growing number of apps allow people to post anonymously. Some of the better known ones include Ask.fm, Whisper, Secret and Yik Yak but there are new ones all the time, including After School, that’s been downloaded more than 100,000 times including by students from more than 14,000 U.S. high schools, according to Recode.net. As […]

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Safe holiday online shopping tips

When you see a great deal online, make sure you examine the fine print. The biggest “gotcha” is usually shipping costs. Many online merchants will offer free shipping during the holidays, but some will add substantial fees that could wipe out any savings. Be aware of sales tax and any other fees. Depending on whether […]

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Perfect digital parenting doesn’t exist

I’m stating the obvious – that perfect digital-age parenting doesn’t exist – but let me explain why it doesn’t. Writer Heather Havrilesky got me thinking about this with her commentary “The ‘Mommy’ Problem” in the New York Times this weekend. She focuses on mothers (since our culture does so much) and on offline parenting. I’ll […]

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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

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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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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