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Mobile Monitoring Can Change Your Family's Life for the Better!

By Tim Woda on July 11, 2013 at 10:13 AM

In the current digital age, many families have tween and teenage children who spend significant periods of time on social media websites and mobile devices. While these outlets can be asset to children's social lives, they can also do more harm than good. Many parents are weary of enforcing heavy social media and cell phone monitoring because of the endless arguments that will result. However, doing nothing and letting tweens and teens have complete freedom is not the answer either. How do you find a balance? Consider creating an open environment for communication and compromise in which you and your children can discuss healthy limits and rules. The following tips will help you with this process.

  • When can a child join Facebook? The minimum age for creating a Facebook account is 13. However, there is no way for Facebook to enforce this policy as people can lie about their birthdays when they create accounts. As a parent, it can be tough to stand up against the growing pressure that "everyone" at school has a Facebook account, even in 4th or 5th grade. If your child is adamant about joining Facebook before age 13, have a discussion with him or her about why Facebook creates this minimum age and why you believe that it is important. Your child may still be upset about not getting an account, but in time he or she will appreciate your honesty.

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Snapchat Leaked Screenshot Photos Now Gone From Facebook

By Tim Woda on May 30, 2013 at 2:52 PM

Crucial information about Snapchat and leaked photos from our friends at Phones Review.   

What a week it has been for Snapchat leaked photos and users wanting to learn how to take a screenshot within the Snapchat app, which is a real-time chatting app on both Android and iPhone. The other reason this news has hit the headlines for most majorly news outlets is thanks to the kind of sexting photos appearing on services like Snapchat Leaked.

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Why You Need To Treat Your Child's Cell Phone Like a Computer

By Tim Woda on April 11, 2013 at 3:15 PM

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Cyber Bullying is a Bigger Problem Than You Think

By Tim Woda on April 5, 2013 at 4:28 PM

Growing up is hard. Everyone acknowledges the difficulty we have as adolescents in social environments, especially school. The internet has opened the doors to a new level of pain for many individuals, known as bullying and cyberbullying.

Prior to the creation of the internet a bully was the kid that would pick fights and generally demean others. It was done to be hurtful, with no justification. The age of the internet and texting has given rise to a new type of bully, the process if known as cyberbullying and is just as harmful, if not more so, than those school yard bullies of old. 

Cyberbullying is generally accepted to be the deliberate and repeated actions of an individual or group with the use of communication technology to hurt another person. This can be in the form of harassment, threats, malicious comments, and much more.

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Is Your Child Ready for Their First Phone?

By Tim Woda on February 1, 2013 at 3:26 PM

It seems like children are getting cell phones at younger and younger ages today.  As a parent, you're probably asking yourself, "Is my child ready for their first phone?"  While only you can answer that question for your child, there are a few things to keep in mind when making this all-important decision. 

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"Catfishing" -- The Latest Danger in Digital Parenting

By Tim Woda on January 23, 2013 at 10:47 AM

We’ve all come across people who exaggerate their physical attributes online.  Usually, this is harmless e.g., when someone uses a profile photo from five years ago when they were much slimmer or pretends to be a couple inches taller than they really are.  However, the scenario changes when someone makes up a completely fake identity and interacts with people online using that identity, a deception which is called “catfishing.”

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Parental Monitoring in the Digital Age

By Tim Woda on January 15, 2013 at 3:34 PM

The citizens of the 21st century must boldly address both the benefits and the drawbacks of rampant technology. While a first glance will yield the digital age's many advantageous capabilities for modern life, a deeper examination will uncover some of the more problematic circumstances that the technology likewise creates.

No demographic is more eager to embrace today's remarkable technology than children. They are quick to integrate both the technology and its applications into their lives, but this age group does not always possess the common sense that should accompany such significant usage; as a result, parental monitoring is an essential concern for all parents.

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SMS Spy: How to Monitor Your Child's Texts On Their New Phone

By Steven Woda on December 26, 2012 at 10:04 AM

Did your child, tween or teen get a new phone (or perhaps their first mobile phone) as a gift this year? If so, you would probably like to make sure they are using it appropriately. Since cell phones are part our every day life, of course children will want their own phone to send and receive message to their friends. There is no problem with this if you feel your child is responsible. However, if you’re worried, you can still have the authority to monitor their text messages. Text message monitoring does not make you the bad guy, its actually a helpful cause especially if you think your child is being bullied over texts or sending inappropriate things. Keep these tips in mind if you’re looking to monitor their messages.

