Posted in 21st Century Learning, 21st Century parenting, parents and technology, password security

Keeping Track of Passwords

If you are anything like me, you find password management to be challenging — thinking of them, storing them, and recalling them. I’ve tried several password security programs on my iPhone. They work well, but not in a way that satisfies my concern about privacy. and security. I still have to type in my passwords, which means that anyone on an unsecured network where I am working can potentially discover my passwords.

Of course, our digital children need lots of practice when it comes to secure passwords. Twenty-first Century learners need to understand how to be safe, savvy, and secure as they go about their digital lives. But how can we set good examples when it’s hard to do it for ourselves?

DashlaneHelp appears to be on the way.

In his June 5, 2013 New York Times column, tech reporter and guru David Pogue shared information about password memorization programs, and in the process he addressed many of my concerns.  In Remember All Those Passwords? No Need Pogue writes that he is especially fond of Dashlane, a free program that memorizes passwords and also fills them in for a user, so no typing is involved. Because the program remembers the passwords, a person does not need to recall them, and that means it’s possible to use words or phrases that are long, detailed, and extra secure. Dashlane can also be used to automatically fill in credit card info — another set of personal information that it’s wise to avoid typing.                      Continue reading “Keeping Track of Passwords”

Posted in digital citizenship, digital learning, family conversations, parents and technology, privacy

Safe Passwords: A Reminder for Parents, Kids, and Teachers

A recent New York Times article, Young, in Love, and Sharing Everything, Including a Password, reminds parents and teachers to take time to talk to adolescents about password privacy. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Matt Richtel, reports that kids share passwords — just as they share gifts and secrets — as tokens of trust and affection. But often an adolescent relationship doesn’t last and neither does the trust. What happens afterward can lead to hurt and humiliation.

Don’t wait until pre-adolescent years to start talking about digital topics such as password privacy. Family conversations, at home and at school, can begin as soon as children receive their first passwords, and over time these talks help kids develop a sense of personal privacy. Discussions can be brief and range over lots of digital topics, but they should occur regularly.

Many adults will be pleasantly surprised that children want to talk about these issues. My post, The Digital Citizenship Minute at the Teaching Tolerance blog, highlights some of the topics fifth graders want adults to address.