September 28th, 2022

Digital health care and personal privacy are often at odds. A recent story in the Washington Post shows online health services, from symptom-checkers to mental health apps, collect and share personal information from the people who use them. The companies behind the services say all data is anonymized, but that doesn’t always protect a user’s identity. Worth a read. 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 >

September 21st, 2022

Your data is so valuable, that companies around the world want it. But here’s a twist: some of the biggest collectors of that data have no idea where it is. According to recent congressional testimony from a Twitter whistleblower, the social media platform can’t really keep track of it all. Nor, it seems, can the other tech giants, including Facebook and Google. From the Washington Post: Some of these systems are black boxes… Continue reading >

September 13th, 2022

Instagram was fined more than 405 million Euros, which amounts to about $400 million, for failing to protect kids’ data. The penalty was issued by Ireland’s data privacy regulator. The watchdog agency said the social media giant allowed children aged 13-17 to operate business accounts, leading to the release of their personal information, including phone numbers and email addresses. Instagram’s parent company, Meta, has said it would appeal the ruling. Continue reading >

September 8th, 2022

We’re always on the lookout for a list that helps us stay safe online. To that end, this piece in the Washington Post is a winner. Easy-to-follow steps anyone can take to protect their privacy, boost their security, and avoid scams. Big takeaways: Be vigilant, be skeptical, and be aware. And switch your social media accounts to private. Good stuff and worth a look. Continue reading >

September 6th, 2022

Keep this in mind: They can track your texts, too. Texting may feel private—just a little typed out conversation between you and a friend for your and their eyes only. Would that it were so. Your text chains contain mountains of information about you and your habits and preferences. It’s valuable, which means someone out there wants it. At times, they get it. Ever visit a website to browse some products only to then… Continue reading >

August 26th, 2022

TikTok, it was recently revealed, can track your keystrokes. Sounds sketchy, right? It is. If you or your kids use TikTok, here’s what you need to know. First, a reminder of a universal rule: Free isn’t free. Apps that don’t cost money to download may appear free, but they’re not. There is plenty of value to harvest from data generated by your use of the app. Some of that data is innocuous, some… Continue reading >

August 21st, 2022

TikTok can track your every click and keystroke, including passwords and other personal information. As if anyone needed another reason to be wary of the rapidly growing social media platform, here’s another. When users click a link within the app, TikTok’s browser inserts code that allows it to record how users interact with whatever site they’re on. Taps on the keyboard, clicks, scrolls, TikTok can track it all. In a word: Sketchy. Be careful. Continue reading >

August 18th, 2022

In a welcome bit of news, Snapchat is letting parents in the proverbial room. The company announced recently the launch of Family Center, an in-app tool that allows parents to see who their kids are chatting with and to more easily report suspicious accounts. In a statement, the company said, “Family Center is designed to reflect the way that parents engage with their teens in the real world, where parents usually know who their teens are… Continue reading >

August 4th, 2022

It isn’t your kid’s job to influence anyone but you. So think twice before making your kid the star of your social media feeds. This recent CNET piece points out the perils of turning your kid into an influencer. It sacrifices their privacy and it puts them at risk. “Sharents,” parents who regularly share information and images about their kids, need to be aware of those risks. As one expert cited in the piece put it, “When… Continue reading >
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