March 28th, 2020

Children are spending a lot of time in front of a digital screen these days. On average: seven hours a day among kids age 8 to 18—and that’s before schools closed and we were all ordered home. Screen time recommendations vary among health advocates, but no one suggests staring at a screen for nearly a full workday is good for anyone, let alone nine-year-olds. What do we know about the effects of gazing…... Continue reading >

March 25th, 2020

In the digital world, free isn’t free. It may appear to be. You probably didn’t pay anyone for your email address. The invitation you sent to a dozen friends didn’t cost you a dime. Those terrifying rogue-wave videos you watched when you couldn’t sleep? The open Wifi signal at the coffee shop? No fees, but not without a price. Just about every service you engage online comes at…... Continue reading >

March 13th, 2020

Following are seven simple steps you can take to improve your digital security. Protecting yourself can seem impossibly complicated. It doesn’t have to be. These are steps you can take today to defend your privacy and improve your security. They’re simple and effective. Let’s go. 1) Get off social media. The less you “share,” the more secure you’ll be. Even private accounts aren’t really private: What’s stopping a follower from taking a screen shot…... Continue reading >

March 3rd, 2020

In an analog world, the personal address book was gold. They were curated, edited and sprinkled with exclusive numbers that weren’t widely available. Contacts who gave you their unlisted numbers gave you, by extension, their trust. Close your address book and put it away, and no one could read it. That was then. A digital address book doesn’t reside safely in a desk drawer. It’s in your phone, labeled “Contacts” and as vulnerable to…... Continue reading >

February 26th, 2020

They’re tracking you. Right now. Everywhere you go, your movements and your online purchases and meanderings are likely being recorded and stored in the cloud. Big Tech is watching. Think you’ve slipped their gaze by turned off location-based services for Facebook or other main apps or websites? It’s not as simple as that. They’re tracking you. Here’s the lowdown on tracking and some tips to reduce your exposure. Retailers Are Building a Digital…... Continue reading >

January 28th, 2020

If you’re new to password managers, an introduction is in order. A password manager is an application that you use to automatically generate unique passwords for each of your accounts. You provide security for all of these passwords by entering a single master password into the privacy manager itself. Why are password managers useful? Think of all the apps, online stores, banks, social media accounts you regularly use. There are a lot, right? Each…... Continue reading >

December 16th, 2019

It’s time to start thinking of products like Roku as two-way devices that provide services in exchange for information. Switch on your Roku Ultra and it’s watching you and your family watch it. Understanding the privacy agreements from entertainment services like Roku can help you better understand the technology and enhance your family’s private security. What Is Roku? Roku makes devices and services that allow you to watch internet content…... Continue reading >

December 2nd, 2019

If you don’t like the notion of faceless companies gathering information about you and your children for the benefit of their advertising strategies, you can opt out of their tracking efforts. Your data is yours. It isn’t always easy to do, but if digital privacy concerns you, opting out is an important step. As a recent report from the Washington Post put it, “data brokers are building profiles about you, using…... Continue reading >

October 30th, 2019

There’s almost always a semi-secret way to sneak into a website’s off-limits areas, and very often, your kids know about it before you do. This goes for age-restricted content on YouTube, too. Elsewhere on this site, we’ve covered the use of VPNs to breach firewalls and masking apps that disguise the programs a smartphone is running. Here’s another deceptive—and surprisingly simple—trick parents ought to know about: adding the letters NSFW to…... Continue reading >

October 23rd, 2019

While schools across the country have implemented privacy and security restrictions to Internet access, students have discovered they can use a VPN to circumvent their school’s security measures and break through firewalls. (They’ve learned other tricks, too.) The VPN works to create an encrypted tunnel between a device and the Internet. Once you connect through this encrypted tunnel, your online traffic becomes indecipherable. In layman’s terms, this means that when your…... Continue reading >