A significant development in the online-safety field: Parents in the US now have a toll-free number to call with questions about topics such as social networking, cellphone texting, and virtual worlds. The bilingual hotline (English and Spanish) is sponsored by the Qwest Foundation and operated by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) and is available to "paren. The free service started in February 2007 as a Web site – www.netsmartz411.org – where "parents, guardians, children, teens, educators and law enforcement" could type questions into a form and hear back from NCMEC experts within one business day or search a database of online-safety info. The new toll-free hotline number is 1.888.NETS411 (1.888.638.7411). Here's the press release. Two other new resources are a video, with "common sense tips and rules for families" and companion print and Web materials, a joint project of CommonSenseMedia.org and YouTube.com, and SocialNetworkingSafety.com from Bebo.com, a San Francisco-based social-networking site that's particularly popular in the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. Here's Bebo on safety at social-networking sites in The Guardian .
NetFamilyNews – by Anne Collier
- New Facebook policy targets guns, other regulated items
- Google’s new learning tool that learns
- The flap over Talking Angela the chatbot app
- About the worldwide ‘selfie’ phenomenon
- How technology will improve the well-being of young adults
- Calling our children narcissists on ‘a sociopathic scale’: Really!?
- Nothing complicated about this: Read ‘It’s Complicated’!
- Teens’ own (wise) perspectives on life with social media
Analysis & News – by Larry Magid
- Smartphones that promise user privacy
- Author danah boyd on why teens and social media are ‘complicated’
- Security experts at RSA decry government hacking
- In defense of Internet safety education
- ‘Neknominate’ is a stupid and potentially deadly online dare game
- Confessions of a binge viewer
- People who suffer from so-called ‘game addiction’ have other problems
- U.S. Safer Internet Day focused on potential, positives and problems too