This is an interesting tech tool pointing to a growing safety need, but it poses a problem where online kids are concerned. I'm referring to the age-old problem of technology: that along with its many positives, there are downsides, and everybody gets more out of the positives when alert to the downsides too. So here's the new service: BeeMask.com, which allows people using online chat to "take it to the next level," so to speak – move from text chat on the Web to voice chat on the phone without giving out their phone numbers. How it works: 2 people in a chat room go to BeeMask.com and register (give the site their phone numbers instead of each other). If they're already registered, they just agree in the chatroom on a common word (like a temporary password, "talk2ya"), then go to BeeMask, both type that word into the box, and "when the second Beeword is entered, a phone call is connected between your real-life phones," according to the site's FAQ . Great for two adults who just want to talk but aren't quite ready to give out phone numbers – a safety feature, in fact. Not so great if someone with bad intentions thinks a child might be more easily compelled to give out further info in a voice conversation.
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NetFamilyNews – by Anne Collier
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- Zooming in on ‘screentime’ (this time with more precision)
- Protecting student privacy calls for student participation
- So-called Snapchat hack & the question of where to place trust
- Why defining ‘bullying’ is important for schools
- Does digital downtime fix FOMO?
- Powerful lessons for preventing bullying & cyberbullying
- Mobile rules in the US now too
Analysis & News – by Larry Magid
- Digital Trust Foundation seeking proposals regarding online privacy, safety and security
- Why cybersecurity is patriotic and humanistic
- National Cyber Security Month: Why cyber security matters to everyone
- High school kids show strong support for First Amendment
- UN bringing child rights into the digital age
- IGF attendees complain about censorship in Turkey while some advocate it for youth
- Internet Governance Forum topics include human rights, network neutrality and child protection
- Protecting children online needs to allow for their right to free speech