Author Archives: larrymagid

Instagram adds tagging feature: What parents need to know

Instagram today introduced its new “Photos of You” feature that allows users to tag people in photos (read more) Read this post at Forbes.com   Continue reading

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What Is Snapchat and Why Do Kids Love It and Parents Fear It?

You may have heard about Snapchat, the mobile app that allows users to capture videos and pictures that self destruct after a few seconds.  When users send a message, they get to decide whether it will live for between 1 … Continue reading
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FTC Issues FAQ on COPPA for Parents and Businesses

The Federal Trade Commission has issued some “Frequently Asked Questions” about the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) based on amended rules that go into effect on July 1st. Click here to see the FAQ. “The primary goal of COPPA,” wrote the … Continue reading
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Google and Nixle Team Up For Public Safety Alerts

Google and Nixle are working together to help people better respond to emergency situations in their communities and schools. Emergency alerts, about crimes in progress, lock-downs, natural disasters, missing children and other events will now show up when people do relevant searches on Google web … Continue reading Continue reading

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One-minute audio segment on ‘Facebook phone’ and Internet addiction

In the wake of Facebook’s new Home phone software, Larry Magid uses his CBS News/CNET Tech Talk segment, Larry Magid to explore Internet addiction with “Mediatrician” Dr. Michael Rich. For me, including a link to the entire Michael Rich interview, … Continue reading Continue reading

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Guest Post: New Windows 8 Parental Controls and Other Tips

by Bruno Galera Guest blogger & Dell employee (Editors note: The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and not necessarily of SafeKids.com. For a slightly different perspective on parental controls, see Internet filters have their place, … Continue reading Continue reading

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Toddlers Are Naturals With Tablets, But Is It A Good Idea?

  If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend The Atlantic article, The Touch-Screen Generation by Hanna Rosin.  Rosin presents an in-depth and somewhat reassuring look at the way very young children use tablets, pointing out that toddlers don’t have to be taught how to … Continue reading Continue reading

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Guest Post: Arming Staff within Schools – A Reactive Solution with Increased Potential for Danger?

  By Katie Johnson Awareity Guest blogger The discussion on school safety is being held at every school and community across the Nation.  The end goal is the same, ensuring the safety of every young child and staff member within … Continue reading Continue reading

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It’s Time for Adults to Stop Bullying Kids and Each Other

  by Larry Magid We hear a lot about kids bullying* other kids and it is indeed a problem. But what about adults bullying other adults, or adults bullying kids? True, bullying is a problem among youth. The National Center … Continue reading Continue reading

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It’s Time for Adults to Stop Bullying Kids and Each Other

This is a work in progress. Subject to editing and revision. Comments are welcome by Larry Magid We hear a lot about kids bullying* other kids and it is indeed a problem, but what about adults.. True, bullying is a problem … Continue reading Continue reading

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It’s Time for Adults to Stop Bullying Kids and Each Other

This is a work in progress. Subject to editing and revision. Comments are welcome by Larry Magid We hear a lot about kids bullying* other kids and it is indeed a problem, but what about adults.. True, bullying is a problem … Continue reading Continue reading

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Video Games and Societal Violence: Cause for Urgent Action or a Bridge Too Far?

By Michael Levine and Christopher Ferguson In the wake of the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook, an unusual alliance of concerned policymakers from both sides of the aisle, as well as gun rights and children’s advocates have called for new … Continue reading Continue reading

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Making it Safe to Compete for Child Athletes

by Larry Magid I’ve been a board member at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) for several years and I’ve heard a lot of horrible stories about children who have been abducted or abused. Every story is … Continue reading Continue reading

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Survey: More Teens Accessing Internet via Smartphones

There was a time when I advised parents to put their computer in a central area of the home so they could keep their eye on their kids’ use. But increasingly kids are accessing the net on smartphones. A Pew … Continue reading Continue reading

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World Day Against Cyber-Censorship Should Apply to Kids as Well

  By Larry Magid Reporters Without Borders has declared Tuesday, March 12th as World Day Against Cyber-Censorship in support of an “Internet without restrictions and accessible to all.” The last time I checked, the word “all” applied to everyone — people … Continue reading Continue reading

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Online Dating Safety Tips for Adults

  These tips are for adults, not minors. Most online dating sites prohibit children and teens for good reasons.   Minors should not use these services, should not lie about their age and should not get together with people they meet … Continue reading Continue reading

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Student and school videos on “the good side of the Internet” could win $10K each

For the fourth year in a row, security company Trend Micro is sponsoring the “What’s Your Story” competition designed to encourage young people from the United States and Canada to submit videos that answer the question: “What does the good … Continue reading Continue reading

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Student and school videos on “the good side of the Internet” could win $10K each

For the fourth year in a row, security company Trend Micro is sponsoring the “What’s Your Story” competition designed to encourage young people from the United States and Canada to submit videos that answer the question: “What does the good … Continue reading Continue reading

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Sony’s New PlayStation 4 and Your Privacy

As I watched Sony unveil the PlayStation 4 at a press conference on February 20th, I was struck by how much data the new device would be collecting from its users. “We’re changing the rule when it comes to social gaming,” … Continue reading Continue reading

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Can technology disrupt education?

by Larry Magid This article first appeared in the San Jose Mercury News Can technology disrupt education? by Larry Magid Sometimes I think there should be a big sign in front of some schools saying “Welcome back to the 20th … Continue reading Continue reading

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Expert advises parents on how to talk with kids about bullying

  Author and bullying expert Trudy Ludwig has written an excellent article on “How to Talk to Your Kids about Bullying” that’s posted on the Family Online Safety Institute’s Platform for Good site. The article helps explain what bullying is … Continue reading Continue reading

