August 6th, 2020

Protect your phone number and protect yourself. If a form on a website asks for it, think twice before typing it in. The more widely distributed your phone number is, the easier it is for companies to track your behavior online and serve up ads to you. And because your phone number is so closely tied to your identity, it’s a prize for hackers, too. Keep it close and protect yourself. If your kids have phones,…... Continue reading >

June 18th, 2020

What’s the difference between a browser and a search engine? Think of it this way: A browser is your public library: the building, the tables, the shelves, the librarians—all of it. A search engine is the card catalog. If car analogies work better for you, a browser is your Buick Roadmaster; a search engine is the map spread across the seat. We all use both of them all the time, but they’re different, and it’s important…... Continue reading >

March 28th, 2020

With schools closed for the foreseeable future, your kids will be spending more time online than ever, completing school assignments remotely, playing games and staying in touch with friends. It will be largely up to you to keep them safe. Seekadoo, a kid-friendly search engine, can help. Install it on your kids’ device for free and know their searches won’t lead them to wildly inappropriate results. You can download Seekadoo here. Seekadoo is…... Continue reading >

April 7th, 2020

Editor’s note: Zoom has just released a package of security enhancements, part of an initiative the company’s calling Zoom 5.0. Read more about it here. The antidote to self-isolation and social-distancing? Zoom. Virtually unheard of in mainstream America a month ago, Zoom, a video conference app, is suddenly everywhere, allowing coworkers to collaborate from home and kids to show off their latest paintings to amazed grandparents. But why Zoom? And, with reports of…... 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 >

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 >