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Snapchat Breach: Sexting Through Apps Is Still a Risky Practice

Topics: Snapchat, sexting, social media, Internet Safety, apps for sexting, other social networks, flirting & sexting

New "Dora the Explorer: Into the City" Show Features a Map App

Topics: iPhone, digital parenting, Parental Intelligence, Android, kids & technology, Mobile Phones/Apps, kid apps, Map App, Dora the Explorer

Cyberbullying Laws Around the Globe: Where is Legislation Strongest?

Topics: cyberbullying, Internet Safety, anti-cyberbullying, anti-cyberbullying laws, prevention, Laws & Legislation

The Selfie Culture: Should We Be Worried?

Topics: digital parenting, Parental Intelligence, Selfies, Privacy & Reputation, health & wellbeing

Roundup: This Week’s Top Digital Parenting News

Topics: digital parenting, bullying, cyberbullying, texting, Parental Intelligence, Internet Safety, texting and driving, school, victims of cyberbullying, Mobile Phones/Apps, texting rules & safety

Should You Use Facebook's New Privacy Checkup Tool?

Topics: social media, Parental Intelligence, privacy, online privacy, Facebook, password protection, Privacy & Reputation, Facebook privacy checkup, privacy checkup tool

Taking a Stand: October is National Bullying Prevention Month

Topics: cyberbullying, social media, anti-cyberbullying, national bullying prevention month, prevention

3 Must-Have Internet Security Apps For Teens

Topics: iPhone, Android, Internet Safety, internet security, monitoring apps, Mobile Phones/Apps, Positive Apps

Sexting Facts and Statistics: Why Parents Should Be Concerned

Topics: sexting, Internet Safety, sexting prevention, facts & stats, prevention, dangers

Public WiFi: a Threat to Internet and Mobile Safety?

Topics: Parental Intelligence, online privacy, Internet Safety, identity theft, internet scams, online safety tips, Privacy & Reputation

4 Foolproof Ways to Protect Your Reputation on Social Media

Topics: social media, Parental Intelligence, online privacy, Facebook, oversharing, For Parents, instagram, Privacy & Reputation, For Tweens & Teens, college admission

Is My Child Watching Pornography Online?

Topics: digital parenting, sexting, Parental Intelligence, Internet Safety, Teens, facts & stats, tweens, addictions

9 Games and Apps that Encourage Kids to Get Physical

Topics: iPhone, digital parenting, Parental Intelligence, Android, Mobile Phones/Apps, health & wellbeing, Creativity Apps, Kids Apps, Positive Apps

How Social Media Can Help Your Teen or Tween Flourish

Topics: digital parenting, social media, Parental Intelligence, Facebook, kids & technology, For Tweens & Teens, impact on health, health & wellbeing

Does Tech Really Impact Obesity Rates in the US?

Topics: digital parenting, Parental Intelligence, kids & technology, addictions, Spying vs Engaging, health & wellbeing, discipline

It’s Not Just You! Why Bloggers Can Help You Feel at Ease

Topics: digital parenting, Parental Intelligence, blogging, communication, kids & technology, Digital Parenting Tips, Privacy & Reputation

Apps that Make Summer Car Rides Fun

Topics: iPhone, Android, Mobile Phones/Apps, Creativity Apps, kid apps, Positive Apps

Digital Cleanse Your Home This Summer

Topics: digital parenting, Parental Intelligence, positive parenting practices, Digital Parenting Tips, Spying vs Engaging

How to Use Location Monitoring Without Being Creepy

Topics: Parental Intelligence, location monitoring, parental mobile controls, GPS Monitoring, Mobile Phones/Apps, Spying vs Engaging, teen privacy, Child ID, trust both ways

The "TMI" Epidemic: Are My Teens Oversharing Online?

Topics: digital parenting, Parental Intelligence, online privacy, oversharing, communication, Teens, Privacy & Reputation

LATEST POSTS    

Snapchat Breach: Sexting Through Apps Is Still a Risky Practice

Posted by Steven Woda

October 20, 2014 at 6:57 PM

In some instances, cell phones offer parents a lot of peace of mind. When your teenager has a cell phone, you know you can get ahold of them and that they have a resource to turn to if danger arises. In this regard, cell phones offer security to today's parents that previous generations of parents would have loved.