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Online Privacy Is a Shared Responsibility: Beginning with You

When it comes to privacy and security, I’m reminded of folks who drive to the airport without their seat belt on and then worry about the plane crashing. Planes do crash on very rare occasions but not nearly as often … Continue reading Continue reading

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Most People Taking a Facebook Break Don’t Cite Privacy As The Reason

A new study, Coming and Going On Facebook,  from the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that 61% of Facebook users have taken a “voluntary break” from the service for several weeks or more, and 20% of the online adults who don’t use Facebook said … Continue reading Continue reading

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Safer Internet Day Recognized Around The World — US Just Starting to Get Involved

Although still not widely recognized in the US, Safer Internet Day is neverthess “official” – at least as far the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is concerned. Though marked by Net users in schools, nonprofit organizations and governments in a … Continue reading Continue reading

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Vine’s a Great New Video App, But Kids Need to be Careful What They Shoot

  by Larry Magid Vine is a fun new iPhone app from Twitter that has lots of people shooting and sharing very short videos. Although it’s too early to know if this app will catch on with teens and tweens, … Continue reading Continue reading

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Are schools turning alleged bullies into criminals?

By Larry Magid A recent story from the Gilroy Dispatch gives me concern about the unintended consequences of our recent campaigns to stop bullying. The report, which lacks specific details, quotes police officials referring to the children involved as “suspects”and “victims.” It reads … Continue reading Continue reading

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Are Bullying Laws Turning Kids Into Criminals?

A recent story from the Gilroy Dispatch gives me concern about the unintended consequences of our recent campaigns to stop bullying. The report, which lacks specific details, refers to the children involved as “suspects”and “victim” and reports that “Police and school … Continue reading Continue reading

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Facebook’s New Search Tool: What You Need to Know to Protect Your Privacy

As he opened Tuesday’s press conference, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg proudly announced that this was the first product announcement from Facebook’s sprawling new campus in Menlo Park, California. He then wasted no time talking about the company’s new “Graph search” … Continue reading Continue reading

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FTC re-slams apps for kids over privacy concerns

In a follow up to a 2011 study, the Federal Trade Commission found that “little or no progress has been made” on disclosure of information gathering since the first report was issued.
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Sign a Family Contract for Online Safety and Smart Use of Technology

by Larry Magid Several years ago, my site SafeKids.com, developed a Family Contract for Online Safety and every few months I make sure it’s up-to-date.  The idea of a contract, or series of pledges, is to get everyone in the family on … Continue reading Continue reading

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Parents and Kids on Facebook — Who Friends Whom Might Surprise You

Researchers at Facebook took a look at friending patterns within families and discovered that teens — especially young teens — are more likely to friend their parents than the other way around. Facebook found that over 65% of friendships between … Continue reading Continue reading

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Amazon To Offer Unlimited Kindle Fire Content for Children

Amazon has just fired another shot in its battle to convince families to buy its Kindle Fire tablet (starting at $159). The company just announced Kindle FreeTime Unlimited, which it describes as an “all-you-can-eat content service built from the ground … Continue reading Continue reading

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Facebook’s Semi-Automatic Mobile Photo Sync:What You Need To Know

Facebook announced on Monday that it is allowing users of its iOS and Android mobile app to automatically sync photos to their Facebook account so that they’ll be available to share as soon as you log on via a computer. But … Continue reading Continue reading

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Tips for Secure Online Holiday Shopping

by Larry Magid This post fist appeared in the San Jose Mercury News By all accounts, the online holiday sales season got off to a good start. Tracking companies reported big increases for this year’s Thanksgiving weekend and Cyber Monday, … Continue reading Continue reading

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It’s Time to Stop Letting Fear Interfere with Youth Online Freedom

By Larry Magid “Authority, given its common style, becomes increasingly incapable of commanding respect from the young for any reason save the fear on which is it ultimately based.” Michael Rossman “On Learning and Social Change,” 1972 I’ve been an … Continue reading Continue reading

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Researchers dispel myths about cyberbullying

by Larry Magid This post first appeared in the San Jose Mercury News A lot has been written about cyberbullying and I’ve seen some articles claiming that cyberbullying is more prevalent and more severe than in-person bullying. Some even refer … Continue reading Continue reading

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For kids and parents, there’s a digital generation gap, but maybe that’s OK

Years ago there was a public service announcement that aired just before the late night news: “It’s 11:00, Do you know where your children are?”  That ad was designed to alert parents that perhaps they need to pay more attention to … Continue reading Continue reading

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Survey: Parents and Peers Can Help Cut Down on Teen Texting While Driving

  by Larry Magid A survey conducted by C&R Research and ConnectSafely.org, in partnership with AT&T, found that most teens don’t text while driving and that those who do might benefit from a bit of friendly persuasion from parents and … Continue reading Continue reading

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Many at Internet Governance Forum Agree: Censorship Not The Way to Protect Kids

by Larry Magid This post fist appeared in the San Jose Mercury News I’m writing from Baku, Azerbaijan, where I’m speaking at the Internet Governance Forum, a United Nations conference for representatives of governments, industry and nonprofit groups to discuss … Continue reading Continue reading

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Facebook Provides Privacy Education for New Users

About two years ago, Anne Collier and I wrote A Parents Guide to Facebook, which we’ve revised a couple of times. But now new Facebook users will get a privacy primer from Facebook itself. On its blog, the company announced that … Continue reading Continue reading

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Tracking Kids’ Cell Phones: Reassurance or Overparenting?

