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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Weekly Web Wrap-up for Monday 9-18-2017

Apple announces 3 new iPhones, a 4K Apple TV, and the Apple Watch 3
Apple announced three new iPhones, a 4K Apple TV, and a new Apple Watch 3 with a built-in cellular connection on Tuesday at the newly unveiled Steve Jobs Theater.

This year's event celebrated the tenth anniversary of the iPhone with a brand-new model called the iPhone X, which features an all-new design, wireless charging, and a facial scannerthat unlocks your phone in place of a fingerprint sensor.
This article has a minute-by-minute blog of Apple’s announcements.
Here's how Apple's new iPhone 8 and iPhone X compare with the top Android smartphones
The backs of the new phones are made of glass rather than metal, allowing them to support wireless charging.
This article has a table that compares Apple’s latest three iPhones with the four leading Android smart phones.
Apple announced an iPhone 8 and iPhone X — here are the most important differences
The iPhone X has an “edge-to-edge” screen.
The iPhone 8 has a screen similar to the iPhone 7.
The iPhone 8 keeps the Home button.
The iPhone X got rid of it.
Your fingerprint unlocks the iPhone 8.
Your face unlocks the iPhone X.
Just to name a few differences.
Hands-on with the new $999 Apple iPhone X
This video show off some of the newest features of the iPhone X.
I used the iPhone X, and I can already tell it'll be worth its $1,000 price
You should always get the very best phone you can afford. Your phone is the only thing you use all day, every day, and it's one of the few things in life where you shouldn't be thrifty.
The iPhone X offers:

• A gorgeous screen and beautiful design.
• Great cameras, wireless charging, better battery life, and water resistance.
• The best mobile operating system.
• All on a device that you'll end up using several hours a day.
Sounds as if it's worth $999 to me.
The Best Way to Buy a New iPhone
If you are planning on making monthly payments to finance your iPhone, it is better to go to Apple than to a wireless service.
AppleCare is the best warranty for your iPhone.
Apple’s official web page for the iPhone Upgrade program
Monthly payments allow you to upgrade your iPhone every year.
Apple’s official web page for trading in your old iPhone for a new one
Trade in your eligible smartphone, and then use the credit to lower the full cost of a new iPhone.
This web page lists eligible iPhones and how many dollars of credit for each model.
I’ve been using the new iOS on my iPhone — here are the new features that impressed me the most
13 things everyone is going to love about iOS 11
The 13 biggest ways your iPhone will change on September 19
You can buy the iPhone X without completely emptying your wallet through Apple's upgrade plan
Everything you need to know about buying the iPhone X through Apple's iPhone upgrade program
Forget the $1,000 iPhone X — Apple's best iPhone is now its least expensive, at just $350
millions of people will excitedly plunk down a full stack for the iPhone X. It's more than just a phone — it's a status symbol. I get it. It's a much more affordable version of a Ferrari. Fine.

But I'm a Honda Civic kinda guy.

I want something affordable, powerful enough, and long-lasting. I'm not trying to impress anyone, nor am I the kind of person who lives on the bleeding edge of tech gadgets. That's why I was excited to see that, alongside the announcement of the iPhone X, Apple quietly made the iPhone SE $50 less expensive.
Apple officially bans scammy antivirus apps from iOS App Store
Fake “virus scanning” apps have plagued the iOS App Store for a while, and Apple seems to finally be banning them once and for all in updated developer guidelines.
Apple did remove numerous fake anti-malware and anti-virus apps from the App Store earlier this year, but the new guidelines mark the first time the company has codified a ban on fake apps from its store.
New App Store guidelines crack down on iOS ‘virus scanners’, require alternatives to Face ID for under 13’s
There is new stronger wording regarding banning apps that have misleading functionality. For example, iOS apps that claim to remove viruses and malware from the system are now explicitly called out as not being allowed, as technically there is no way for them to perform those tasks.
This article also mentions several other new rules as to what apps will be allowed in Apple’s App store.
Apple's iTunes update removes the desktop iOS app store
You'll need to manage apps directly on your iPhone or iPad.
Of course, if you absolutely need to restore a ringtone or app that's no longer available, Apple says that will still be possible if you plug the device into your PC with a USB cable.
Apple on Tuesday released iTunes 12.7 for Mac and Windows, an update that removes the iOS App Store from the desktop software. That means iOS users can no longer download iOS apps from their desktops, as Apple now pushes them toward the iOS 11 App Store.
"If you previously used iTunes to sync apps or ringtones on your iOS device, use the new App Store or Sounds Settings on iOS to redownload them without your Mac," Apple has notified users in an update prompt.
24 Things You Can Do in iOS 11 That You Couldn't Do Before
The price of AppleCare+ coverage for iPhone Plus models has increased
At $999, the iPhone X is Apple’s most expensive smartphone so far and if you want AppleCare+ for it, you’ll also be shelling out more money—$199 to be exact.
AppleCare for iPhone X is most expensive phone coverage ever. Is it worth it?
Leaked Apple warranty guide shows what it will and won't repair

