More and more technology is the go to gift from parents and from Santa around the holidays. Once the boxes are unboxed make sure to take a few moments setting up parental controls on those game consoles, iPads, and phones this year. The USA Today’s blog has some great advice for parents in a blog post titled “Setting up your child’s new tech gifts“. Check it out.
Archive for the ‘Ratings’ Category
GetNetWise is proud to contribute content to the “First-Ever Online Safety & Security Education App Available on Smartphone Platform.” It was developed by GNW’s parent, Internet Education Foundation, along with Google and Verizon and the content is contributed by three of the other premier online safety education organizations in the world — Common Sense Media, ConnectSafely.org, OnGuardOnline.gov. This innovative app makes it easy for consumers and families to keep up with mobile and online privacy, safety, and security issues using their Android smartphone or tablet.
Today Microsoft just launch their much-anticipated Kinect for Xbox 360 along with new Family Safety Settings. If you’re not familiar with the Xbox Kinect, you’ll be amazed after watching the video on the Xbox site. Last month GetNetWise Advisory Board members were invited to an advanced demo for Kinect. Later we received an extremely professional briefing by Microsoft’s top safety and security executives. In short, Kinect is not only amazing, it also takes into account a myriad set of privacy and safety issues so that it is as family safe as possible. In David Pogue’s NY Times review he writes “The Kinect’s astonishing technology creates a completely new activity that’s social, age-spanning and even athletic.”
At GetNetWise.org we were also pleased to see that Microsoft has updated its already robust family safety settings to accompany the Kinect launch. Below is a list of new family safe features provided by Microsoft executives.
New Family Settings include:
- Intelligent default settings for children, teens and adults. When Console Safety is turned “On,” Xbox automatically assigns default privacy and activity settings for each Xbox LIVE member, based on age. For example, for children under 13, the default settings include blocking profile sharing and text, voice and video chat, and turning on Family Programming. These settings can be individually customized by parents.
- Video Kinect. Allows users to video chat over Xbox LIVE with friends and family. Family Settings automatically block this feature for Child profiles, but parents and caregivers can customize whether (and with whom) their children can video chat.
- Kinect Share. Enables users to share pictures captured during Kinect games like “Kinect Adventures!” on social media pages like Facebook. Kinect Share is automatically blocked for Child profiles but parents can decide to allow this feature for any profile.
- Family Programming. When turned on, Family Programming prevents the display of mature content on the dashboard and highlights family-friendly entertainment.
- Game Title Exceptions. Parents have the ability to allow their family members to play specific games with content ratings above the console’s designated maximum if they deem the title appropriate.
GetNetWise is a partner of the new GetGameSmart initiative from Microsoft – visit their website at http://www.getgamesmart.com/. We are thrilled to be apart of this much needed coalition to educate parents and caregivers about becoming more informed about what kids are watching, surfing and gaming.
The Internet often spawns its own language. Shorthand phrases like “LOL” (Laughing-Out-Loud) organically emerge as part of the Internet vernacular. Recently we’ve noticed a new, online shorthand phrase that is used to indicate that the content of the message or Web page is not appropriate because it is off-color at best or sexually explicit at worst. It is called “NSFW.”
Families and users should be on the look out for this phrase, which is actually an acronym that stands for “Not Safe For Work (NSFW).” This phrase is used as a “warning” about content. It is often used in the context in which a link, or piece of material is being categorized by someone as having qualities which may not make it suitable for a workplace environment. This can be because of language, sexual content, violence, or any number of other traits that may make it inappropriate. Of course, if it’s not safe for viewing in the workplace, it’s probably not safe to view in your home with children around.
You will most often see NSFW posted in email message subject lines, next to web link headers and on message boards. An example of how this might be seen on the Web follows: http://www.somepage.com/adultcontent.html (NSFW)
While this information may be typed out, sometimes it is additionally carried as computer code (“meta-data”) embedded within a link. Mozilla Firefox has a plug-in which allows you to avoid links tagged as being NSFW.
It is important to note that this is not a universal standard. It is up to the individual to “tag” content as NSFW. This means that the tag is entirely subjective; the tag is applied based on the perspective of the individual providing the link.
The lack of detail about the content of the link can be frustrating, but this tag may spawn widespread grassroots adoption. While traditional media is rated and tagged according to different trademarked ratings systems, there is no such assurance that trademarked systems will take root on the Net. In fact, according to sources from the tag’s Wikipedia entry, a trademark claim to NSFW was denied. Grassroots labels such as NSFW may become the new wave of ratings guides.