However, teenagers can also use their phones to get into trouble, embarrass themselves or even put themselves at risk. As a parent, you have probably already talked to your children about the kind of information they should and shouldn't put online, but sexting through apps has become such a trend in youth, as many believe that these apps are guarding their privacy.  

We have all heard about the dangers of the popular teen app Snapchat, which is an app that allows users to send a picture of short video that allegedly automatically disappears within seconds. With Snapchat, recipients of photos or videos can still screen shot and save images from a Snap. The app is widely believed to be used as an app for sexting, even amongst younger users. 

Read More

Topics: Snapchat, sexting, social media, Internet Safety, apps for sexting, other social networks, flirting & sexting

New "Dora the Explorer: Into the City" Show Features a Map App

Posted by Steven Woda

October 17, 2014 at 3:09 PM

The show "Dora the Explorer" has been a fan favorite for many children throughout the past decade. Dora has embarked on exciting and exotic adventures with kids everywhere and she has taught them some Spanish along the way. Now, our favorite Latina adventurer is back with a brand new adventure: "Dora the Explorer: Into the City." 

On this show, Dora is older (10-years-old to be exact) and has some brand new pals to join in on her adventures in the city. Dora now uses some high-tech gadgets, including a smartphone, during her adventures. While she used to turn to her trusty map when going out and about, she now relies on a map app to help her with her travels.

Perhaps these new changes to our beloved Dora and the additions of plenty of other shows with tween characters sporting phones are simply a means of keeping up with the times. Although these shows might encourage more kids to ask parents for their first cell phones, the question ultimately becomes: is this a bad thing? Let's take a look at some of the risks and benefits that accompany giving a child their first phone and discuss how you can get the best of both worlds.

First, here are some statistics displaying how many kids and tweens have cell phones currently:

  • About six out of ten parents in the United States have provided their "tweenager (child between the ages of 9 and 12)" with a cell phone.

Read More

Topics: iPhone, digital parenting, Parental Intelligence, Android, kids & technology, Mobile Phones/Apps, kid apps, Map App, Dora the Explorer

Cyberbullying Laws Around the Globe: Where is Legislation Strongest?

Posted by Tim Woda

October 16, 2014 at 7:56 PM

Cyberbullying has become a major problem in this world. Over the past decade, this type of bullying has claimed the lives of many children and adolescents across the globe. It is estimated that half of adolescents have been the victims of cyberbullying. An astonishing one in three children and teens have been victims of online cyberthreats.

The statistics are startling, but not all hope is lost. Because cyberbullying has become such a damaging and deadly issue, lawmakers have created cyberbullying laws to help protect victims from online bullies and to bring these bullies to justice. 

There are several states, countries, and territories across the globe that have implemented strong and seemingly effective cyberbullying laws. Although some locations are prepared to crack down on cyberharassment, others are still catching up with the times. View our list displaying countries and states with strong, average, and loose cyberbullying laws.

The strongest cyberbullying laws in the world:

  • Canada- Under the Education Act, individuals who engage in cyberbullying face suspension from school. Repeat bullies may also face expulsion and possible jail time.

Read More

Topics: cyberbullying, Internet Safety, anti-cyberbullying, anti-cyberbullying laws, prevention, Laws & Legislation

The Selfie Culture: Should We Be Worried?

Posted by Steven Woda

October 16, 2014 at 5:36 PM

You can hardly go onto Facebook, Instagram or any other social media site without being inundated with selfies. A recent PEW study found that a whopping 91% of teens have reportedly posted a photo of themselves online. With this kind of statistic, odds are that your teen has already taken and posted at least one of these instant self-portraits. 

For most teens, selfies are a harmless bit of adolescent fun, no more dangerous than other passing fads. Actual damage by selfie is rare, but it does happen. As a parent, you need to be aware of these risks and become equipped to discuss them with your teen.

Selfies and Self-Esteem

One risk factor for selfies is that the act and obsession with taking them can lead teens to the development of poor self-esteem. There has been some speculation about whether self-portraits help or hurt self-esteem. Out of the few studies that have been conducted on the matter, the verdict on the effects of selfies on teen self-esteem is somewhat conflicting.

Read More

Topics: digital parenting, Parental Intelligence, Selfies, Privacy & Reputation, health & wellbeing

Roundup: This Week’s Top Digital Parenting News

Posted by Tim Woda

October 10, 2014 at 1:58 PM

Get the latest and greatest on the top digital parenting news and stories of the week!

