Tough Love on Tech

Learn about "opt in" and "opt out" policies and then use them. And wise up about e-mail; it's not "just like paper mail, only faster." Unlike the letters piling up on your desk, your e-mail is being stored out there "in the cloud" where your right to privacy is not strongly protected. Just because you can store your e-mail forever, doesn't mean you should.

Guide Your Children's Journey in Cyberspace

Make sure your children are educated about how to have a safe Internet experience and check out the content management technologies provided by your ISP. If you want to limit where your children go online, block inappropriate content or monitor their Internet use, the tools provided by your ISP or in the marketplace can offer another layer of protection.

Remember, too, that none of this happens in a vacuum. Though cliched, the term "global village" is apt. And for all our sophistication, for all our technological progress, the global village is still very young, very malleable, in both policy and process. The moment you switch on any of your gadgets you become a participant; just make sure you're participating on your own terms.

Leslie Harris is president and CEO of the Center for Democracy & Technology.

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