Posted in online security, privacy, Twitter hoax

Twitter Hoax — Watch those Tweets!

If you use Twitter, watch out for a spam tweet — usually a direct message tweet that tells you about a “crazy personal message.”  Do not click on the link that accompanies the message. If you do you may send out the hoax to your Twitter followers. If it goes on for too long before you do anything, it may also send out a message from your account.  Oh, and the original message may come from someone you know, like, and trust. Mine did.

Because it’s a scam, do the following things.

  • Change your Twitter password.
  • Disconnect from all connected accounts such as Facebook, newspapers, Linked-in, etc. Wait a day or so to reconnect.
  • Log out all devices.
  • Restart all devices as needed.

You should be ok.  However, keep an eye out on your Twitter account.

Posted in Back-to-school digital reading, digital parenting, online security, parent education, parents and technology

Filters: To Install or Not to Install? That is the Question! Back-to-School 2011 #1

It’s almost back-to-school season, I’ve just been asked for my opinion about home network filters, and I’ve answered the way I always do: protective software programs are fine but limited.

Yes, filters keep a certain amount of inappropriate content away from children, but the problem of access is not solved simply by protecting home computers and networks. Over the course of a day or week, a child encounters many other connections to the world wide web — on laptops, smartphones, iPads, computers, in other people’s homes, and maybe even at a parent’s office. Not to mention all of the inappropriate advertising…

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Posted in cell phones, digital parenting, online safety, online security

Clear Explanation About Cell Phone Hacking

Think seriously about securing the cell phones in your family. Over at NetFamilyNews Ann Collier has written a clear explanation of hacking and spoofing (and some links, too).

If you find you are glued to the news from Great Britain’s News Corp scandal, but still a bit fuzzy about how to implement better security on your own mobile phones, please read Collier’s post.

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Posted in digital parenting, family conversations, online safety, online security, parents and technology, teens and technology

Summer Vacation and Family Digital Conversations

I recommend this documentary for a summer family movie night.

Are you thinking about digital citizenship and safety conversations? Do you want to learn more about Wikipedia?  Summer is a great time for these talks. Here’s why.

School’s out and many children fill at least part of their summer days with World Wide Web activities on fast internet connections. Camps and day camps feature computer labs and lots of specialized digital programs. On the go, we increasingly carry more gadgets — mobile phones, smartphones, iTouches, Blackberries, and iPads. In fact, even on vacations and at hotels, cottages, and many of those rustic country cabins we all hope to escape to, we stay connected. After years of teaching, I’ve found that my students’ digital skills usually expand during the three-month summer hiatus from school.

Adults can learn more, too. Ask your children to help you expand your own skills. Maybe you want to download videos or save podcasts to your smartphone. Perhaps you can start a family blog, really learn how to use your digital camera, or ask your child can show you how to make special ringtones from your favorite music. If you don’t know how to text, summer is a great time to learn. Read 7 Constructive Digital Suggestions from Kids to Parents.

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Posted in digital parenting, online security, parents and technology, privacy, social media, social networking

Best Instructions for Disabling Facebook Facial Recognition Feature

Facebook has tossed out another challenge to family members, including grandparents, who seek to maintain privacy while still enjoying the social interaction that the social network offers.

Here we go again with facial recognition.

Find instructions for disabling the new Facebook facial feature at the BBC blog, WebWise: A Beginner’s Guide to Using the Internet. I’ve compiled the basic steps after reading a number of posts about the new facial recognition additionbut read the whole BBC post for the simplest and most comprehensive explanation.

  • Go to Account.
  • Go to Privacy Settings.
  • Click on Customize Settings (itty-bitty blue link at the bottom).
  • Find the category, Things Others Share.
  • Find the words Suggest photos of me to friends and click the edit settings button.
  • Naturally…Facebook’s default has enabled the feature so you want to click on the button that disables the feature.
  • Click OK.

Continue reading “Best Instructions for Disabling Facebook Facial Recognition Feature”

Posted in acceptable use, digital devices and gadgets, digital parenting, family conversations, home computer security, online security, parents and technology

4 Basic Rules to Secure the Computers in Your Household

FBI Bunny helps me teach my students about digital citizenship and security.

Brian Krebs, over at the blog Krebs on Security, has posted 3 Basic Rules for Online Security.  From his perspective, and I agree, just about everything can be distilled into these three guidelines. To read the more detailed explanations, head on over to his post. Keep these three rules in mind, day in and day out, as you work on your computer and your kids work on their devices.

  1. If you didn’t go looking for it, don’t install it
  2. If you installed it, update it.
  3. If you no longer need it, remove it.

For those of us who wish we possessed a bit more of the “geekiness” factor (a term I use affectionately), these three rules, especially numbers one and two, should be household digital policy. While Krebs’ three precepts are broad, they will, if followed, prevent lots of computer trouble.

I will add a fourth rule for families. Digital parents, not their digital children, should administer the computers in a household, at least until a child has demonstrated a fair understanding about potential security problems. In my household, this included the ability to explain the basics of avoiding virus, spyware, malware, digital citizenship and digital footprint issues (also see rules one and two) and the ability to appreciate potential consequences. A child can learn a lot while administering a computer, however, before taking on the task, he or she needs to possess a strong sense of responsibility and the knowledge of what can go wrong.

Krebs is a journalist, formerly of the Washington Post, who writes on security issues.

Posted in Bookmark It!, digital citizenship, digital parenting, online safety, online security, parents and technology, resources to read

FTC Net Cetera and OnGuard Online Family Website – Bookmark It!

Visit OnGuard Online

Are you searching for reliable tutorials to help you learn more about managing digital-age parenting topics? Check out the short book Net Cetera: Chatting With Kids About Being Online. Simple, straightforward, and easy to read, this publication covers most of the relevant digital topics, and its comprehensive table of contents is a ready-to-use outline that can help to guide virtual world family conversations. Net Cetera, published by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), is also available as a PDF download. Moreover, the booklet can be ordered in quantity for a PTA, book club, church activity or other parent group.

The FTC website, OnGuard Online, which features Net Cetera, is also a repository of information that can help parents to address concerns with their digital children. Each subject is covered with three sections, starting with a review of the “Quick Facts.” A more detailed explanation follows with a section of links that connect to additional online resources.

Topics include:

  • Kids Privacy
  • Computer Disposal
  • Identity Theft
  • Scams
  • Social Networking
Visit OnGuard Online

 

This site, and especially the Net Cetera booklet, is useful for everyone in a family, including grandparents or other seniors.  The type can be adjusted so that it is larger, and many of the topics covered provide information that is critical for aging family members to understand, and perhaps grandchildren can help do some of the teachings.