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.
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
- Adults spend 11 hour a day using electronic media
- 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