Posted in creating secure passwords, digital parenting, online security, parents and technology, password security, personal data security

Online Security and Passwords… Passwords… Passwords

WHDH television news in Boston reported on a United Kingdom survey conducted by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). The data were gathered via telephone polling, and the overall aim was to learn more about how people in Great Britain think about online security, what they worry about, how they learn more, and how they maintain personal security online. Check out the results depicted in a set of amazing charts and graphs.

My guess is that the results would be somewhat similar in the United States.

Also described in the WHDH article was another part of the study in which NCSC researchers conducted password “breach analysis” using information gathered from the website Have I Been Pwned? This website allows individuals from all over the world to type in their email addresses and receive immediate feedback about whether any of their accounts were hacked (or breached). Because the site keeps track of huge data incursions from around the world, it has accumulated massive password data. Note: I have used the site twice and discovered a violated account resulting from a corporate data breach, something that exposed the credit information of millions of people.    Continue reading “Online Security and Passwords… Passwords… Passwords”

Posted in 21st Century life, Conversation skills, parents and technology

Why We Need Baby Talk in the Digitally Connected World

9780525954873_p0_v3_s192x300I just finished reading an engaging National Public Radio (NPR) report about Dana Suskind, MD, a University of Chicago surgeon, learning about her new book, 30 Million Words, Building a Child’s Brain. Dr. Suskind, who notes that we should speak to babies all the time that they are awake — when we play, when we help them with things, when out on walks and whenever else, because it ensures that the best neural development takes place. Baby talk has a huge purpose.

After writing my previous post, Does Digital Life Distort our Conversation Skills? about Sherry Turkle’s new book, I was reminded about the people we see talking on mobile phones while pushing wide awake babies in strollers. But I also pictured myself grabbing a glance at my phone when my baby grandson gets especially engaged with a toy — a time when I should continue to, well, babbling  away with him.

30 Million Words is another must read book.

Continue reading “Why We Need Baby Talk in the Digitally Connected World”

Posted in 21st Century life, digital change, early childhood, electronic toys, language development, parents and technology

Traditional Toys, Electronic Toys, and Language Development

Lego blocks for early childhood playing, conversing, and learning.
Lego blocks for early childhood playing and learning.

In December I read an article about a study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics describing how different types and amounts of parent/child speech interactions during infant play may increase or decrease, depending on the type of toys that the child uses.

The new research, though conducted on a small sample of participants, finds an association between talking electronic toys and and reduced parent/child interaction during playtime, and the results add to an existing body of literature that observes how electronic toys affect a child’s language development.

In her article, Association of the Type of Toy Used During Play With the Quantity and Quality of Parent-Infant Communication, (abstract) researcher Anna V. Sosa, PhD. discusses her research, carried out with 26 parent and older infant pairs (dyads). The article is not too difficult to read, but it is available only at a library with access to the journal. Continue reading “Traditional Toys, Electronic Toys, and Language Development”

Posted in 21st Century life, digital life, parents and technology, selfies

Collecting Information — Even From Selfies?

Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 9.16.16 PMThere seems to be a way to collect information about — well — everything.

Nowadays that includes our images and more specifically the selfies that we informally snap and share. Parents of 21st Century digital kids need to know that data mining reaches ever farther into our lives, seeking information from our most spontaneous and casual digital image creating activities.

An October 10, 2014 article in AdWeek, How Marketers Are Mining Your Selfies for Data: Chances are, Without You Knowing, describes how data mining firms collect information on the millions of pictures that are casually uploaded and without privacy settings.                Continue reading “Collecting Information — Even From Selfies?”

Good Reads: Learning and Digital Life

Welcome to the MediaTechParenting book gallery.

Below I’ve added a gallery of images for books that relate in some way to digital citizenship, digital parenting, and teaching digital kids. I’ve used images from authors’ websites or book reviews. The WordPress image gallery feature does not allow links, so to help you learn more about each book, I’ve put links to each at the bottom of this page, appearing in the same order as books appear in the book gallery.

     Book Links

Posted in acceptable use, digital parenting, digital photography, image evaluation, media literacy, parents and technology

The Power of Instant Images: Digital Photography Series, Part I

So your child has a new digital camera or phone, a birthday or holiday present, or a just-for-fun gift, and photos are now speeding through the virtual world in every direction — via e-mail to friends, in a Flickr album, attached to a text message, and highlighting social networking comments. Before too many pictures find they way to these and other locations, take some time for a digital photo-taking orientation — a review of guidelines and expectations. Today’s world is a vastly different place, nothing like the photo-taking environment that most adults remember from their younger days, and photos can end up in unanticipated places or cause unforseen problems.

Photography in the last ten years or so has undergone extraordinary changes. No longer do we buy and load film. Nor do we wait a few days for processing to look at our pictures. Today instant access, in terms of speed and range of circulation, defines photography. Pair this speed with the occasional child or adolescent misjudgment, and an image becomes public in moments. This impulsive image sharing can cause hurt feelings, anger, and even accusations of cyber-bullying.

Continue reading “The Power of Instant Images: Digital Photography Series, Part I”