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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

"Virtual Infant Programs" Actually Increase Teen Pregnancies
In some communities, teens participate in “virtual infant parenting,” where they must care for robotic dolls that look and act like real babies. Participants spend a few days feeding, changing diapers, and supporting the dolls to experience the challenges of life as a teen parent. However, a new study of Australian girls has found these programs are not effective. Seventeen percent of girls who cared for virtual babies ended up becoming pregnant during their teen years, compared to 11 percent of those outside of the program. Teen pregnancies are at an all-time low in the United States. Experts believe the reason is education and use of contraception.

Community Copes After Suicide at School
A high school in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is coping with the suicide of a 15-year-old student on school grounds earlier this month. The student was found with gunshot wounds and died at a hospital the next day. Students wore purple to the school’s next football game to raise awareness of suicide as a mental health issue for teens. In the United States, 18 percent of high school students say they have considered suicide in the past year.

Playing with a Concussion Doubles Healing Time
Doctors recommend that teen athletes leave the game immediately if they receive a head injury, and a new study shows why. Researchers examined wrestlers, football players, and other athletes ages 12 to 19. Those that continued to play after receiving a concussion required twice as much recovery time as athletes that left the field immediately. “Playing through the pain” is never a good idea because young people’s developing brains are especially at risk for long-term damage from concussions.

Teens Less Likely to Smoke Pot than 40-Year-Olds
The pot-smoking teen is a common stereotype, but a new government study has found that Americans ages 35 to 44 are now more likely to smoke marijuana than young people ages 12 to 17. While marijuana use has dramatically increased for older people, teen use has remained steady. If the trend continues, soon Americans in their 50s could also be smoking more than teens. Researchers think the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana in some states might be a factor.