Social sites safer than chat, IM: Study

Parents, don't just talk with your kids about social networking – chat sites and instant messaging really need to be in the conversation too. Despite the news media's focus on social-networking sites as the locus of online child exploitation, it turns out chat sites and instant-messaging are where most sexual solicitation and cyberbullying is happening. […]

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PC Magazine on parental controls

Parents might be interested in the latest reviews of filtering and monitoring software here at PC Magazine. The top-rated products are Net Nanny 5.6, Bsafe Online, Safe Eyes, and Webroot Child Safe. Note that these are "client" software products you install on the family computer. If you have the latest operating systems on Mac and […]

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18-year-old registered sex offender

He was 17 when he downloaded child-abuse images. From the news reports, we don't really know why he did so. We do know that when he was interviewed by prosecutors, he "made full admissions," saying "he had no idea why he had done it," and "had no previous convictions, cautions, warnings or reprimands," the Hemel […]

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Videochat at home

This could be unnerving for parents of teens – finding their kids' friends "hanging out" in the house virtually, via Webcam – but it looks as if ColumbiaJournalist.org found some parents who are handling it well. "Once dismissed as a potentially lewd distraction for the tech-savvy, video chatting has increasingly insinuated itself into American homes. […]

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Cyberbullying and free speech

Legislation proposed around the US after the tragic case of a Missouri teen's suicide following cyberbullying is fuel for an important discussion about whether such laws are needed. "Officials from Megan [Meier]’s town of Dardenne Prairie wasted no time unanimously passing a statute that makes Internet harassment a local misdemeanor," writes ConnectSafely.org co-director Larry Magid […]

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Key researcher’s view on MySpace/AGs accord

The day after the agreement between MySpace and the state attorneys general was announced, a University of New Hampshire publicist sent me comments from David Finkelhor, director of UNH's Crimes Against Children Research Center. The Center's work has been key to shaping our society's understanding of online child exploitation since any of us first became […]

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MySpace ‘backdoor’ closed

The day that Wired magazine reported the availability of a "backdoor" to photos on some MySpace users' private profiles, the site sealed the door, MySpace said. It's an example of how the Net industry and the media, at odds on the surface, actually work together to protect users. Though Wired said "the glitch emerged last […]

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WoW passes big milestone

The world's biggest multiplayer online game just passed the 10 million player mark, Yahoo Games reports. World of Warcraft has a "population" greater than Sweden's and Israel's, it adds. "Warcraft players number more than 2.5m in North America, while Asian subscribers account for the majority of the remainder."

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High school classes in videogame design?

That's what the Ohio Supercomputer Center is promoting, the Cleveland Morning Journal reports. "The process of creating a video game involves reading, comprehending, doing math and physics, plus problem solving to make the game's characters and other features function realistically," the Center says, adding that getting high school students involved in the process gets them […]

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MySpace, Facebook support NY law

The headline was that New York introduced a new anti-predator law. The news was that Facebook participated with MySpace and New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo in the announcement. The law would, as a condition of parole, prohibit convicted sex offenders from accessing social networking Web sites, from accessing pornographic content online, and from communicating […]

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