In many communities throughout the country, when a child goes missing you may hear about it on the radio or see a notice on an illuminated highway sign. You might also get a text message if you're signed up to receive one. AOL, Yahoo, Google, and Microsoft also disseminate Amber alerts. Now you can receive them on Facebook.
The Amber alert program, which was established 15 years ago after the abduction and murder of its namesake, 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, has so far resulted in the recovery of 525 kids according to Ernie Allen, CEO of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (… Read more
A 2009 study (PDF) from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that truck drivers who were texting were 23 times more at risk of a "crash or near crash event" than "nondistracted driving." As reported by CNET's Jennifer Guevin, the study also found that "texting took a driver's focus away from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds--enough time...to travel the length of a football field at 55 mph."
Teenage drivers are especially vulnerable. In addition to being less experienced drivers, they are more likely to text than adults. … Read more
A new resource from MTV is encouraging youth to "post an action" online that they have taken to combat digital abuse such as cyberbullying and sexting.
An action can be something personal such as deleting inappropriate messages or images, blocking a user from sending hurtful or harassing messages, getting help or changing passwords. Or it can be social, such as arranging a school assembly or speaking up on … Read more
A study commissioned by Truste paints a pretty optimistic picture about how teenagers are using privacy tools on Facebook and other social networking sites. The study, entitled "The Kids are Alright," (PDF) reports that "80 percent of parents and 78 percent of teens feel in control of their personal information on social networking sites" and that "84 percent of parents are confident their teen is responsible with personal information on a social networking site."
But the news isn't all good. The survey also found that more than two-third (68 percent) of teens have … Read more
Last week, Facebook announced its new Groups feature, which is designed to limit some of your communications to a subset of your Facebook friends. But there is the danger that you could actually be talking to lots of people who aren't on your Friends list at all.
In an interview, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, "There are a lot of things you want to share with all your friends at once, but there are also things that you only want to share with your family or some co-workers. If you don't have a way to do that, … Read more
There has been a lot of concern about young people posting too much information about themselves online, but a study commissioned by security company AVG found that 92 percent of U.S. children have some type of online presence by the time they are 2 years old. A third of U.S. mothers posted pictures of newborns, and 34 percent of U.S. moms said they had posted sonograms of their as-yet unborn child.
commentary The recent suicide of Tyler Clementi, which raised the visibility of cyberbullying and digital ethics, is serving as a call to action to end something much deeper than that: cruelty, homophobia, and a distorted sense of entitlement to disclose information about others.
Clementi, an 18-year-old freshman at Rutgers University, jumped off the George Washington Bridge after his roommate, Dharum Ravi, and Rutgers student Molly Wei (both also 18) allegedly used a Webcam to record and live-stream Clementi kissing another male in his dorm room.
What these two students did was wrong for a number of reasons--and it would have … Read more
The Stuxnet computer worm that may have been designed to attack a nuclear facility in Iran could have been state sponsored, according to two security experts with whom I spoke.
"We can tell by the code that it's very, very complex to the degree that this type of code had to be done, for example, by a state and not, for example, some hacker sitting in his parents basement," said Symantec security researcher Eric Chien. Chien added, however, that "there's nothing in the code that points to the particular author" or "what their … Read more
As chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Julius Genachowski is playing a key role in what could turn out to be sweeping changes in the way the Internet reaches children in schools and libraries. He's also the point man in a national debate on Net neutrality as some Internet service providers square off against activists who demand that the federal government ensure that companies not be able to prioritize network traffic.
Prior to his appointment as FCC chairman by President Obama in 2009, Genachowski spent more than a decade in the private sector as co-founder of LaunchBox, a managing … Read more