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 >

July 28th, 2022

TikTok’s “Blackout Challenge” is the kind of trend you hope your kids steer well clear of. Dangerous and sometimes deadly, it’s the dark flipside to the comparatively innocent viral challenges—remember the ice buckets?—of years before. Unlike those video memes, often started as publicity-awareness campaigns, this one has nothing noble in its roots. It does, however, offer an important reminder: Social media can be as risky as it is engaging. TikTok, in case, somehow,…... Continue reading >

July 26th, 2022

Is the end of the social networking era on the horizon? Is it here already? A piece by Scott Rosenberg on Axios makes the case that the social networking model—after more than a decade at the top of our digital experience—is kaput. Following Tik Tok’s lead, Facebook now plans to “shape your online life around the algorithmically sorted preferences of millions of strangers around the globe.” ... Continue reading >

July 19th, 2022

If your Instagram feed is like everyone else’s, it’s gotten pretty messy lately. Suggested and recommended posts that have nothing to do with your interests. Video after video, each less interesting than the last. One solution: Quit Instagram! Another, less drastic option: clean up your feed. You’ll like it better, yes, but the big benefit: It’ll be more private. Cleaning up your feed gives you a bit more control over what you see. And that gives you…... Continue reading >

May 26th, 2022

A win for privacy: Twitter will pay a $150 million settlement for deceptive advertising practices. According to the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission, the social media platform (and object—maybe?—of Elon Musk’s eye) illicitly used email addresses and phone numbers to better target the advertisements users see in their feed. ... Continue reading >

May 16th, 2022

It’s not as if we lost our privacy all at once. We’ve given away little bits of it here and there, exchanging personal information for the conveniences and genuine solutions our increasingly tech-ified world provides. But your privacy matters. Your personal data is yours. It’s worth protecting. Here are 10 baby steps you can take to protect your privacy. Turn off Location Services. Not too deep in your phone’s privacy settings you’ll find “Location…... Continue reading >

October 28th, 2021

What’s the right age to begin publishing your own permanent record? Whatever it is, it ought to be older than 13. Social media is, at its base, a record. Photos and captions, relationships and emotions, all recorded in an easy-to-search scroll. And, like everything online, it’s permanent. So why do we let 13-year-olds have social media accounts? We shouldn’t. It’s time to raise the age restriction on social media to 18. ... Continue reading >

October 7th, 2021

The “delete” key doesn’t exactly live up to its name. In fact, in the digital world, delete doesn’t mean delete at all. It’s just another twist in the great digital experiment. You can trash your emails, but the person who received your messages still has them and can store them as long as he or she wants. Even if you convince your correspondents to delete their copies, your email host can archive data…... Continue reading >

July 16th, 2021

The FBI has a warning for parents: Online gaming isn’t all fun and games. Too often, the anonymous people on the other side of the screen are adults, preying on kids. Parents need to know that while kids and teens are having fun playing with each other or against a machine, adults are also there. And some of them are lurking with bad intent. The Internet Crime Complaint…... Continue reading >

December 28th, 2020

Here’s a hard truth for parents: Big Tech knows more about your kids than you do.  Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Twitter and so many more are vacuuming up countless bits of digital information about users. The details, when aggregated, paint a portrait of each person online that ordinary humans are unable to put together themselves. These organizations may not know more about your kids’ personality than you do. But if  your…... Continue reading >