This week: cyberbullying escalates during the transition from elementary to middle school (shocker!), parents are encouraging kids to pursue careers in digital fields, and a texting-while-driving tracking device is in production. Check out the news roundup and join the conversation in the comment section below.

Students Experience Increase in Cyberbullying During Elementary to Middle School Transition

A study that was recently published in School Psychology Quarterly found that students increasingly become targets of cyberbullying during the transition from elementary school to middle school. The study took place in the Midwest and examined three semesters of data following 1,180 students.

The study categorized students who were bullied into 4 groups:

  • 29% were occasional victims of traditional bullying (verbal or physical bullying)

  • 10% were occasional victims of traditional bullying and cyberbullying

  • Half of bullied students were infrequent victims

  • 11% of bullied students were frequent victims

Read More

Topics: digital parenting, bullying, cyberbullying, texting, Parental Intelligence, Internet Safety, texting and driving, school, victims of cyberbullying, Mobile Phones/Apps, texting rules & safety

Should You Use Facebook's New Privacy Checkup Tool?

Posted by Steven Woda

October 9, 2014 at 6:47 PM

In September 2014, Facebook began rolling out a privacy checkup tool for users. It's an attempt to by the network to encourage privacy among its millions of users. 

It's a bit of a strange move coming from Facebook for a number of reasons. First of all, in regards to online privacy, Facebook is practically the antithesis of that. While other social media sites like Twitter allow members to create a username and never display their full names if they prefer, Facebook requires such personal information as a full name (of course, inputting your true name is optional), city and town of residence, and encourages users to include even their school and workplace. It's become a quick way to look up old friends, lost family members, and anyone you've just met.

Read More

Topics: social media, Parental Intelligence, privacy, online privacy, Facebook, password protection, Privacy & Reputation, Facebook privacy checkup, privacy checkup tool

Taking a Stand: October is National Bullying Prevention Month

Posted by Tim Woda

October 8, 2014 at 7:57 PM

Long gone are the days when bullying solely consisted of having your lunch money swiped, receiving "swirlies" in the bathroom, having a "kick me" sign taped to your back, and being tripped in the hallway. With the big part that social media now plays in our daily lives, bullying continues past the ringing of the 3:00pm school bell. Though many instances of bullying are no longer face-to-face, it is becoming more severe and parents need to become aware of this. 

With October being National Bullying Prevention Month, now is the perfect time to talk to your children about bullying. Some parents may think that with better security systems being implemented in schools across the nation, bullying is becoming less of a concern. However, that is far from reality.

According to Harrison Daily, "An estimated 13 million students are bullied annually."

Read More

Topics: cyberbullying, social media, anti-cyberbullying, national bullying prevention month, prevention

3 Must-Have Internet Security Apps For Teens

Posted by Tim Woda

September 22, 2014 at 6:04 PM

As parents of a generation of teens and tweens that have easy access to the Internet, it's natural to be concerned about what kind of things they could be getting into online. Internet security should be thought of as being just as important as any other type of security that a parent provides their child.

Here are a few smartphone apps that can help parents in their quest to keep children safe online:

K9 Browser 

This app can be used in place of something like Internet Explorer or Sfari. The purpose of it is to give parents the ability to have the app block out things like adult content. Anything that should not be seen by a teenager's eyes can easily be blocked out by just using this application. Most parents are quite grateful to have a tool established that can help them filter what their child sees online.

Available: iOS and Android

Read More

Topics: iPhone, Android, Internet Safety, internet security, monitoring apps, Mobile Phones/Apps, Positive Apps

Sexting Facts and Statistics: Why Parents Should Be Concerned

Posted by Tim Woda

September 19, 2014 at 6:11 PM

From all of the news we hear about the span and scope of digital dangers available to youth, it's clear that parents have every right to be worried about the types of activities teens are engaging in online and through phones. It's natural for any parent to be concerned about what their child could be getting into. Although teens may be disgruntled by it, parents have a responsibility to be aware of what is going on and prevent mistakes from being made in kids' digital lives. 

The Rise Of Sexting

If you haven't heard of sexting already, you probably will in the near future. Sexting is sending or receiving a sexually graphic or descriptive text message. Studies show that teen sexting is on the rise and many parents are wholly unaware of it.

