March 25, 2015 at 3:42 PM
The most important segment of society to keep safe on the Internet is obviously our children. Children are the most vulnerable to being preyed online. They are not as experienced in using the Internet and may not understand the dangers that lurk there. Thus, Internet security is an important topic of conversation to have with your children.
In an article about Internet security and children, Microsoft.com recommends preventing the download of free material online that may contain spyware or viruses:
March 20, 2015 at 9:31 AM
In the past few years, iPhone and iPad usage with kids has expanded tenfold. In order to keep up with these changes, uKnowKids is launching a new product specifically designed to help parents whose kids are using iPhone, iPads, iTouches and Macs. It is called the uKnowKids Apple Edition, and we plan to launch it into public beta in late-March.
Note... We are still working on a final name the product, so "uKnowKids Apple Edition" may go through a name change in the next few weeks or months, but you get the idea :)
With the uKnowKids Apple Edition, parents can gain dramatically better transparency into your child's iPhone activities than any other solution on the market today. Let's take a look at some of the new features.
We all know that keeping tabs on text and picture messages is helpful for parents who are trying to educate and coach their kids on how to use technology safely and responsibly. With the uKnowKids Apple Edition, parents are able to view their teen's incoming and outgoing iOS text messages (SMS) and picture messages (MMS)... iMessages... via their iPhones, iPads, iTouches, and Mac computers. Additionally, the feature enables uKnowKids customers to review stored photos. Keeping an eye on these interactions can help parents ensure that new phone users aren't getting involved in peer pressure, sexting or other digital dangers.
March 16, 2015 at 3:19 PM
The Internet, possibly, the most used form of communication (if not now, it soon will be!) has become a fun and exciting place to play and talk with friends and family. However, it has also become a place where bad things can and do happen.
With all of the digital dangers like identity theft, online predators and cyberbullying around the corner for Internet users, even adults have to leery about what we are doing. Nevertheless, when it comes to our children, we have to practice foresight, patience, and the knowledge of how and what technology your children use and have.
March 13, 2015 at 10:17 AM
For some parents, it’s a scary thought: My child will be using the Internet today.
Will her teacher be watching closely?
Will he become too absorbed with technology?
Will she stumble upon something she shouldn’t see?
Luckily, most teachers will quickly remind you: technology in the classroom does not lead to complete anarchy. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t be involved in how the technology is being used or have apprehensions about what effect that has on your child.
Mitigate your concerns with these five tips, which will help you become more comfortable and familiar with your child’s use of technology in the classroom.
1. Talk About Safety
March 10, 2015 at 10:07 PM
When it comes to laws regarding Internet security and bullying, there is still a lot of work to be done. Parents are urged to educate their children about Internet security, but there is still a need for real objective policy.
One institution that fights Internet bullying is the Family Online Safety Institute, an international non-profit organization that works towards a safer Internet environment. The CEO of the Family Online Safety Institute, Stephen Balkam, recently wrote an article in The Guarding expressing the need for new policy:
March 4, 2015 at 9:16 PM
You’ve heard countless news stories highlighting instances of kids and social media gone wrong. Headlines about young teens getting involved in cyberbullying, sexting, identity theft and online predator catastrophes practically populate the Internet. Whether you have only heard the buzz about these dangers from afar or personally know a victim, it’s clear that there is a lot going on in the social media world that can wreak havoc on a child’s life.
By all accounts, social media will continue to be a risk to inexperienced tweens, especially since kids are jumping on the social network bandwagon at younger and younger ages every year. It’s about time that safety precautions catch up with this digital danger!
The solution is for parents to become proactive instead of being reactive when it comes to their kids and social media.
February 20, 2015 at 2:30 PM
In a Huffington Post article, uKnow’s Co-founder Tim Woda asks a simple question – “Do you know who your child made friends with on Facebook yesterday?". Mr. Woda speaks of a very personal experience involving his son’s abduction after accepting a friend-request from an unknown Internet sexual predator.
He goes on to say that parenting skills have just not been able to keep up with advancing technology and even though it isn’t our fault, it’s certainly our problem. Let’s take a look at some situations that may give us a better understanding of obstacles that make digital parenting more challenging:
Understanding The Generation Gap
February 18, 2015 at 8:51 PM
Undoubtedly, children need to be kept safe when they are online. We also know that they need to use the Internet at this point in time. There is too much going on within the Internet for children to be shielded from it. What needs to happen is safe usage of the Internet by children.
February 18, 2015 at 6:54 PM
Monitoring your child's activity on the Internet can be complicated and even frustrating. Your child may demand a certain level of privacy and not be completely upfront with his or her actions. In addition, if you think monitoring your child's Facebook and Twitter accounts is satisfactory, you're sadly mistaken.
February 16, 2015 at 6:49 PM
It’s not every day that you hear of a law being passed in favor of promoting social media usage in schools. Usually, it is a constant struggle between teachers and their students to get them to unplug from these networks. However, New Jersey is now taking steps that may enhance mobile and Internet safety via required social media classes.
When Children Will Be Learning About Social Media
February 13, 2015 at 2:09 PM
Nowadays, young people spend a good chunk of their free time staring into their screens. Whether it's a smartphone, a tablet or a laptop, the screen gets their nearly undivided attention. Most kids make use of apps on their multitude of screens for entertainment, learning and socialization purposes.
With digital trends going in and out of the door contantly, it's tough to keep of track of what your teens are up to. Let's take a look at some of the apps that are currently in or out of favor with middle school tweens and high school teens.