Business Insider has unearthed a 22-page "Visual/Mechanical Inspection Guide," or VMI, that shows what qualifies as an "eligible repair." It's reportedly used to conduct a physical damage inspection and assess cost, "basically half the training for iPhone techs," an anonymous Genius told BI.
Face ID will work with Apple Pay, third-party apps
With the introduction of Face ID, and the removal of the Touch ID button ... You will now be able to buy goods using your new iPhone X, authenticating your identity with facial recognition.
Until the iPhone X is in security researchers’ hands for testing purposes, we won’t know the true extent of its hardened nature. But it is worth pointing out that Face ID’s system works locally on the device and stores data in a secure enclave – it’s not sending data to the server.
Opinion:  Apple, what happened to you?
The iPhone X release comes on the back of a number of growing issues I have had with Apple products. Each one is utterly brilliant on a technical level. But they also seem to lack an understanding that humans need to use them.

The name used to say it all. Apple. Warm, organic, friendly.

There are too many design issues now for a company that still sets out its stall as the design that everyone follows.

Where once Apple had a family, it now has a bunch of products.
The new $999 iPhone X proves 2 important things about the future of technology
#1: The great slowdown
First, and most importantly, the iPhone X is a signal that smartphone innovation is slowing way down.
What Apple is implicitly saying is that the "future of the smartphone" is better screens and cameras, every year, forever.
#2: Smartphones rule everything
The second, related point is that the $999 price is a reflection of just how vital the smartphone has become to our everyday lives.
For lots of people at home and abroad, a smartphone is their first-and-only computing device. You may not be able to do everything with a smartphone you can with a PC, but that gap is rapidly narrowing.
The new Watch 3 and iPhone X interfaces are examples of a classic Steve Jobs insight
I’ve always thought of Jobs’ UI design as following a simple rule: create products that work for the user, don’t make the user work for the product.

Apple’s unveiling of the Watch 3 and iPhone X this week were notable advances toward that goal.

The moment that became clear for me was when Apple introduced the new Watch 3. In the demo, Apple’s Deidre Caldbeck talked on a phone call through her Apple Watch while paddling a standup paddle board. The audio was excellent. She didn’t need to speak differently, the Watch just heard her. The watch captured her audio seamlessly and evenly without her holding her wrist near her face. The watch was working for her, not the other way around.
Apple investors would be wise to consider that the company’s UI revolution—its pursuit of the magical user experience—is the primary driver behind the 150x stock appreciation over the past 15 years.
iPad Pro And iOS 11: The Walled Garden Opens Up
With the promise of even greater productivity friendly features in iOS 11, I had to jump in on the beta and give it a shot. What I found is a mobile OS which removed many of the primary productivity pain points iOS 10 presented.
iOS 10 was not user friendly when it comes to accessing files on your device unless you use iCloud Drive. Even then, it was only passable. That was always my primary issue with using iOS devices and why I kept an Android for my smartphone needs. The new Files app is one of the most functional improvements in iOS 11.
iOS 11 takes mobile multitasking to new levels of functionality with two new features: Slide Over Mode and the dock.
The Secret Message In The Apple Keynote For Entrepreneurs
Apple is notoriously secretive. So, if there was ever a coming out party on the topic of Artificial Intelligence (AI), in my opinion, this week’s product launch event was it. Apple has staked its claim and its future on AI with a myriad of AI-powered features from facial recognition with its applications of neural networks in animated emojis to live lighting adjustments in photographs and the introduction of a new custom-built chip called A11–a neural engine that can process 600 billion operations a second.

