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<May 2016>

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Safe Teens - Net & Cells

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

California and Oregon Increase Teen Access to Birth Control
This month, California became the third state to allow girls and women to get birth control pills and patches without a doctor’s prescription. They can now obtain it directly from pharmacists. Since the start of the year, Oregon has allowed the same for girls age 18 and over. Washington, D.C. and Washington State also allow access without a prescription. Lawmakers hope the new laws will reduce unplanned pregnancies, especially in teens.

Did Concussions Contribute to a Teen’s Murder-Suicide?
Earlier this month, Plano, Texas, teen McCann Utu Jr. killed his mother and brother before killing himself. Friends and family think the tragedy might be linked to concussions the 19-year-old sustained in recent years, including at least one during a high school basketball game. Friends say the head injuries “changed” the teen. A recent study has found that concussions—even those that don’t cause severe brain injury—can triple suicide risk. Utu’s brain has been donated to scientists in order to further concussion research. Among teen athletes, concussions are startlingly widespread. More than 2,500 concussions occurred at North Texas middle and high school sports events last year.

North Carolina Law Overturns Transgender Protections
A law recently passed in North Carolina overturns local anti-discrimination laws designed to protect gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. It prevents cities from passing laws that protect citizens based on their sexual orientation or identity. The controversial new law requires transgender people to use bathrooms, locker rooms, and other facilities marked with their sex at birth (male or female) rather than the gender they currently identify with. The law has sparked protests from individuals and businesses.

April Is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month
April is dedicated to fighting rape and sexual assault, major issues for teens. Currently, dozens of American high schools are under investigation for mishandling sexual assault cases. Nearly one in five girls ages 14 to 17 have been sexually assaulted at some point, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. This year’s campaign message is “prevention is possible.” The National Sexual Violence Resource Center says individuals can contribute by promoting healthy relationships, intervening to stop disrespectful behavior, and assisting sexual assault survivors in finding resources.