FOSI News 2014

Family Online Safety Institute

Online safety for children and their families.


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14 July 2014

Spying on Your Kids’ Phones, for Their Own Good

Read the latest article by Dan Tynan of Yahoo! Tech that quotes FOSI’s CEO, Stephen Balkam: "If you are worried that your kid is being cyberbullied or other challenging things are going on, then it is perfectly in your right as a parent to check in from time to time," he adds. "Simply make that known up front with your kids."

Read the full article here

27 June 2014

Social media parents must think before they post

FOSI’s CEO, Stephen Balkam, is quoted in an editorial advising parents to “think before they post” on social media: “Stephen Balkam, from the Family Online Safety Institute, advocates giving older children the option of taking down pictures they don’t want in cyberspace. Of course, it is hard to be confident that anything is ever permanently erased from the digital world. It is far better if parents set a good example for the teens their children will become by thinking first before they post.”

Read the full article here

16 May 2014

Huffington Post

The Right to Remember

Stephen Balkam, CEO of the Family Online Safety Institute, comments on the European Union Court of Justice's recent ruling in favor of a "right to be forgotten.”
Read the full article here

08 May 2014

Beaufort sixth-grader who committed suicide chronicled struggles online

FOSI’s research quoted in an article detailing how a Beaufort sixth-grader who committed suicide chronicled struggles online. “But Dale and Clarissa Wills did not know about Tumblr, a micro-blogging platform used by at least 28 percent of U.S. teens 13 to 17, according to an October 2013 survey from the nonprofit Family Online Safety Institute.”
Read the full article here

05 May 2014

Huffington Post

Risk vs. Harm: Time for a Recalculation

Stephen Balkam, CEO of FOSI, discusses the difference between “risk” and “real harm,” both online and in the real world. “Keeping kids safe from harm is different than ensuring an avoidance of risk. In certain circumstances, risk can be good. Being exposed to some danger or the possibility of something bad happening and overcoming that situation leads to a wonderful sense of achievement, builds confidence and most importantly, resilience in ourselves and in our kids.” Read the full article here

24 April 2014

Huffington Post

Learning the Lessons of the InBloom Failure

Stephen Balkam, CEO of FOSI, discusses the recent InBloom Failure. “Let's include parents as well as teachers and the administrators in the discussions about what is necessary and acceptable in terms of what information is kept and what is not. Let's address the privacy and security issues head on and then build a real sense of trust among parents.” Read the full article here

09 April 2014

USA Today

Teachers, students and social media: Where is the line?

Stephen Balkam, CEO of FOSI, comments on debate over whether or not teachers and students should connect on social media. "To have a blanket ban on social networking sites like Facebook is a bit like saying there's a fight on the playground but we don't know where the playground is, but even if we did, it's locked". Read the full article here

31 January 2014

BBC News

UK government tackles wrongly-blocked websites

A working group has been established by the UK government to tackle the issue of over blocking within safety filters, ensuring that sites with educational or otherwise positive content are not inadvertently blocked. "We are building a master list of sites that the charities are helping us with and actively testing this right now," David Miles, Chair of the working group, told the BBC. Read the full article here.

31 January 2014

PC Pro

ISPs may exclude charities from parental-control filters

UK charities and Internet Service Providers will be working together closely on how best to implement a process for how they label content in their respective filtering systems. David Miles acknowledged the problem and said ISPs would become more transparent about which categories are included with the filters. "Quite a lot of the issues are not to do with inadvertent blocking," he said. "They're to do with the decisions ISPs make around categorisation." Read the full article here.



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