Quick facts about sexting:

  • 11% of teens admit they’ve sent pictures to strangers (Cox Communications)

  • 80% of teens who have sexted are under the age of 18 (Cox Communications)

  • Over half (57%) of teens from a 2012 survey reported that they had been asked to send a sext (JAMA)

  • 12% of teen girls feel pressured to sext (The National Campaign)

  • 38% of teen girls and 39% of teen boys say they have had sexually suggestive text messages or emails—originally meant for someone else—shared with them (The National Campaign)

Plus, according to research, those teens who are sexting or propositioned to send a sext are more likely than their peers to have sexual intercourse.

Read More

Topics: sexting, Internet Safety, sexting prevention, facts & stats, prevention, dangers

Public WiFi: a Threat to Internet and Mobile Safety?

Posted by Steven Woda

September 17, 2014 at 12:23 PM

For parents, the concept of protecting children has changed drastically even over the past couple of years. The popularity of smartphones has skyrocketed, making mobile and Internet safety more difficult to keep track of than ever before.

Who hasn't heard about cyberbullying, child pornography, or malware that takes control of a computer's web camera? Just a few years ago, all a parent had to do was keep track of their child's use of the family computer (or, for the lucky kids, their own computers) and possible threats were relatively easy to contain. 

Read More

Topics: Parental Intelligence, online privacy, Internet Safety, identity theft, internet scams, online safety tips, Privacy & Reputation

4 Foolproof Ways to Protect Your Reputation on Social Media

Posted by Steven Woda

September 12, 2014 at 1:03 PM

We’ve all heard it by now: the Internet is forever. A bad social media presence can follow anyone of any demographic down the road. Think of how many times you’ve heard on the news that a teen was expelled, cyberbullied, or rejected from colleges based on one digital mistake. Countless adults have been fired from jobs and penalized by the law based on poor social media choices.

The beginning of a new school year is as good a time as any to make sure that you and your kids are in control of your digital reputations. Use these tips to ensure that you are maintaining reputable social media accounts:

1. Be selective about who you're friends with on social media.

Read More

Topics: social media, Parental Intelligence, online privacy, Facebook, oversharing, For Parents, instagram, Privacy & Reputation, For Tweens & Teens, college admission

Is My Child Watching Pornography Online?

Posted by Tim Woda

September 11, 2014 at 6:21 PM

When we think of people who are consumers of online porn, we automatically picture grown adults. However, with access to pornographic sites becoming increasingly widespread, a large number of tweens and teens are believed to have viewed some kind of online porn.  

How Many Children Are Watching Porn?

Today, it's reported that at least 90 percent of kids between the ages of 8 and 16 have watched pornography online at least once. Not only have most tweens and teens seen porn, but boys ages 12 to 17 are actually the largest consumers of online pornography. With this statistic, pornography has even been compared to being the drug of choice for youth.

Read More

Topics: digital parenting, sexting, Parental Intelligence, Internet Safety, Teens, facts & stats, tweens, addictions

9 Games and Apps that Encourage Kids to Get Physical

Posted by Tim Woda

September 8, 2014 at 1:27 PM

Physical activity for kids is extremely important to overall health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest children (and adults) get at least 60 minutes of exercise each day; but this is easier said than done. The problem is that kids today are not the same as kids were 20 or 30 years ago.

Times Have Changed

Older generations of children spent most of their time outside playing, while kids today, no matter how old they are, have access to smart phones, tablets, video games, computer games, and other electronics. Technology has a widely-known correlation with childhood obesity and this correlation is especially present in the US. Although this concern is not 100% off-base, technology is not completely to blame.

Read More

Topics: iPhone, digital parenting, Parental Intelligence, Android, Mobile Phones/Apps, health & wellbeing, Creativity Apps, Kids Apps, Positive Apps

How Social Media Can Help Your Teen or Tween Flourish

Posted by Tim Woda

September 5, 2014 at 2:38 PM

When parents think about social media in the hands of their teens and tweens, it is easy to automatically jump to the negative. While there are some negative aspects of social media, there are plenty of very positive aspects about it as well. Recent research suggests that social media, when used appropriately and responsibly by tweens and teens, may actually be incredibly positive. 

Social Media Can Increase Confidence 

Read More

Topics: digital parenting, social media, Parental Intelligence, Facebook, kids & technology, For Tweens & Teens, impact on health, health & wellbeing

Does Tech Really Impact Obesity Rates in the US?