AI is the future, and Apple (along with every other big company) knows it. And here’s the message to entrepreneurs: Apple may not be first with AI, but who says you have to be first to be best? 
Apple will sell 4K movies via iTunes, and upgrade your HD purchases
Apple is now selling and renting digital 4K movies via iTunes, in addition to its HD and SD resolution versions.
This is Apple’s incentive for getting users to upgrade to a new Apple TV.
How the iPhone X and its 'notch' will handle videos
We saw during Apple's September event on Tuesday how apps will look with the notch, and it doesn't look like it'll be much cause for concern. The iPhone X's large 5.8-inch display looks like it offers enough room for app content that the notch won't hide anything important.
And it doesn't look like video will be much of an issue, either.
iPhone X : How do I deal with The Notch?
The iPhone X’s notch sparked a conversation this week between designers, users, naysayers, and notch-lovers alike.
AW comment:
It took me a few minutes of looking at the pictures in this article to figure out what the author meant by “the notch”.
Turns out it’s actually very simple:  A notch taken out of the visible screen area of the iPhone X.  See for yourself.
A few clever artists reacted to “the notch” with humorous art.
Do you really need a new iPhone? My video report attempts to answer that question.
If you currently have an iPhone 6 or 7, probably not.
Meanwhile, Apple's new $399 Series 3 Watch adds cellular connectivity, meaning you're no longer tied to the iPhone for listening to streaming music or answering a call. But it will cost you $10 a month for an extra wireless plan once the promotions from the carriers end.
How long should a $999 iPhone last?
I usually spend about $1,300 on a new computer, and I usually expect it to stay in good shape for about four years — if not more. So if I’m spending over $1,000 on an iPhone, how long should I expect to use it for?
There’s almost an implication here that the iPhone X isn’t built to last. At $999, this is a phone for tech enthusiasts and people with large amounts of disposable income, who will buy this in part to have the flashiest phone they can get.
Chances are, the iPhone X won’t grow dated through the introduction of revolutionary new features within the next two or three years. But that doesn’t guarantee it’ll remain a snappy performer with all-day battery life that far down the road.

And that’s really the problem I worry about. Even if you want to hang onto an iPhone X for three or four years, I think there’s an open question of how well it’ll run at that point.
The iPhone X Isn't Overpriced, It's A Massive Bargain
One feature stood out for me - video. I'll explain. For some time now I've been making a portion of my income as a video producer. Video is massively expensive, cameras that perform well are still incredibly costly.

The video features of the new iPhone are incredible. The fact a phone can shoot 4K at 60 frames per second is insane. To give you an idea, for most TV applications you'd shoot 30 frames per second.
Even more remarkable is the phone's ability to record slow-motion video, at 1080p, with 240 frames per second. It's hard to explain just how mindblowing a feature like this is.
The iPhone X from an Android user’s perspective
It’s been almost a year since the Google Pixel made me put down my iPhone.
But even though I’m an Android user, I was definitely curious about the iPhone Xand the future it paints for the Apple ecosystem. As it turns out, though, the iPhone X really isn’t a phone designed to draw me back in; it’s more customer service to existing iPhone users than an appeal to new ones.
In summary, I’m glad the iPhone X exists, and I’m optimistic about it making positive waves in the wider smartphone market, but I am not myself attracted by it.
iPhone X: Forget the experts, here’s what real people think
The author interviewed two people at a local Starbucks. Neither of them were interested in the iPhone X.
The first said she couldn’t work her iPhone 7.  The second was happy with her iPhone 4.
The author went to a restaurant and talked to the entire staff. Many expressed benign indifference.
The author’s entirely non-scientific research suggests that real people have no idea what all the fuss is about. They're not resentful, just faintly indifferent.
How Face ID Works On iPhone X
AW comment:
This article is a bit technical, but still a very worthwhile read.
Apple's iPhone X provides a nice little illustration of how sensor and processing technology has evolved in the past decade.
A very interesting article on how Apple’s Face ID came into existence.
Apple is eliminating a feature from the iPhone X that 55% of people say they use
No physical home button means no more "reachability."