Thanks to my ConnectSafely.org co-director Anne Collier for her thoughtful post about cell phone tracking that concludes “most parents don’t really need software to parent.”  I of course agree. What she said about tracking apps, tracks (no pun intended) what … Continue reading Continue reading

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Be Cyber Security Savvy

  A report issued by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and McAfee security found that “17 percent say they have been a victim of a crime that was committed over the Internet such as identity theft, data theft, bullying … Continue reading Continue reading

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October is ‘Bullying Awareness Month’ But When is ‘Most Kids Don’t Bully Month’?

by Larry Magid October is National Bullying Awareness Month and that’s mostly a good thing because it reminds us that bullying can be hurtful and can be prevented.  But part of “awareness,” is being aware that most kids don’t bully. … Continue reading Continue reading

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Defending Big Bird

by Larry Magid As a journalist I don’t endorse candidates, but that rule doesn’t apply when it comes to endorsing birds, whether real or stuffed. Like lots of others  I was concerned on Wednesday night when Governor Romney suggested ending the federal subsidy for PBS … Continue reading Continue reading

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Finally, A Kid-Filtered iPad Browser, But Not From Apple

There is finally a way to let kids access the web on an iPad without having access to porn. The Apple iPad is a phenomenal success not only among consumers and business users but in schools as well. It turns out to be an incredibly popular device for children  who take to its … Continue reading Continue reading

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Social Discovery: What Parents Need to Know

by Larry Magid One of the hottest new trends is social discovery — websites and smartphone apps that help people meet new people. Although there can be some overlap, these services differ from both dating sites like Match.com and traditional … Continue reading Continue reading

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Why Facebook and YouTube Should Err On The Side of Free Speech

I certainly understand why Huffington Post blogger Soraya Chemaly wants Facebook to take down the page entitled “Boobs breasts and boys who love em,” and of course there are many reasonable people who feel that Google (which owns YouTube) should remove that … Continue reading Continue reading

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PBS Offers Election Resources for K-12 Classrooms

Even though most K-12 students can’t vote, they do have an interest in the 2012 election. And if schools do their job right, students will be inclined to vote and make informed decisions when they turn 18. To help in that important … Continue reading Continue reading

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Could New Government Rules Jeopardize Children’s Privacy and Safety?

By Larry Magid The Federal Trade Commission’s proposed revisions of the rules that implement the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) is well meaning and well-timed. It’s well meaning in that the FTC truly does care about the privacy and safety of … Continue reading Continue reading

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AT&T Launches Campaign to Stop Texting While Driving

Back in the days before deregulation, AT&T was nicknamed “Ma Bell.”  The new AT&T is no longer called that, but — at least when it comes to safety – it’s acting motherly towards teenaged drivers by encouraging them not to … Continue reading Continue reading

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Teens and Tweens Flock to Instagram: What Parents Need to Know

CNET’s Michelle Meyers just learned that her 12 year-old daughter is using Instagram, despite rules that require users be 13 or older. Her daFughter isn’t alone. Instagram — a photo snapping, editing and posting smart phone app is increasingly popular … Continue reading Continue reading

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Amazon’s New Kindle Fire Has Innovative Parental Control Options

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has four kids and knows what it’s like to make sure his kids are using technology appropriately.  So the new Kindle Fire HD tablets, announced at a press conference today, feature a service called Kindle FreeTime that … Continue reading Continue reading

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Dutch Tragedy: Don’t Call it ‘Facebook Murder’

by Larry Magid The BBC is reporting that a 15 year old Dutch boy, identified as “Jinhua K” has been sentenced to a year in jail and 3 years of psychiatric evaluation after being convicted of killing a school girl “over a row that … Continue reading Continue reading

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Should expectant parents share the news on Facebook

Facebook has added “Expecting a Baby” to its list of things you can add to Family & Relationships.  If you opt to use this feature you can specify (or not) the baby’s gender and due date  along with “who with,” “location” and … Continue reading Continue reading

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Smartphone Guide for Parents of Tweens and Teens

by Larry Magid Scroll down for podcast interview with mobile security expert and Lookout CTO Kevin Mahaffey  If you’re like most parents, your kids already have a cell phone or are chomping at the bit to get one. And, increasingly, teens … Continue reading Continue reading

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SWAT-ting Could Get Kids Into Serious Trouble

UKnowKids, a company that helps parents monitor what their kids are doing on the web and with mobile phones, is on a mission to educate parents and children about the dangers of “SWAT-ting.” The term, which gets its name from … Continue reading Continue reading

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MetaCert Builds Tools to Block Porn on Networks and Devices

By Larry Magid There are lots of companies that build Internet filtering products and while most do a pretty good job of keeping kids away from porn, none are perfect.  MetaCert,which claims to have labelled nearly 630 million pornographic web … Continue reading Continue reading

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Unintended Consequences of FTC’s New COPPA Children’s Online Privacy Rules

by Larry Magid The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued a revised set of proposed rules (PDF) regarding the implementation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). When implemented, this will be the first time the FTC has revised the rules since … Continue reading Continue reading

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Cell Phone Safety: Protecting Privacy, Data and Kids Too

This post first appeared in the San Jose Mercury News by Larry Magid A recent survey by Opinion Matters on behalf of GFI Software found that many people don’t fully understand how to protect their data and privacy in the event their … Continue reading Continue reading

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Facebook’s Arturo Bejar Builds Tools to Encourage Compassion

(This post is adapted from Larry’s Daily News column of July 18, 2012) by Larry Magid Like other engineers at Facebook, Arturo Bejar, a mathematician by training, is helping to build new products to encourage users to communicate and share. … Continue reading Continue reading

