More clarity on teens’ ‘Am I pretty?’ videos

The thoughtful New York Times story begins with a 13-year-old New Jersey girl posting her “Am I pretty?” video on YouTube. I won’t steal its thunder, so I hope you’ll read it. But I do want to highlight the points most helpful to parents of young teen girls: Ages 13-15: “Nearly all the people in […]

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Massive data breach shows skills of Russian hackers

I grew up during the Cold War and, like most people at the time, was conditioned to fear the Soviet Union, which many people simply referred to as “Russia,” even though it included several other Soviet republics. Worry was so strong that the title of a popular 1966 comedy film said it twice: “The Russians […]

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Google to reward sites with HTTPS security in search rankings

If you look at the web address of any financial site and most e-commerce sites, you’ll find the letters “HTTPS” in front of the site name. HTTP, which is on all websites, stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol and S stands for “Secure.” The simplest way to describe HTTPS is that it encrypts the data between […]

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A bit of videogaming is good for kids: Study

What?! A little videogame play a day is actually good for children? That’s what an Oxford University researcher found in a study of 5,000 UK 10-to-15-year-olds that looked into both the positive and negative impacts of videogaming. “Young people who spent less than an hour a day engaged in video games were better adjusted than […]

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Virginia teen sexting case: (Somewhat) reduced injustice

It was a picture-perfect example of how a law intended to protect children can be used to victimize them. But the juvenile judge didn’t comment on the perversion of justice – or the prosecution’s victimization of a teenager by ordering police to photograph the boy’s genitals and threatening even more abusive treatment. He just eased […]

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Tips for Strong, Secure Passwords

A strong password is your first line of defense against intruders and imposters. Never give out your password to anyone (except your parents). Never give it to friends, even if they’re really good friends. A friend can – accidentally, we hope – pass your password along to others or even become an ex-friend and abuse […]

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Five teens & ‘one mature adult’ create Push for Pizza app

We at ConnectSafely probably won’t nominate these kids for our One Good Thing program but it’s hard not to admire young people who find a niche and then fill it. As CNET News explains, “Push For Pizza was built by five teenagers and one mature adult who love and appreciate pizza,” the company’s bio reads. […]

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‘Revenge porn’: Exposing cruel disclosure

This is a sidebar to my earlier post about social norms as one of the solutions to social cruelty online, zooming in on one form of it. “Revenge porn” needs to be understood and exposed for what it is so it can be neutralized. Its power to harm will lessen as we stigmatize the shaming […]

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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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Safety, security and privacy risks of fitness tracking and ‘quantified self’

Symantec is out with a report that raises questions about the safety and security of wearable technology. In a report, How Safe is Your Quantified Self, Symantec “found security risks in a large number of self-tracking devices and applications,” including the finding that ”all of the wearable activity-tracking devices examined, including those from leading brands, are vulnerable to location tracking.” A report from ABI Research […]

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