These Apps are "Out":
Facebook: Facebook has lost its luster with youngsters. Only 45 percent of teens use Facebook for social networking. About 72 percent used the social networking service in 2013. That's an alarming drop off. While kids haven't totally ditched Facebook Messenger, it is clear that the decline in use is prominent.
February 12, 2015 at 5:18 PM
Parents do their best in teaching their children to not go anywhere with a stranger, but how many actually teach them to not share personal information with strangers?
Research shows that more than 500,000 children become victims of identity theft every year. The most amazing fact is that almost half of these children are under the age of six. Practicing internet and cell phone safety can protect children from potential predators, but parents must also have a clear understanding of how mobile and internet child safety can also protect a child’s identity.
There is an alarming story on MSN.com about a teenage girl who was a victim of identity theft at age three. As a teenager, she now owed $750,000 for homes and automobiles an identity thief had purchased in her name.
An estimated one in every 40 households with young children has been impacted by identity theft. All a thief needs is a child’s full name and date of birth. As technology advances with smartphones and an increasing number of apps are available, we can do almost anything on our phones that we can do on our laptops or home computer. As people go to replace their old phones with smartphones, thieves are stealing the personal data left on them.
February 11, 2015 at 10:50 AM
You may be contemplating whether or not teens and smartphones are a good combination. Perhaps you have seen other teenagers that have smartphones and wonder if you too should get one for your teenager. There are at least a few reasons that you should perhaps hold off on that.
February 9, 2015 at 8:29 PM
If you think that your child is absolutely safe on the Internet at all times, you are probably fooling yourself. This is particularly true if you have not taken the time to have a conversation with your child about the potential dangers of the Internet. It is important to consider both mobile and Internet child safety these days.
Why Mobile Matters Just As Much
Pew Research conducted a poll asking teens what kind of phone they have. They found that 37% of teens ages 12 to 17 indicate that they own a smartphone. This means that almost half of teens can chat, meet people, buy things, and get involved in other situations online that could be potentially dangerous to them.
February 8, 2015 at 3:14 PM
It is undoubtedly true that most all parents want to be good to their children. They want to protect them and watch them grow up and flourish. If possible, they will keep them away from anything or anyone that might do them harm. As such, digital parenting is a part of their duties.
Online threats come in a variety of forms from bullying by peers all the way up to sexual harassment, intimidation, and more. Taking a look at some of the figures from bullyingstatistics.org can be a real eye opener:
Over half of adolescents and teens have been bullied online, and about the same number have engaged in cyberbullying
February 5, 2015 at 9:46 PM
While there are many valid concerns regarding disassociation parenting, facilitated by the influx of digital tools into our lives, there is one area where advances in technology can be incredibly beneficial to families: the smart home, and in particular, smart lighting.
Our family was fortunate enough to receive a Philips Hue starter kit around Christmas time, and to say that it has been a life changer is no exaggeration.
January 16, 2015 at 12:00 PM
To many, bullying is still considered a “soft” form of abuse because there are no visible injuries. After all, only our feelings are hurt.
January 15, 2015 at 5:41 PM
In case you have been out of the loop on the latest and most popular apps for smartphones, one of the hottest apps for tweens and teens is Snapchat. This is an app that allows users can send pictures and videos to other people that disappear within a span of 10 seconds.
Theoretically, this sounds terrific. However, it is possible for other people to capture your Snapchat pictures permanently by simply taking a screenshot of your message.
Concerns For Parents
An important component of mobile and Internet child safety is knowing what the concerns are for any given technology that your children may be using. There is a pretty long list that one could include when it comes to Snapchat. Lets take a look at some of the security concerns:
Anonymous Users - Users are allowed to remain anonymous under whatever screenname they choose to use.
January 9, 2015 at 1:40 PM
Instagram, one of the fastest growing social media platforms is a lot of fun for kids. It allows them to share photos of things they find interesting, and add filters and captions to those photos. Like a micro-blogging site, with pictures, Instagram's popularity with teens has exploded in the last three years. With that being said, Instagram is also constantly evolving, and while it can be 'good clean fun', there are some dangers that lurk on the social media app.
Throughout the past few years, Instagram has experienced some major changes that you might not be aware of. We've collected a few of these more recent changes and feature additions, and have assessed how they may affect your child's Instagram safety.
In 2012, Instagram rolled out their “photo map” feature. The photo map, which is now being used by millions of Instagram users, tracks were pictures have been taken, and, in some cases uploaded. This location sharing feature, which is meant to help individuals keep track of their travels, can be dangerous especially for young children.
January 8, 2015 at 11:36 AM
As if being a child in this world is not stressful enough, there is now pressure on many young teens to download and use hookup apps. There are many free, available apps to choose from, with no parental consent required. While most are made out to be geared towards adults, the horrible truth is that the creators know that kids are using them, and apparently do not care much. Either that, or they just don't moderate their applications the way that we feel like they should.
Remember AOL dial up chat rooms? You would get kicked out so fast if you even made the slightest remark that was off base. The ninety's had it right. There was someone moderating every word that was spoken in those days. Unfortunately, this is a totally new era with a totally new set of rules and expectations.
With all of that being said, the fact of the matter is that there are no moderators. No one is watching to make sure that kids are not downloading these apps onto their smartphones or other devices. That is just not the way that it goes anymore. It is the job of us, the parents, to ensure the safety of our children.