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November 11th, 2021

Never forget a face, sure, but what about hundreds of millions of faces? Meta, the newly rechristened parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, recently announced plans to deactivate it facial recognition software. That’s good news for anyone with an interest in preserving their privacy, but Meta was hardly the only tech giant turning our faces into data points to be stored, bought and sold. The Great Digital Experiment continues to unfold. ... Continue reading >

October 28th, 2021

What’s the right age to begin publishing your own permanent record? Whatever it is, it ought to be older than 13. Social media is, at its base, a record. Photos and captions, relationships and emotions, all recorded in an easy-to-search scroll. And, like everything online, it’s permanent. So why do we let 13-year-olds have social media accounts? We shouldn’t. It’s time to raise the age restriction on social media to 18. ... Continue reading >

October 7th, 2021

The “delete” key doesn’t exactly live up to its name. In fact, in the digital world, delete doesn’t mean delete at all. It’s just another twist in the great digital experiment. You can trash your emails, but the person who received your messages still has them and can store them as long as he or she wants. Even if you convince your correspondents to delete their copies, your email host can archive data…... Continue reading >

September 2nd, 2021

You may not know about data brokers, but it’s their job to know about you. Creepy, right? Let’s even the playing field a bit. You have to be constantly vigilant to protect yourself and your family when going online. A case in point is the issue of data brokers. Parents need to be aware of data brokers because they are companies that exist to gather a huge amount of information on people. ... Continue reading >

May 14th, 2021

You’re going to be traveling again soon. Here’s a reminder: Watch your wifi. And while you’re at it, start using a VPN. Summer is approaching and pandemic restrictions are lifting. You and your family will be on the move again, which means you’ll be connecting to the internet through unfamiliar networks. Be careful and watch your WiFi. Using public and semi-public WiFi networks can leave you vulnerable to “man in…... Continue reading >

July 16th, 2021

The FBI has a warning for parents: Online gaming isn’t all fun and games. Too often, the anonymous people on the other side of the screen are adults, preying on kids. Parents need to know that while kids and teens are having fun playing with each other or against a machine, adults are also there. And some of them are lurking with bad intent. The Internet Crime Complaint…... Continue reading >

July 15th, 2021

Every generation benefits from the advances and suffers from the mistakes made by its predecessors. Many of the problems we face today were created decades, if not centuries, ago. Climate change, social disparity, racism—messes we didn’t make but messes we live with and try to clean up nonetheless. Our generation is no different, though the mess we’re leaving for our kids is entirely without precedent. The Digital Age, which dawned with the Internet and blossomed with the advent…... Continue reading >

December 28th, 2020

Here’s a hard truth for parents: Big Tech knows more about your kids than you do.  Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Twitter and so many more are vacuuming up countless bits of digital information about users. The details, when aggregated, paint a portrait of each person online that ordinary humans are unable to put together themselves. These organizations may not know more about your kids’ personality than you do. But if  your…... Continue reading >

April 22nd, 2021

Facebook recently announced it’s developing a version of Instagram for kids under 13. It is a terrible idea. Let us count the ways. Kids don’t benefit from staring at a phone and scrolling away the hours. Research shows increased screen time by young people leads to a wide range of behavioral problems.Time spent on a phone is time not spent playing, running around, building things—being a kid. Let’s let our kids be…... Continue reading >

March 17th, 2021

If you’re reading this from anywhere but China, you probably don’t have a Sesame Score. But if you care at all about internet privacy and security, you should know what it is. The Chinese government has created a social credit monitoring system to look over every member of its population. It’s called Zhima Credit and is popularly known as Sesame Credit or China’s Sesame Score. It was developed by Ant Financial, which is…... Continue reading >