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Putting Techno-Panics into Perspective

Adapted from an article that first appeared in the San Jose Mercury News by Larry Magid A lot was written about the DNSChanger scare last week, including several articles about how over-hyped it was. I tried to downplay the risk, but some … Continue reading Continue reading

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Teens 2012 Report from Pew Internet and American Life Project

Here’s an interesting slide show with some data about how teens (and adults too) are using social networking, cell phones and other technologies. And here’s a summary from CNET. Teens 2012: Truth, Trends, and Myths About Teen Online Behavior View … Continue reading Continue reading

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‘Mean Girls’ Music Video Teaches Resilience Towards Bullying

Like a lot of young girls, singer/songwriter Rachel Crow knows what it’s like to be bullied, having been called “weirdo” and “freak, according to an interview on the AOL Music Blog.   The 14 year-old former X Factor contestant wrote and recorded Mean … Continue reading Continue reading

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Common Sense Media Report Shines Positive Light on Kids and Social Media

by Larry Magid Common Sense Media just published a report that paints a mostly positive picture of social media’s impact on teens’ social and emotional well-being. Social Media, Social Life: How Teens View Their Digital Lives (PDF) points out that “Many more … Continue reading Continue reading

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How To Protect Children and Adolescents from Sexual Abuse

by Larry Magid The conviction of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky on 45 counts of sexual abuse of children has, once again, put child sex abuse on the front page. Like the vast majority of child sex … Continue reading Continue reading

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Skout’s ‘Flirt, Friend, Chat’ May Be Fine For Adults, But Not For Kids

by Larry Magid This article appeared in the San Jose Mercury News When you go to download Skout on an iPhone, the tagline is “flirt, friend, chat,” and you’re invited to “join the fastest growing FREE social scene with millions of guys … Continue reading Continue reading

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CDC Study: Too Many Teens Text While Driving

Nationwide, 32.8% of students had texted or e-mailed while driving a car or other vehicle on at least 1 day during the 30 days before the Centers for Disease Control conducted its 2011 Youth Risk Survey (PDF).  That percentage jumped … Continue reading Continue reading

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Letting Children Under 13 On Facebook Could Make Them Safer

Two years ago — long before there was much public discussion about Facebook admitting children under 13 — I had the opportunity to interview Mark Zuckerberg. But, before I did, I asked a group of educators, Internet safety advocates and youth risk experts … Continue reading Continue reading

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Understanding Facebook’s New Privacy Policy

Facebook has made some changes to what it calls its “data use policy,” which is essentially the same as its privacy policy. The company has also added a  ”Facebook Terms and Policies” hub that serves as a central landing page … Continue reading Continue reading

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Facebook and Child Porn

Facebook, like all sites with user content, has had to battle against people using the service to post and distribution illegal child pornography.  In my CNET News post, I try to put the issue in perspective and quote law enforcement experts and the President of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children who say it’s [...] Continue reading

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Consumer Reports Finds Very Small Percentage of Facebook Users ‘Are Sharing Too Much’

by Larry Magid When Consumer Reports writes about home appliances, it tells you their strengths and weaknesses but I’ve never seen any dire warnings about how you can lose your hand if you stick it in a garbage disposal. Even when they review cars, they don’t fill their articles with awful statistics about how thousands [...] Continue reading

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Free Webinar To Focus on Positive Peer-based Approaches to Cyberbullying

A free two hour webinar, scheduled for April 26th at 7:00 P.M. Eastern Time, will address “How can educators ensure the development of a positive school climate and support positive actions by peers that will be necessary for prevention and early intervention.” You can register here. Schools, according to the webinar’s moderator Nancy Willard, “are [...] Continue reading

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PRiZE Anti-Bullying Music Video by Mary & Brianna Ferraro

This sweet song,  recorded by 14 year old twins Mary & Brianna Ferraro, was written when they were 11. Take a listen (and look) and scroll below the video to read the lyrics. It’s one of many great peer initiated efforts to help combat bullying and encourage resilience. Lyrics, music and vocals by Mary & Brianna Ferraro [...] Continue reading

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Guest Commentary: Let’s prevent peer victimization, not just bullying

by David Finkelhor, Heather A. Turner & Sherry Hamby This commentary argues that it is time to make bullying less of the central concept in efforts to combat peer victimization. Bullying has been a pivotal concept in the mobilization of effort in recent years to create safe environments for children. It has highlighted a phenomenon that [...] Continue reading

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Girls Around Me App Is a Reminder To Be Aware What You Share

by Larry Magid As far as I can tell, the app “Girls Around Me” wasn’t violating any laws. But it was high on the creepy scale when, according to reports, women’s identity, photographs and location were being revealed to strangers, even though the women never opted into the service. Although the developer, Moscow-based I-Free, hardly [...] Continue reading

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FTC’s Digital Privacy Report Has Welcome Recommendations

This article first appeared in the San Jose Mercury News by Larry Magid The Federal Trade Commission’s final report on digital privacy contains some very welcome recommendations. The recently released report, title “Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change,” looks at challenges consumers face in “today’s world of smart phones, smart grids, and [...] Continue reading

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’5 Tips for Staying Safe On the Web’ (Google Video)

From Google’s Good to Know campaign

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How To Control Facebook App Privacy

by Larry Magid Facebook is more than a social network. It’s also a platform that allows independent developers to create applications, or “apps” that greatly expand what the service can offer. Games, including social games like  Words with Friends, are very popular, but there are also education apps, photo sharing apps, apps to share interesting reading material, music apps and much more. To [...] Continue reading

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Online Safety 3.0: From Fear to Empowerment

