Young people today spend large amounts of time sharing parts of their personal lives online playing games, “checking in” with geolocation apps, posting photos and catching up with friends through social media. But despite this openness, privacy does indeed matter to youth, especially with their online actions being increasingly monitored by parents, educators, and corporations.

As well as invaluable tools for keeping in touch with our friends, families and our work, mobile devices have become an increasingly big part of how we access the Internet. Unfortunately, while many smartphones are nearly as powerful as computers, we often don’t use the same caution with them as we do with our computers—and they often don’t have the privacy and security safeguards that come built into computers.

CIRA and MediaSmarts have partnered on a series of five tip sheets to educate Canadians about online security issues. The 5th tip sheet in the series, Socializing and Interacting Online, looks at negative issues that can come up when interacting with others through networked technologies including phishing scams and hoaxes, and strategies for dealing with them.

It is with sadness we note the passing on August 26 of Jacques Bensimon, a great champion for Canadian film and television. A gifted arts administrator and filmmaker, Jacques leaves a large legacy through his many contributions to Canada’s cultural life.

The beginning of another school year is approaching quickly, and as it does many parents are beginning to wonder how they can help their kids ease out of summertime media habits. In addition to having to establish new rules for media use, parents may also face a barrage of requests and questions from their kids regarding digital technology, such as: Am I old enough to have a cell phone? Can I bring it to school? How about my iPod? What about Facebook – all my friends are on it, I need it to talk to them about my homework!

If someone living in the 19th century were to travel to our era they would be most amazed by the fact that our children, rather than working in the fields or in factories, spend their days in school. Today we view education as a human right, and at MediaSmarts (formerly known as Media Awareness Network) we believe that digital and media literacy should also be a right in the education of children and youth.

MediaSmarts has partnered with the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) to develop the Online Commerce Cyber Security Consumer Tip Sheet – the fourth in a series of tip sheets on cyber security issues.

For the past year we’ve been hard at work conceptualizing a new brand to more clearly define who we are and what we do. Working with our Board of Directors and the wonderful creative team at Brandworks, who volunteered hours of their valuable time to this effort, we spent several months developing our new name and logo.

I was recently asked by Jane Tallim to write a guest blog and seriously wondered what suggestions I could offer that would appeal to high school English and Media Studies teachers. We all know that teaching media is like trying to hit a moving target, and education lags behind revolutionary changes in new media forms. However, over the past decade of teaching both Media Studies and high school English, I have spent much time considering the intersection of new media forms with traditional English forms and have tried to build a bridge of understanding across time for my students regardless of the target. By focusing on the skills of deconstruction and construction, I believe the form of the text, or the new medium, becomes less relevant to comprehension.

A recent case involving lawmakers who want to access data on the computer of a woman accused of engaging in a mortgage scam in Colorado has opened up a virtual Pandora’s box of legal questions: American courts are currently struggling with whether or not suspects can be forced to show authorities how to access their encrypted information and the repercussions of their ruling could affect Canadian law as well.

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