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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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How to unfollow someone yet still be Facebook friends

Why Unfollow It’s nice to have friends but if you have too many Facebook friends you can becoming inundated with what they post.  It’s a classic “signal to noise ratio” problem. If too many people are posting too much content, than you wind up missing the content that you really care about. One solution is to unfriend […]

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Check out the fine print before giving gift cards

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/122769273" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /] Sometimes it’s hard to know what to get someone as a holiday gift, and that’s one reason gift cards are so popular. A survey commissioned by the National Retail Federation found that 81 percent of holiday shoppers plan to buy at least one gift card. On average, shoppers will […]

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Tips for safe online holiday shopping

This post is adapted from one that first appeared in the San Jose Mercury News It’s hard to believe Black Friday and Cyber Monday are only days away. If this year is typical, throngs of people will be crowding stores starting on Friday, and those not pounding the pavement at brick-and-mortar stores will be pounding […]

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Preventing and recovering from bullying — what works and what doesn’t

For the past several days I’ve taken a deep dive into the world of bullying and cyberbullying at two back-to-back conferences – the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) conference inWashington DC last week and, this week, the International Bullying Prevention Association (IBPA) conference in Nashville. Even though I was bullied as a child and recently co-write the free […]

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We need to neutralize ‘negativity bias’ against kids’ Net use

This post is not about technology. It’s about how we (humankind) have been wiring our brains to think about technology. We have quite a hole to climb out of. Not only are our brains already “wired to scout for the bad stuff,” the Huffington Post reports, referring to what neuropsychologist and author Rick Hanson calls […]

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