Larry Magid’s presentation at CUE 2012 (Computer Using Educators) Annual Conference, March 17, 2012

Online Safety 3.0: From Fear to Empowerment
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Kony 2012: A Lesson in Critical Thinking

It seems that just about everyone is talking about the Kony 2012 video that’s received more than 70 million views since it was posted last week.  It’s part of a campaign by the non-profit group Invisible Children to bring awareness to the evil deeds of rebel leader Joseph Kony who’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has been terrorizing Ugandans and people [...] Continue reading

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PBS Kids Uses Smart Phones & Tablets To Make Kids Smarter: Releases New Apps

Just about every parent in America knows about PBS Kids. They’re the folks who bring shows like Sesame Street, Curious George and Arthur to TV sets.  But PBS also has smart phone, tablet and web apps for kids 2-8. At  the giant South by Southwest Interactive (SxSw) geekfest in Austin on Friday, the non-profit media [...] Continue reading

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FOSI Qatar Conference: Child online protection involves tensions between regulation and free flow of information

By Larry Magid Panelists talk about how to protect children without censoring the Internet in Qatar I’m in the Persian Gulf state of Qatar for a two-day conference where representatives of government, non-profits and businesses from throughout the Middle East will join their counterparts from other regions to discuss “Promoting Online Safety and Cyber Ethics in the [...] Continue reading

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Lady Gaga On Right Track With Youth Empowerment and Kindness

This post is adapted and expanded from one that appeard in the San Jose Mercury News on March 5, 2012 by Larry Magid There has been a lot of work over the past few years to combat online and offline bullying. Olweus Bullying Prevention Program has been providing great resources for years. The Gay, Lesbian, [...] Continue reading

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Lady Gaga Launches Born This Way Foundation

I will post more later, but here’s my 1 minute CBS News segment about Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation.  I was honored to be at the launch event and, along with my ConnectSafely.org co-director Anne Collier, the day-long symposium that… Continue reading

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Lady Gaga Launches Born This Way Foundation

I will post more later, but here’s my 1 minute CBS News segment about Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation.  I was honored to be at the launch event and, along with my ConnectSafely.org co-director Anne Collier, the day-long symposium that… Continue reading

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A good start on digital privacy

This post appeared in the San Jose Mercury News on February 27, 2012 by Larry Magid I might be overly optimistic, but I hope this will be remembered as the month digital privacy rights finally started to become real. Last Wednesday, California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced an agreement with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Hewlett-Packard and Research In Motion [...] Continue reading

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Facebook Users Becoming More Privacy Savvy

When it comes to social media privacy, there is some good news from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. It shows that Americans are increasingly thinking about their own privacy and reputation management. Which, at the end of the day, is the most protective factor of all. A new report, Privacy management on social media [...] Continue reading

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Is online privacy finally becoming a reality?

by Larry Magid It’s too early to know if either of these will make a difference, but back-to-back announcements from the California Attorney General and the White House give me some hope that we may finally be entering a period where people can have at least some control over their personal information. On Wednesday, California [...] Continue reading

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California Attorney General forges deal on mobile app privacy protections (Podcast)

On Wednesday, California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced an agreement with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Hewlett-Packard, and Research In Motion that would require app developers to abide by California’s existing privacy law.  That deal, according to CNET news, “will require developers to include privacy policies in their apps so that users will be informed about the [...] Continue reading

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Want to lose your privacy? There’s an app for that

by Larry Magid OK, I’m going to say it — mobile phone apps are scary. Sure, they do a lot of very cool things, but when it comes to violating personal privacy, I’m afraid to say “there’s an app for that.” This reality became incredibly clear a couple of weeks ago when it was revealed [...] Continue reading

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App Privacy Tips

The recent revelations that some iPhone and Android apps are uploading and storing users’ phone address books without permission is very troubling. It not only violates the privacy of the person using the phone but, potentially, everyone in that pers… Continue reading

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Filters and monitoring: panacea or band-aid?

One of my talks at Russia’s Safer Internet Day conference, focusing on the role of filters in protecting children:
Filters and monitoring: Panacea or band-aid
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From Russia with Deja Vu About American Child Protection and Censorship

This post appeared in the San Jose Mercury News on February 13, 2012 by Larry Magid I’m writing from Moscow, where I spoke at Russia’s Safer Internet Day conference last week. Safer Internet Day, which originated in Europe, is celebrated in much of the world, though there are relatively few events in the United States. While most [...] Continue reading

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Facebook isn’t addictive — it just makes people feel happy

A lot has been written about “Facebook addiction.” Indeed some press coverage of a recent study from the University of Chicago suggests that “Facebook and Twitter are more addictive than cigarettes or alcohol.”  But a new study published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking puts a positive spin on the issue. Could it be that, just like eating chocolate, Facebook and [...] Continue reading

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Your Online Safety Video Could Win You $10,000

Everyone has a story to tell about safe and respectful use of technology, and those who tell it via video could win a $10,000 prize from Internet security company Trend Micro. The What’s Your Story? contest, now in its third year, will award one $10,000 grand prize and six other cash category prizes to individuals [...] Continue reading

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Larry Magid’s speech at Russia’s Internet Safety Day Conference

Talk by Larry Magid, co-director of ConnectSafely.org at Russia’s Safer Internet Day – Moscow, February 6, 2012 It is a great pleasure to be here.  Even though I grew up during the cold war, I have always been an admirer of the Russian people and the many accomplishments of this great society. Ironically, the Cold [...] Continue reading

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From child exploitation to bubble-wrapped kids

