December 24th, 2019

Sobering words from the New York Times on tracking you: “Now, as the decade ends, tens of millions of Americans, including many children, find themselves carrying spies in their pockets during the day and leaving them beside their beds at night — even though the corporations that control their data are far less accountable than the government would be.” If that doesn’t get you thinking about opting out, it should. Continue reading >

December 18th, 2019

Privacy Parent’s founder has taken to the radio recently to emphasize the importance of protecting your family’s digital privacy and security. “Information is power,” he told WKIP’s Uncle Mike. “And once you can collect information and create profiles of people, it’s easy to serve them ads, manipulate them, whatever it might be.” Click here to listen to that interview and here for a conversation with Tom Sipos, host of Hudson Valley Focus. “We’re the Guinea… 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 5th, 2019

Private companies are tracking your every online move and using that data to rate your behavior as a consumer. It’s valuable information, and it’s now available for you to see. As explained in this recent piece in the New York Times, you can request your file—the records that determine your secret consumer score—and find out just what these companies know about you. Fair warning: They know a lot. And if you want to try to shake… 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 >

November 13th, 2019

Instagram is experimenting with likes—specifically, it’s testing what happens when it switches off public “like” tallies. Other tech companies, Twitter and Facebook among them, are launching similar assessments. According to Axios: “Responding to public clamor and media criticism, social media companies are trying to move away from engagement at all costs and towards a healthier experience. That means they’re also stepping into a more unpredictable future for their own bottom lines and those of businesses… Continue reading >

November 7th, 2019

The Chinese government has decided 90 minutes is the maximum amount of time per day young people should be playing video games. According to the New York Times, officials say more than that amount puts eyesight at risk and hinders academic performance. 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 >

October 16th, 2019

Kids are always one step ahead of their parents when it comes to technology, and they’ve come up with some clever ways—like the secret calculator—to disguise their online activity. For instance, they’re using apps to mask what they’re doing. Some of these apps are so effective, most parents are completely fooled by what they see when they look at their kids’ phones. A trained eye, though, might notice that something’s amiss. Swapping apps Continue reading >
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