Posted by Tim Woda

August 25, 2014 at 2:41 PM

If you've ever had to persuade your child to put down the game controller and go outside -- or if you have to coax them away from their smartphones to eat a well-balanced meal -- you already understand the impact that technology can have on physical activity and diet. While modern innovations make academic research easier than ever, they also come with a whole host of health risks, and teenagers face a bigger threat than anyone else. 

It's no coincidence that obesity rates have skyrocketed in the United States right alongside innovation. While great thinkers can harness new technology to make the world a better place, there are downsides to modernization too.

Read More

Topics: digital parenting, Parental Intelligence, kids & technology, addictions, Spying vs Engaging, health & wellbeing, discipline

It’s Not Just You! Why Bloggers Can Help You Feel at Ease

Posted by Tim Woda

August 22, 2014 at 3:08 PM

The Internet has been revolutionary in our abilities to connect with people all over the world. We now have access to photos and videos at the click of a button, can talk to someone without seeing their face, and exchange our most personal details with strangers. This world, though diverse and often useful, can be a nightmare for parents. Especially parents of children that are just coming into their teens, discovering this big wide world of the internet all on their own.

You want to protect your child from the big scary world until they’re at least 30.

There are a couple of things you may consider doing:

  1. Ban all Internet devices in the home and outside. That means also banning your laptop and phone in case they get a hold of it.

Read More

Topics: digital parenting, Parental Intelligence, blogging, communication, kids & technology, Digital Parenting Tips, Privacy & Reputation

Apps that Make Summer Car Rides Fun

Posted by Steven Woda

August 18, 2014 at 3:23 PM

Children naturally have wild imaginations and a thirst for adventure. As the primary authority figure in their lives, it's your job to strike a balance between nurturing and being supportive of their curious minds while also monitoring their behavior and social interactions to keep them out of harm's way. This can be a difficult task, especially during the summertime when your little ones are free from the confines of school walls and homework. 

If your kids have a growing interest in technology, your duty as regulator can be twice as challenging. Digital parenting definitely has its setbacks, but you can easily overcome them and encourage fun activities for your children without worrying about their welfare. As you plan that next summer vacation, take into consideration these kid-tested and parent-approved digital apps that can hold your juvenile's attention while you're on the road. 

Read More

Topics: iPhone, Android, Mobile Phones/Apps, Creativity Apps, kid apps, Positive Apps

Digital Cleanse Your Home This Summer

Posted by Steven Woda

August 15, 2014 at 3:23 PM

With summer coming to an end and a new school year beginning, now is the perfect time for families to embark on a digital cleanse! It's pretty easy for physical devices and software to pile up throughout the school year and summer time. Get you and your family refreshed and ready for the new school year!

Cleaning Out the Digital Closet

Read More

Topics: digital parenting, Parental Intelligence, positive parenting practices, Digital Parenting Tips, Spying vs Engaging

How to Use Location Monitoring Without Being Creepy

Posted by Steven Woda

August 13, 2014 at 11:18 AM

As parents, it's only natural for you to worry about where your children are, who they are with, and what they are doing. However, it is just as important to respect their limitations and privacy. So how do you do both?

Nowadays, there are so many ways to use location monitoring that it could be overwhelming. It could be used to share your location on social media, find directions, book travel, and more. It's no wonder than many find location monitoring creepy! On the upside, since most people use location services nowadays, monitoring children can be easier and less-intrusive than it was before. 

Recently, we wrote about why location monitoring your teens and tweens is not creepy. Put the idea into practice with these steps:

1. Have a discussion with your child.

Read More

Topics: Parental Intelligence, location monitoring, parental mobile controls, GPS Monitoring, Mobile Phones/Apps, Spying vs Engaging, teen privacy, Child ID, trust both ways

The "TMI" Epidemic: Are My Teens Oversharing Online?

Posted by Steven Woda

August 6, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Oversharing online - the act of posting sensitive personal information - is one of the leading dangers affecting teenagers. In fact, independent studies have suggested that most teenagers are oversharing online. How bad is it for your teenager?

The Facts

As noted in the McAfee Teens and Screens study, 52% of teens have gotten into a fight because of things they either shared themselves or saw someone else share. And if you don't think your teens are seeing things, think again - 87% of teens have at least witnessed some form of cyberbullying. Here are some other facts to consider:

  • 39% of teens have never changed their privacy settings on social media - whose baseline usually

Read More

Topics: digital parenting, Parental Intelligence, online privacy, oversharing, communication, Teens, Privacy & Reputation