Reachability was introduced three years ago with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Apple's first larger-screen devices. The feature lets you navigate the larger display with one hand by tapping on the home button twice. It pulls everything halfway down the screen so you can reach everything using just your thumb.
Apple is still selling the iPhone 6s for a lower price, and it's a steal
Here are the prices from  from Apple's refurbished store.
iPhone 6s:
    $370, the 64GB model for $430, and the 128 GB model for $470.
iPhone 6s Plus:
    $450 for the 16GB model, $509 for the 64GB model, and $550 for the 128GB model.
The chip inside the iPhone X and iPhone 8 makes them more powerful than a 2017 MacBook Pro
The latest official benchmarks from Geekbench (which we first saw via AppleInsider) are in, and the results show that Apple's A11 Bionic system on a chip — or SoC — is more powerful than this year's MacBook Pro models.

The A11 Bionic SoC powers the newly announced iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus.
Apple has a surprisingly wide range of iPhones for all types of people right now
Do you feel that $1000 is to much to pay for a smart phone?
Apple has several lower priced options.  Read about them in this article.
A list of iOS 11 compatible devices is provided at the bottom of this web page
Apple’s Official List of “Vintage” and “Obsolete” Products
Why I ordered an iPhone 8 Plus instead of the iPhone X
1.  It will arrive sooner.
2.  Plenty of new features
3.  I like the Home button
4.  Cheaper and more flexible — for example, SIM card options
Getting Apple's iPhone 8 or iPhone X? Here's your upgrade checklist
You do have an upgrade checklist, right? If not, let us help you prepare for the newest iPhone.

Wait until your 

1.  Research your upgrade options before you buy
2.  After your get your new iPhone but BEFORE you use it, create an encrypted backup of your OLD iPhone.
     This is NOT the same as the regular automatic iPhone backup.
3.  Move all old iPhone data to your new iPhone
4.  After step 3, wipe your OLD iPhone clean — remove all personal info from it before you sell it.
5.  Optional — repurpose your old iPhone
6.  Optional — get some cash for your old iPhone.
7 Tips to Prepare Your iPhone and iPad for iOS 11
1.  Verify that your device is iOS 11 compatible by checking Apple’s list
2.  Back up your iOS device
3.  Free up space (if necessary) by removing apps or photos or data.
4.  Remove 32 bit apps — they are obsolete under iOS 11.
5.  Update all your apps for iOS 11.
6.  Check the iOS 11 release time in your time-zone.
7.  Install iOS 11 — there are two ways to do it.
How to Get Your iPhone and iPad Ready for iOS 11

1.  iOS 11 Compatibility Check
2.  Reclaim Device Storage Space
3.  Create an Archived iTunes Backup
4.  Archive the Backup
5.  Installing iOS 11
Reader Comment:
One more crucial step was omitted in the article above:
Wait at least 2 weeks after it becomes available to let the smoke settle before (maybe) installing it. Apple does not have a perfect track record of rolling out brick free OSes.

Prepare your iPhone or iPad for the iOS 11
Similar instructions to the articles above, but also a few additional steps.
Apple blocking ads that follow users around web is 'sabotage', says industry
New iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra will stop ads following Safari users, prompting open letter claiming Apple is destroying internet’s economic model
iOS 11, the latest version of Apple’s operating system for mobile devices, will hit users’ phones and tablets on Tuesday. It will include a new default feature for the Safari web browser dubbed “intelligent tracking prevention”, which prevents certain websites from tracking users around the net, in effect blocking those annoying ads that follow you everywhere you visit.

The tracking prevention system will also arrive on Apple’s computers 25 September, as part of the High Sierra update to macOS.
Tracking of users around the internet has become crucial to the inner workings of many advertising networks.
the new Safari feature uses a “machine learning model”, Apple says, to identify which first-party cookies are actually desired by users, and which are placed by advertisers. If the latter, the cookie gets blocked from third-party use after a day, and purged completely from the device after a month, drastically limiting the ability of advertisers to keep track of where on the web Safari users visit.
Six major advertising consortia have already written an open letter to Apple expressing their “deep concern”, saying:
“Apple’s Safari move breaks standards and replaces them with an amorphous set of shifting rules that will hurt the user experience and sabotage the economic model for the internet.”