This is one of Larry Magid’s panel presentations at Russia’s Safer Internet Day conference in Moscow on February 6th.  He also gave a plenary talk earlier in the day.
From child exploitation to bubble wrapped kids
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Pseudoscience, technopanic and online youth

There’s an amazing group of sculptures in a park near the Kremlin in Moscow, called “Children are victims of adult vices” by Mihail Chemiakin. This particular sculpture is “pseudoscience,” which is relevant for the talks that I (along with my ConnectSafely.org co-director Anne Collier) will deliver this week at the Safer Internet Day forum here [...] Continue reading

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Parents’ Guide to Facebook 2012 Edition Now Available

ConnectSafely.org, the non-profit organization where I serve as co-director along with Anne Collier, has just released A Parents Guide to Facebook (PDF), a free 36-page downloadable guide to help parents and their kids get the most from the world’s largest social networking service. The all-new guide shows how to take advantage of the service’s safety features [...] Continue reading

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Google+ Now Open for Teens, With Extra Safety Precautions

When Google launched Google+ in June, 2010, it was for adults only. Now it’s open to anyone 13 or older.  The reason Google kept teens off the service at first is not because the social network was ever about what we euphemistically call “adult content,” but because Google wanted to take extra time to get it right before opening [...] Continue reading

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Google+ Now Open for Teens With Extra Safety Precautions

When Google launched Google+ in June, 2010 it was for adults only. Now it’s open to anyone 13 or older.  The reason Google kept teens off the service at first is not because the social network was ever about what we euphemistically call “adult content,” but because Google wanted to take extra time to get it right [...] Continue reading

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5-Ways To Protect Yourself If You Were Zapped by Zappos Breach

As you may have heard, Zappos announced that it experienced a data breach on Sunday. In an email to customers, the online shoe and clothing retailer that’s owned by Amazon said “there may have been illegal and unauthorized access to some of your customer account information on Zappos.com.” Comprised data includes: your name e-mail address billing and shipping addresses phone number the [...] Continue reading

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So your kid is looking at porn. Now what?

by Larry Magid Let’s be honest. Many children — especially post-pubescent boys — are interested in what we commonly call “porn.” You might not like the idea that some kids are looking at these images, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s a pretty common occurrence. This column isn’t about young children or children who [...] Continue reading

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Rise in social media correlates with safer experiences for teens

Here’s a shocker for some. By two important measures, teens are safer online now than they were before the advent of social media. A new report, “Trends in Youth Internet Victimization: Findings From Three Youth Internet Safety Surveys 2000 –2010,” (PDF) from the Crimes against Children Research Center (CCRC) found a decline in 2010 of both unwanted sexual [...] Continue reading

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SafeKids.com adds Online Safety FAQ

Excuse me for posting about a post. I know it seems strange but I added this FAQ over the weekend and it’s just now getting featured. Because of the way WordPress works it’s down in the stack so a bit harder to find. So, if you haven’t aready done so, please check out our new: [...] Continue reading

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Facebook Empowers Friends to Prevent Suicide

by Larry Magid When Anne Collier and I wrote our long out-of-print book,  MySpace Unraveled, we pointed out that MySpace was the largest referrer to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. We noted that kids were alive because of the way friends had reached out to save their friends. Facebook, of course, took MySpace’s place in that [...] Continue reading

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Can YouTube for Schools Usher Education into the 21st Century?

This post appeared in the San Jose Mercury News on December 12, 2011 by Larry Magid Google has launched a YouTube for Schools service to make educationally relevant videos available for use in school. It’s a great idea, but for it to actually be used in schools, many districts around the country will have to [...] Continue reading

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Online Safety FAQ

by Larry Magid Here are some common concerns that parents have about their kids’ use of technology. Is my child at risk from online predators? Although it can happen, the risk of a child or teen being harmed by someone they met on the Internet is very low. There has been widespread misunderstanding of a 2005 [...] Continue reading

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Will XXX Domains Help Parents Block Porn?

In an audio podcast interview for CBS News and CNET, ICM Registry CEO Stuart Lawley, the main behind the XXX domains, acknowledged that XXX domains, along with creative searching, will help seekers of adult content find what they’re looking for.  And to his company’s credit, he said that “for people wanting to look for adult content, they can go to XXX sites with a little [...] Continue reading

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With new data we can stop the teen sexting panic

A new report from the prestigious Crimes Against Children Research Center (CACRC) at theUniversity of New Hampshire should put to rest the notion that America’s children are routinely sending around naked pictures of themselves. Yes, it happens, but it’s a lot less prevalent than many people claim. A nationally representative sample of 1,560 10 to 17 year-olds found that only [...] Continue reading

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Parents Buy New PCs & Phones & Give Hand-Me-Downs To Kids

Attention parents: Are  you craving a new PC or cell phone? Well, if you’re like a quarter of your fellow parents, you can just buy yourself a new one and give the old one to your kids.  That’s what PBS KIDS found out from a survey of parents of 2 to 10 year-olds. Of those [...] Continue reading

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What the Facebook/FTC settlement means for users

by Larry Magid The Federal Trade Commission and Facebook have reached a settlement on charges that Facebook deceived consumers “by telling them they could keep their information on Facebook private, and then repeatedly allowing it to be shared and made public.” The settlement will require that Facebook must: Not make misrepresentations about the privacy or security of [...] Continue reading

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Online Privacy Primer

by Larry Magid  (Scroll down for article — below slide show) Privacy Primer Slideshow Watch what you post There is a lot of talk about how social networks, search engines and even seemingly innocuous websites can invade our privacy, but the biggest risk to our privacy is what we post ourselves.  Sure, you should get to know [...] Continue reading

