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<November 2015>

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How to disable location on your mobile device
California Attorney General Kamala Harris’ office has published an information sheet titled Location, Location, Location: Tips on Controlling Mobile Tracking. The key advice in that sheet, how to disable mobile tracking on Android and iOS (iPhone and iPad) devices, is reposted below.  The tip sheet also includes location sharing advice for mobile versions of Gmail, Yahoo and Outlook email. Also see ConnectSafely’s A Parents’ Guide to Mobile Phones. Android Phones and Devices: Go to Settings, then Permissions, then Location and turn it off. When an app asks for access to your location, you can choose to grant it or not. To disable geo-tagging of photos, open the camera and then click on the gear icon and set location to “No.” You may have to click the gear icon on several screen layers. You can also choose how accurate you want your location reporting to be (with Location services On). High accuracy mode uses GPS, WiFi, and cellular networks and provides the highest location accuracy and speed, and uses more battery. Battery saving mode uses WiFi and cellular networks to estimate your location, which require less battery. You give up some accuracy and some speed when you select this mode. Device only mode uses [...] Continue reading

Media Literacy Week and the U.S. election process
— Click above to listen to Larry Magid’s conversation with Michelle Ciulla Lipkin of the National Association for Media Literacy Education by Larry Magid The United States is about to celebrate its first Media Literacy Week (@MediaLiteracyEd) as Canadians have done for the past decade. While the week is not directly related to the U.S. elections, it does coincide with the early stages of both parties’ primary campaigns, which strikes me as a great time to think about media literacy. Very few of us will have a chance to meet any of the candidates face-to-face so what we know about their records, their platforms and their promises comes from the debates, the sound bites we see, hear and read and the analysis of pundits, spin doctors, commentators and reporters. The United States inaugural Media Literacy Week takes place as both the Democrats and Republicans start the process of figuring out who will represent them in the general election in November, 2016. But next year’s Media Literacy Week will take place the week before every U.S. citizen aged 18 or older can go to the polls and exercise that precious right to help make that important decision. Sadly, not everything we hear from the candidates or their supporters and detractors [...] Continue reading

Teen Health and Wellness

Involving Parents Makes Bulimia Treatment More Effective
A new study of 12- to 18-year-olds has found that involving parents in eating disorder therapy improves recovery rates for teens with bulimia. Normally, teens with eating disorders are given individual therapy, where they learn to develop skills to cope with the underlying causes of the disorder. Family based therapy, on the other hand, makes parents part of the process, teaching them how to offer daily support and reinforce healthy habits. Teens receiving family based therapy were much less likely than other teens to see their bulimia reoccur.

A Fourth of Teen Daters Have Broken Up by Text
Even though a large percentage of teens say they find it socially unacceptable, 27 percent of teens who have been in relationships have broken up with someone via text. A new study on teens, technology, and relationships has revealed that breaking up by text message is nearly as common as breaking up via a phone call, even though teens find the latter much more socially acceptable. The study found that teens who broke up by text did so because, for example, it was easier or because they didn’t want to face the emotional impact of breaking up.

Today's Teens Get Less than Half the Outdoor Time as Past Generations
A new study from Canada has found the average teen spends 7.9 hours per week being active outside, compared to 17.5 hours their parents spent at that age. Only 5 percent of teens get the daily hour of heart-pumping activity that doctors recommend. Parents said there were several reasons, from lack of access to parks and the high cost of team sports to the lure of indoor activities like video games and social media.

Social Media Time Linked to Unhealthy Habits
A new Canadian study of middle school and high school students has found that teens’ nutritional choices can be influenced by their time spent on social media sites or apps, such as Instagram, Snapchat, and WhatsApp. Specifically, greater social media use was associated with skipping breakfast and consuming more sugar-sweetened beverages and energy drinks. Increased screen time, in general, is associated with teen obesity.