Apple responded to the letter saying: “Ad tracking technology has become so pervasive that it is possible for ad tracking companies to recreate the majority of a person’s web browsing history. This information is collected without permission and is used for ad re-targeting, which is how ads follow people around the internet.”
Apple is releasing macOS High Sierra on September 25
As usual, macOS High Sierra is a free update. It’ll be available in the Mac App Store.
If you’re a Safari user, my favorite change is that there is a new feature in the settings that lets you automatically block autoplaying videos around the web. Many websites have abused autoplaying video, it’s time to stop it.
14 Things You Can Do in macOS High Sierra That You Couldn't Do Before
Lots of new features.
Attackers Can Bypass SKEL Protection in macOS High Sierra
AW comment:
This article was written before the official release of MacOS High Sierra.
Hopefully, this issue will be fixed before the official release.
Siri Therapy: Coming to an iPhone Near You
A study by Stanford University last year found that people are asking Siri about mental health and domestic violence issues, and the assistant couldn’t provide the necessary information.
So now Apple is looking for new employees who understand both writing software for Apple products and psychology.
Reader Comment:
No. Despite the headline Apple does not want Siri to be your therapist. Apple wants Siri to be smarter at dealing with questions posed by troubled people and people who have been victims of violence.
People are using Siri as a therapist, so Apple is seeking engineers who understand psychology
The position requires a unique skill set. Basically, the company is looking for a computer scientist who knows algorithms and can write complex code, but also understands human interaction, has compassion, and communicates ably, preferably in more than one language. The role also promises a singular thrill: to “play a part in the next revolution in human-computer interaction.”
Apple assures us that Face ID on the iPhone X is as reliable and secure as Touch ID
Craig Federighi unequivocally stated that all of the face print data used by Face ID will never leave the iPhone X.
“We do not gather customer data when you enroll in Face ID,” Federighi explained. “It stays on your device, we do not send it to the cloud for training data.”
How to disable Face ID on the iPhone X
Don't worry, Apple made a shortcut to quickly disable Face ID in emergency situations.
Face ID can be completely disabled if you'd prefer to use a standard passcode instead.  The article has detailed instructions.
Apple states Face ID is even more secure than Touch ID, allowing only a 1 in 1 million chance for someone to be able to unlock your iPhone with their face, versus a 1 in 50,000 chance with Touch ID. It's so secure, in fact, that Apple is confident enough to use it as an authentication method for Apple Pay.
Apple’s clever strategy for forcing partners to use Face ID
To make sure companies use Face ID in their apps, Apple simply didn't give them any practical choice.
No, Apple's Face ID Is Not A 'Secure Password’
No authentication system is unbeatable, and new ones are especially vulnerable. A hacker group defeated Touch ID within weeks of its release.
Apple can't rest on its laurels if it's to stay ahead in the cat-and-mouse game. Although Face ID has only just been announced, strategies that could potentially beat it already exist. Some security researchers aim to unlock iPhone X by 3D-printing a head.
It's easy to change a passcode but not your identity, so it's a bad idea to return to face authentication once your features have been compromised.
Sen. Al Franken has questions for Tim Cook about the iPhone X’s FaceID
The lawmaker wrote a letter to Apple querying how it would protect users’ privacy and comply with requests from law enforcement authorities
Since being elected to the Senate, Franken has positioned himself as a keen defender of consumer privacy.
Apple Gets Mixed Reactions To New iPhone's Facial Recognition Technology
In Russia, face recognition has been used to scan anti-government or anti-corruption protests, identify and then publicly name the people at those anti-government protests. What this means is these people will be subject to intimidation, if not arrest, for their political beliefs. Now, before someone says, well, wait, that's Russia. Why should we in the U.S. care about that?

The fact remains in the U.S., it's very much a rules-free zone when it comes to face recognition. Law enforcement across the country use this technology in various ways without any laws governing its use.
As face recognition becomes normalized, we may stop worrying about the very real concerns that we should be worrying about as we increasingly are subjected to face recognition that we can't opt out of.
Apple's iPhone Facial Recognition Technology Is Nothing Special to These People
Apple's new iPhone facial identification feature has made headlines. But for some in China, it's old news.

