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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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Kik Messenger’s smart new safety features

Kik Messenger, which claims to be the US’s 7th most popular social app and ranks even higher in some other countries, today released a new version that gives its 120 million+ users more control over who can text them. Over the past year, its creators at Waterloo, Ontario-based Kik Interactive noticed the app has become […]

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Illustrated guide to Microsoft’s defense on latest Internet Explorer security flaw

This post first appeared on Forbes.com Microsoft has released a new advisory about the “zero day’ security flaw affecting Internet Explorer. The advisory says that the risk affects all versions since 6, up to the most recent (11). Calling it a “remote code execution vulnerability,” Microsoft warns that “An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain […]

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‘Fabulousness’ & self-presentation in social media

Here’s a conversation about social media that would be good to have with our kids. You could headline it “Instagram envy”; the New York Times dramatically headlined it “The Agony of Instagram” (oh, brother). That the article appeared in this week’s Sunday Styles section I guess confirms that it’s fashionable, at least for newspapers, to […]

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Recent hack discovery underscores need for better security and stronger passwords

A recent report from Trustwave  found that about two million accounts from popular services including Facebook, Google, Yahoo Twitter, LinkedIn  have been comprised.  The security researchers found that a keylogger tool associated with the Pony botnet enabled thieves to harvest the user names and passwords. The trove, according to Trustwave, consisted of 1,580,000 website login credentials, 320,000 email account credentials, 41,000 FTP account […]

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