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Privacy 101 – a 2011 update

This is a work in progress and subject to editing Watch what you post There is a lot of talk about how social networks, search engines and even seemingly innocuous websites can invade your privacy, but the biggest risk to our privacy is what we post ourselves.  Sure, you should get to know the ‘privacy settings of [...] Continue reading

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Free ESRB mobile app rates video games

Parents looking for information about video game suitability for their kids have a new tool from the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB.org). The ESRB Search App lets you use you speak the name of the game or take a picture of its cover and provides you with the game’s rating plus a description. In her NetFamilyNews blog, [...] Continue reading

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Adults show kids how to bully

There has been a great deal written and said lately about bullying among children and teens. Some claim there’s an epidemic of bullying. As it turns out, there is no evidence of any increase in bullying. If anything there seems to be a slight decrease over the past few years. Still, it remains a problem [...] Continue reading

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Spraying seated students with pepper spray sends wrong message to youth

This website is mostly about helping young people be safe and civil online but it’s hard to sit by idly when the safety of young people is being threatened by the very authorities who are paid to protect them.  The University of California Police Department is supposed to maintain pubic safety on U.C. campuses but that’s far [...] Continue reading

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Could this 12 year-old app developer be the vanguard for an era of kids as programmers?

In January I wondered outloud if the iPad will make us less creative.  I pointed out that there was a time when schools taught kids how to program computers but lamented that the vast majority of today’s kids are only learning to use tech devices rather than program them. I still have this concern but [...] Continue reading

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Teachers: Beware of ‘Cyberbaiting’

by Larry Magid A study from Symantec found that 21% of teachers had either been cyberbaited or knew a teacher who had. Cyberbaiting, according to Symantec’s Internet safety advocate, Marian Merritt, is when students deliberately provoke a teacher into doing something stupid, then video it and post it online.  ”This of course has the net effect of embarrassing the teacher, taking a [...] Continue reading

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News flash! Online teens actually heed parents’ advice

This post first appeared in the San Jose Mercury News by Larry Magid A study released last week by the Pew Internet & American Life Project had what might be surprising news about online teens. They actually listen to parental advice. The big take-away from the report, “Teens, Kindness and Cruelty on Social Network Sites” [...] Continue reading

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Larry Magid’s Online Safety 3.0 talk for Mediterranean Association of International Schools

Presentation for Mediterranean Association of International Schools
Larry’s Online Safety 3.0 Talk for Mediterranean Association of International Schools
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Pew study: Kids are mostly kind to others online

A just released study from the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that “69% of social media-using teens think that peers are mostly kind to each other on social network sites.” The study, which was unveiled Wednesday at the annual Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) conference in Washington, was conducted by Pew in partnership with FOSI [...] Continue reading

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Slides of Larry’s talk at International Bullying Prevention Association Conference

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Parents Helping Young Kids Lie To Get Past Facebook’s Age Restrictions

In May, Consumer Reports revealed that there were 7.5 million kids younger than 13 using Facebook, including more than five million 10 and under. In every case these kids had to lie to get around Facebook’s rule that you must be 13 or older to join. One might assume that these kids are also deceiving their [...] Continue reading

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Social norms research: Exaggerating bullying could increase bullying

by Larry Magid As I previously wrote, cyberbullying is a serious problem, but not an epidemic.  Yet, there continue to be widespread reports that bullying has reached epidemic proportions. This misinformation can actually have the unintended consequence of increasing bullying. One study, from the Crimes Against Children Research Center, showed that bullying has actually decreased in recent years, and [...] Continue reading

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Think twice before sharing on social networks

This post first appeared in the San Jose Mercury News by Larry Magid As far as I can tell, Google engineer Steve Yegge never intended to become famous for criticizing the company he works for. But if you use his company’s search … Continue reading Continue reading

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Technology doesn’t cause bullying and –despite some claims — it can’t prevent it

by Larry Magid (this article is a work in progress and subject to editing and revision) My inbox is full of pitches for products and services that claim to prevent bullying.  Most use some type of word recognition to either block offensive messages or report them to parents.  But even if you add the word [...] Continue reading

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Everything I know about protecting children I learned from a visit to Nairobi National Park

Larry Magid’s presentation at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Nairobi, Kenya. Ahead of IGF, Larry  visited Nairobi National Park which inspired the following presentation based, in part, on photos he took that day. Everything I know about protecting children I learned from a visit to Nairobi National Park View more presentations from Larry Magid   Continue reading

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Internet Governance Forum to tackle child porn, digital citizenship & other global issues

This post first appeared in the San Jose Mercury News by Larry Magid I’m in Nairobi, Kenya, this week to serve as a panelist at the United Nations’ Internet Governance Forum (IGF). I’m not sure what will be accomplished, but it’s an opportunity for “multi-stakeholders” from around the world to talk about important Internet-related issues [...] Continue reading

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Online Safety 3.0 – A Presentation for Parents and Teachers

Here is the PowerPoint presentation that I often do for parent and teacher meetings at schools. This is different, of course, from my talk for students.
Online Safety 3.0 – Presentation for Parents and Teachers
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Knight Foundation finds social media use increases student support for First Amendment

A recent study from the Knight Foundation concluded that students who use social media daily are significantly more likely to support free speech rights than students who don’t. The foundation, which has been conducting this research since 2004, also found an increase awareness of First Amendment issues in 2011 than it did in past years despite the fact that [...] Continue reading

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SafetyVillage.com is stealing content from SafeKids.com

