February 1st, 2023

Even our government is making money off of your personal data. Sure, it’s legal, but is it right? You likely know that mega businesses, such as Amazon, social media and search engine companies, collect vast amounts of data about us. That’s so they can target their goods and services more precisely to customers. It’s all in the name of helping advertisers reach specific audiences and demographics. And…... Continue reading >

December 27th, 2022

Every year we make New Year’s resolutions. Sometimes we succeed, often we don’t. Either way, resolutions can be useful. They indicate an awareness that something about the way we live needs to change. For many of us, the way we use technology—smartphones, fitness trackers, social media—needs to change. So here are a handful of resolutions aimed at improving our relationship with tech. They’ve got two things going for them: they’re important…... Continue reading >

January 6th, 2023

Remember those “This is your brain on drugs” ads with the egg in the frying pan? The New York Times has an interesting article out about research exploring how the heavy use of social media can affect teens’ brains. As one of the researchers put it, “teens who are habitually checking their social media are showing these pretty dramatic changes in the way their brains are responding, which could potentially have long-term consequences well into adulthood, sort…... Continue reading >

January 4th, 2023

They’re tracking your days. Now they want to track your nights, too. At bedtime, the last thing you should have to think about is a large, multinational corporation bent on keeping track of your activity while you slumber. But in this era of permanent connection, in which personal data is the new currency, surveillance is a round-the-clock concern. Amazon’s Halo Rise is the latest effort to collect and monetize information…... Continue reading >

December 2nd, 2022

Here’s a quick tip on how NOT to make your wish list this holiday season. Don’t send links. If you’ve got a bunch of gift ideas to share with someone, write them down. Type them out. Talk about it. But don’t send an email or text full of links. Here’s why. You scour the internet for the things you want to buy for the holidays. Your partner does the same. Your kids, online natives…... Continue reading >

November 25th, 2022

It can be wild out there, with a galaxy of websites competing for your dollars and data. Here are seven quick tips to make your Black Friday and Cyber Monday safe(r). Be skeptical. If a deal looks too good, it probably is. Move on. Use a VPN. If you’re visiting more sites than usual, you’re also leaving more footprints than usual, scattering your personal all over the internet. A VPN will help…... Continue reading >

November 4th, 2022

Is Messenger Kids OK for your kids? Sort of. Here’s what you should know. Messenger Kids is an app designed for children for messaging and video calls that runs on Fire tablets and iOS and Android phones and tablets. This free app is from Meta (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp), which designed Messenger Kids so parents can control its settings. The target audience is kids, which Meta wants to bring into its platform…... Continue reading >

October 21st, 2022

Video games can be fun, entertaining, and educational. But gaming also has its problems, exposing young players to health risks and introducing them to bad habits that can be difficult to break. Taken to excess, they can become the Danger Games. Parents of kids who like to play video games—either on a console or on their phones—should be aware of those risks. At the top of the list: addiction. The founder of a company…... Continue reading >

October 14th, 2022

Here’s one smart and easy move to bolster your privacy that you can make right now. On your phone, go into your settings and look for Privacy. On iPhones, you’ll find a Tracking button. Tap it. And then you’ll find a toggle and the phrase “Allow Apps to Request to Track.” Switch that toggle to the off position. As in “No.” Tracking doesn’t benefit you. On Android phones, you should find the option to “Delete advertising…... Continue reading >

September 28th, 2022

Be honest, parents. You’ve heard of Twitch, but you have no idea what it is. That’s OK. You’re hardly alone. Here’s a primer. The basics Put simply, Twitch is a gaming platform that allows users to livestream the video games they’re playing. According to Windstream, Twitch hosts at least 15 million visitors on average every day, with more than 3 million of those being creators sharing their gameplay. ... Continue reading >