Archive for January, 2011

Facebook Plays a Major Role in Egyptian Protests

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Facebook is proving to be an asset in times of political unrest and mayhem for the thousands of Egyptians who have taken their battle to the streets last week in hopes to de-throne their 30-year-old government. 

A Facebook page created by an anonymous activist has played a major role in the country’s protests, rallying thousands to Egyptian’s to rise up and fight against their President, Hosni Mubarak who is said to use torture against its people to stay in power.

The Egyptian government has repeatedly shut down access to the Internet over the past week, but the Facebook page created by an anonymous activist, “We are all Khaled Said” continues to stay active with over 36,500 fans as of January 31st, 2011   “We were tortured, humiliated and lived in injustice & poverty for 30 years despite our enormous resources” , and “Nothing justifies the continuation of this dictator” the activist wrote on the page’s wall earlier today.

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Mobile Messaging Offers Student Support in Oakland California

Friday, January 21st, 2011

This week several schools in Oakland, California started a new “text-a-tip” program. The program allows students and community members to alert campus police directly about potential and dangerous problems with cell phone text messages using specialized technology from Guest Assist. If your child is ever caught in an emergency situation, text messaging is the technology you want them to have immediate access to. The technology associated with mobile messaging offers benefits to students and educators that phone calls can’t:

  •  A way to instantly report critical and life threatening information anonymously
  • Concerned friends and parents have a way to report issues about drinking, drugs or violence
  • Harassment by bullies (including cyberbullies) can be reported without concerns of retaliation

Why don’t more schools offer this service?  The cost runs about $2 per student on an annual basis.  For a school with 3000 students, we are talking about $6,000 a year to offer mobile messaging support for our students.  Kudos to Pete Sarna, the Chief of Police for Oakland Public Schools – serious forward thinking that will benefit everyone involved!

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Will Your Child Be a Victim of Sextortion?

Friday, January 14th, 2011

Sextortion; a new term and a growing concern for parents to watch out for occurs when a person uses guilt, power, or knowledge of a certain secret, to force another person into providing sexually explicit photos, having sex or performing sexual favors.

Sextortion is one of the “crimes of choice” that Internet predators use to gain access into their targets personal life.  Predators that practice sextortion pressure their victims to give them sexually explicit photos and/or favors in exchange for their secrecy of previously obtained private information or for a promise to hold off on future violent acts.

Predators generally target teens or young adults on social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace.  Once they gain trust by pretending to be someone they aren’t, they ask for more: “If you don’t give me more of what I want (sexually explicit photos) or if you don’t meet me for sex, then I’m going to post the sexually explicit photo or information you’ve already given me to destroy your life.”

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