Although it’s not our most pressing issue, SafeKids.com and sister site ConnectSafely.org  have always supported efforts to educate children and teens on the importance of respecting other people’s digital property rights.  Indeed, one of the points in SafeKids’ Teen Pledge for Being Smart Online is “I will respect other people’s digital property and space. I won’t steal, [...] Continue reading

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Teen Pledge for Being Smart Online

The Teen Pledge has moved. Please click here.
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Survey: Parents mostly savvy on kids’ Internet use

For many years I have said that the best way to protect children on the Internet is to develop the filter that runs in the computer between their ears and, based on a recent survey commissioned by the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI), a lot of parents apparently agree. For the most part, parents do [...] Continue reading

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Cyberbullying: a serious problem, but not an epidemic

This is an updated version of post that first appeared on SafeKids.com in 2009. by Larry Magid I’m glad that media outlets and public officials are shining a light on cyberbullying and bullying in general. It’s important to pay attention to this serious problem, but we need to keep it in perspective. As bad as [...] Continue reading

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Interview with Justin Patchin of Cyberbullying Research Center

Ahead of CBS News’ 48 Hours special on bullying, ConnectSafely.org co-director and CBS News and CNET Technology analyst Larry Magid spoke with with Justin Patchin, co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center.  You can listen to the entire interview as a podcast and  read more at CNET News.com. More audio: Larry’s One minute CBS News Tech [...] Continue reading

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Slideshow: Digital Citizenship & Media Literacy – presentation for students

Larry Magid’s talk on Digital Citizenship and Media Literacy Digital Citizenship & Media Literacy View more presentations from Larry Magid Continue reading

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Study falsely reinforces fear for parents of online youth

This post is adapted from Larry Magid’s column that appeared in the San Jose Mercury News on September 5, 2011 by Larry Magid Crimes Against Children Research Center Director David Finkelhor has talked and written about “juvenoia,” observing that some people assert that there are “features of the Internet that increase risk for young people [...] Continue reading

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Study falsely reinforces fear for parents of online youth

This post is adapted from Larry Magid’s column that appeared in the San Jose Mercury News on September 5, 2011 by Larry Magid Crimes Against Children Research Center Director David Finkelhor has talked and written about “juvenoia,” observing that some people assert that there are “features of the Internet that increase risk for young people [...] Continue reading

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Podcast on earbuds to save kids’ hearing

(Berlin)  I’m in Berlin at the IFA consumer tech show where Etymotic Research announced earbuds designed to help parents protect their kids’ hearing.  Parents can limit the volume of the sound that reaches the child’s ears and, according to the company, the earbud’s sound isolation features let kids play music at a lower volume and [...] Continue reading

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Juvenoia

I’m working on an article about fear, faulty surveys and fear-based messaging and its impact on our attitudes towards children and teens.  In the meantime, please enjoy: David Finkelhor’s paper, The Internet, Youth Safety and the Problem of “Juvenoia Anne Collier’s Why fear is overrated (part one and part two) Larry Magid’s slideshow: Do fear and [...] Continue reading

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Digital citizenship & media literacy beat tracking laws & monitoring

by Larry Magid As we start the new school year, there are two trends in online child protection that are worthy of scrutiny. The first is the growing trend towards software and services that monitor what kids are doing online and with their phones. The second are proposed “do not track” laws that would require [...] Continue reading

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Slideshow: Do fear and exaggeration increase risk?

Larry Magid’s presentation at the National Conference on Child Abuse and Exploitation in New Orleans, August 25, 2011
Do fear and exaggeration increase risk?
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Facebook makes major changes to privacy controls

In an effort to make thing simpler and more obvious, Facebook is changing the way people control who has access to their posts, status updates, pictures and other content. The company is also changing tagging so that users will have the option to approve tags before they take effect. This is the biggest change to [...] Continue reading

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Software helps parents monitor kids online (Podcast)

United Parents, an Israel-based company, offers software that alerts parents via email or text message if their kids Internet behavior might be putting them at risk.  You can find out more about this and competing services in a blog post on NetFamilyNews from my ConnectSafely.org co-director, Anne Collier. To learn more about United Parents, I spoke with company CEO [...] Continue reading

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Blackberry Messenger, not Twitter or Facebook, Blamed for Organizing London Riots

Depending on one’s perspective, Twitter and Facebook have been credited and blamed for helping to organize uprisings in Egypt, Iran and elsewhere in the Middle East.  But. when it comes to the riots in London, even though there is plenty of chatter on these two services, it appears as if Blackberry Messenger (BBM) is the organizational weapon of choice for coordinating [...] Continue reading

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Resources for Youth in Crisis

Click here for a resource list for youth in crisis and their care givers.

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Posts from SafeKids.com

UN bringing child rights into the digital age – By Larry Magid In 1989 the United Nations passed an important human rights treaty. The Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) was ratified by all countries in the world except Somalia, Southern … Continue reading

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Does “discipline” really stop bullying and other anti-social behavior

There have been a couple of interesting blog posts lately about the issue of whether suspension, expulsion or other strong disciplinary measures actually help deal with bullying and other problem behaviors. My ConnectSafely.org co-director, Anne Collier’s What school suspension ‘accomplishes‘ post in NetFamilyNews reports on a study of nearly a million students from Texas who were followed [...] Continue reading

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New resource directory for youth in crisis

SafeKids.com and ConnectSafely.org are developing a resource directory for youth in crisis. The directory is not for general information but urgent services and helplines for kids, parents, caregivers and others who are concerned about a young person who may be in danger.  Topics include suicidal thoughts, general mental health, dating abuse & domestic violence, drug [...] Continue reading

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More resources from SafeKids.com

Please go to SafeKids.com for additional posts and resources.

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