Posted in digital citizenship, digital parenting, family conversations, parents and technology, privacy, resources to read

SOPA Best Coverage: We Need to Learn More Since It Will Be Back

So maybe, other than discovering that Wikipedia wasn’t working very well, you did not really get into all of the brouhaha about SOPA.

Fine, but if you read blogs or write for blogs or just do a lot on the web, you need to learn a lot about this issue. Below is a basic reading list, culled reliable press sources, to help you understand more.

What stands out in many of the articles, is how many of our representatives in Congress do not know or even understand enough about the digital world to be making policy about it. I wonder how many representatives and senators based a decision on a single staff memo or an index card with important (but perhaps poorly explained) bullet points? Right now the bill is not going anywhere, but this issue will come back.

Educate yourself by reading some of the articles below. Continue reading “SOPA Best Coverage: We Need to Learn More Since It Will Be Back”

Posted in digital citizenship, digital parenting, parent child conversations, parents and technology

Choosing a Screen Name this Summer? 5 Tips for Families

Strange screen names seem to pop up in the summer more than any other time of the year.

The best screen names are boring. In a virtual world, where even a nuanced word association can invite unfortunate behavior, taking care when choosing these online names is critical. The easiest solution is to use a first name, nickname, or a different name, perhaps paired with numbers at the beginning or end. Many years ago I used 29Marti1607, a name that attracted little attention except once when someone asked me if my ancestors had lived in colonial Jamestown (settled in 1607).

Children experiment with edgy screen names as one way to look and feel cool, and as they get older, their choices often push limits, unintentionally drawing attention. A suggestive name in any number of categories can encourage the people who interact with your child — even people who are friends — to behave impulsively in the web world where adult supervision is minimal. It is way too easy for two-way communication to go awry.

A Few Screen Name Selection Tips Continue reading “Choosing a Screen Name this Summer? 5 Tips for Families”

Posted in digital devices and gadgets, digital parenting, parents and technology, risky behavior, scams and fraud

Technology Scams: An Overview

In the digital era, parents need basic knowledge of online scams that have the potential to cause mayhem on a family’s digital devices

A quick and easy-to-read overview of potential online  scams, Social-Media Scams Abound but They Can be Avoided, appeared in the Washington Post on November 14, 2010.  The Kiplinger Personal Finance article, by Casey Mysliwy, goes over three types of malicious behaviors that can trip-up even the most savvy digital media users. If you missed this description of potential digital problems, take some time to read the article as well as share it with family members who computers, the web, or smart phones. The three potential scams are:

  1. Messages that involve money transfers and seek personal information;
  2. Applications that offer a quiz, game, or other method that encourage you to share personal details; and
  3. Shortened URL (web addresses) that hide a destination’s true identity because the address is simply a group of characters.

You can also check out 5 Social Media Scams at the Norton AntiVirus site and New Jersey Officials Warn Residents About Social Media Scams at the New Jersey Today website.

Posted in digital downloading, digital parenting, online security, online tracking, parents and technology, privacy

Getting Serious About Online Privacy

Your family’s privacy is significantly diminished by online activities, and a new government report is critical of the situation.

Yesterday’s New York Times (December 1, 2010) featured an article, F.T.C. Backs Plan to Honor Privacy of Online Users, reporting on recommendations from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) about collecting online information without permission. The article, written by reporters Edward Wyatt and Tanzina Vega, describes the FTC report Protecting Privacy in a Time of Rapid Change (122 pages of interesting reading) in some detail, but the gist of the recommendations, according to the Times writers, is “that companies adopt simpler, more transparent, and streamlined ways of presenting consumers with their options…” Take time to read the entire piece.

A few interesting points from FTC the report include: Continue reading “Getting Serious About Online Privacy”