Facial identification is old hat, at least for customers of China Merchants Bank and the Agricultural Bank of China.
Merchants Bank has enabled 1,000 of its automatic teller machines (ATMs) in 106 Chinese cities since 2015 to dispense cash by scanning their customers' faces. 
For now, facial verification remains a novelty that's kept to selected locations among a small group of banks that are more eager to get the start on their competitors.
It remains to be seen whether the feature will expand to become the norm.
So you thought two-factor authentication is secure, did you?
Hackers have discovered that one of the most central elements of online security — the mobile phone number — is also one of the easiest to steal.
In a growing number of online attacks, hackers have been calling up Verizon, T-Mobile U.S., Sprint and AT&T and asking them to transfer control of a victim’s phone number to a device under the control of the hackers.

Once they get control of the phone number, they can reset the passwords on every account that uses the phone number as a security backup — as services like Google, Twitter and Facebook suggest.

“My iPad restarted, my phone restarted and my computer restarted, and that’s when I got the cold sweat and was like, ‘O.K., this is really serious,’” said Chris Burniske, a virtual currency investor who lost control of his phone number late last year.
Here’s a good editorial on insecure two-factor authentication.
The author mentions one case when hackers made 13 requests to transfer a victim’s phone number and the cell carrier did NOTHING.
Federal agents can search your phone at the US border — here's how to protect your personal information
The Supreme Court decided in 1976 and 2004 that people have fewer claims to their Fourth Amendment privacy rights granted by the Constitution when entering the country, because the government has to protect its borders.

While the court has ruled that police can't search peoples' phones inside the country without a warrant because they contain troves of personal information, it hasn't yet decided on a case about phone searches at the border.
First, Wessler says, travel only with the data that you need. That may mean using burner phones or laptops for traveling.
Federal agents can search your phone at the US border — and the ACLU is now suing over it
Part I of Dealing with the Equifax Hack
$4 Trillion in Profit Potential when “Big Data” Becomes Too Big…
Equifax announced last week that the intensely private personal data it had in its possession for 143 million Americans had been hacked.

That’s 1 in every 2 people — — even if you NEVER did business with Equifax and NEVER became their customer.  Not a single American signed up for this and there is not a single regulatory body that is likely to put the company out of business.
And the breach is vastly worse than other hacks.  Equifax maintained the financial equivalent of the “Holy Grail.” Social security numbers, driver license numbers, addresses, bank accounts, date of birth, and more.  Everything needed to create a “new you.”

What really chaps my hide is that criminals can now use this information to file tax returns, claim refunds, access medical records, rent apartments, buy houses, take out loans and more – all without you knowing for years to come.

This goes waaaaaaay beyond simple identity theft.
Part II of Dealing with the Equifax Hack
What's happened to Equifax's databases goes far beyond simple data theft. 
It is extremely important you protect yourself and your money NOW.

Equifax, unfortunately, doesn’t want to make this easy. 

The company’s website stinks. What’s more, it’s clearly written by corporate lawyers who appear more interested in protecting Equifax’s interests than yours.

You can’t change your social security number so that’s out.

But you can “freeze” your credit.

If you’ve never heard the term before, that’s a process that creates a permanent hold on your credit files that prevents the credit bureaus from releasing your credit to any company except those that you specifically designate (or those that already have you as a customer), law enforcement and the court system, or specific government agencies under the terms of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
This article has four links to help you get started.
A few more data thefts a la Equifax is all it’ll take to bring Big Data to the forefront.
The problem will get worse before it gets better. It also means that individuals, companies, and entire countries will spend whatever they must to protect themselves.
Companies that profit by selling computer security products will be good investments.  Equifax is only one of dozens of attacks to come and, as nasty a thought as that may be, it’s also a sign of tremendous opportunity.
Here’s a simple way to protect your kids from cyberbullying
Cellphone owners in third and fourth grade are significantly more likely to fall prey to cyberbullying. It gets worse: Third, fourth and fifth graders with cell phones are more likely to admit having cyberbullied others.

“Parents often cite the benefits of giving their child a cell phone, but our research suggests that giving young children these devices may have unforeseen risks as well,” study author Elizabeth K. Englander, a professor of psychology.
A “Wait Until 8th” campaign currently urges parents to hold off until their kids reach at least the eighth grade, blaming kids’ smartphone ownership for distraction, difficulty sleeping, exposure to sexual content, risk of anxiety and depression, and cyberbullying.

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