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Guest Post: Magical Tech Ideas to Make this Christmas Special

By Steven Woda on December 17, 2012 at 10:09 AM

Here is a festive guest post from our friend Raven over at Ms. MommyHH6 for our Military Appreciation Month. Read on for fun ideas for children and then go visit her blog!

Magical Ideas to Make this Christmas Special (at the last minute)

It’s Christmas time!!!   My entire family is “tech” lovers and there are so many great ideas for gifts this year.  There are also some great ideas to keep the magic of Santa alive for younger children!

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Social Network Monitoring: The Rise Of Instagram and Snapchat

By Tim Woda on December 11, 2012 at 1:40 PM

Not only does your child have an incredibly active social life, but now a huge part of their social life happens online, away from the prying eyes of parents.  It's probably unknown to you how many hours your child spends hiding under her covers after the lights are supposed to be out, texting away, or browsing through her friends' status updates.  And now, as if Facebook and Twitter didn't give you enough to worry about, there is Instagram and Snapchat; yet one more reason why social network monitoring needs to be a priority for every parent.

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Your Phone is Up to Date, Is Your Mobile Monitoring?

By Tim Woda on November 7, 2012 at 11:00 AM

Doesn't it seem that new smartphones appear all the time? If the media isn't touting the latest and greatest new phone, your teenager certainly is! While teenagers around the country started to drool over the new features, parents face the same dilemma they have faced since the origianal smart hones started appearing on kids' birthday and holiday gift lists. How do I keep my child safe?

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BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) School Policy

By Tim Woda on October 16, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Does your child bring a handheld device to school to access the Internet? Many kids aren't supposed to but do anyway, texting under their desk in Algebra and streaming music (with earbuds, of course) in study hall. But some schools are instructing, encouraging, and even begging their kids to bring out their devices and use them during school hours.

I recently caught up with an old friend, and between her three kids and my four, we certainly had a lot of back-to-school info to share with each other. Her daughter's school has a “bring your own device” policy this year. In short, there may not always be enough school computers for all kids all the time, so students are encouraged to bring their own devices to use at school.

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Are You Sending Your Kid Back to School With a Smart Phone?

By Steven Woda on September 10, 2012 at 8:47 AM

Back to school shopping sure is different than when I was a kid. The most high-tech item on my list was maybe a graphing calculator.

Now many schools are embracing new technology and running with it. Teachers send out class updates on Twitter and iPads are regularly used in the classroom, even for preschoolers. Maybe tablets and smart phones aren't on the official school list, but they're probably on your child's wish list for back to school.

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Is Your Child Being Bullied For Having a "Dumb Phone"?

By Tim Woda on September 7, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Maybe you don't know what a “dumb phone” is, but your teens certainly do – and they don't want one.

One of my closest girlfriends hasn't upgraded to a smart phone yet: her trusty old flip phone serves her just fine. She does find herself several times a day, however, constantly apologizing for her lack of connectivity.

If we're in a group and someone says, “quick, grab your phone and take a picture!” or “get on Facebook to show me some pictures of your new niece,” she has to shrug and say, “Sorry, I can't. I have a dumb phone.”

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What You Need to Know About Smart Phones and Social Networking

By Tim Woda on September 6, 2012 at 3:10 PM

The most common use of a teenager's smart phone, aside from texting, is social networking. Teens with smart phones are extremely likely to use them to go on Facebook, MySpace, or other social networking sites.

Recent statistics tell us that 9 out of 10 American teens who own smart phones use social networking sites. They also show that 9 out of 10 teenage smart phone owners have used their phones to go online in the last month.

Okay, the second statistic isn't too shocking: if you pony up for a shiny new iPhone and a data plan to go with it then it would be dumb not to use it. But here's the interesting part: teenage smart phone owners were less likely than their peers to go online using desktops or laptop computers. They preferred their phones.

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Is Your Smartphone Really a "Phone"?

By Tim Woda on August 17, 2012 at 10:27 AM

When you think about it, 'smartphone' is a real misnomer. If you watch how your child uses his or her smartphone, you're not likely to see a whole lot of actual calls being made and received. In fact, just 26% of teens say they even use their phones to make calls.

In the last 24 hours, here are some of the things your child may have been doing on his or her smartphone:

  • Sending 60-100 texts to their best friend

  • Downloading music

  • Shopping for apps to download

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12 Signs Your Teen Is Addicted to Their Smartphone

By Steven Woda on August 16, 2012 at 9:15 AM

I'll admit it. Smartphones are pretty addictive. They're fun to use, make it easy to stay in touch with anybody no matter where you are, and can do just about everything. I'm pretty sure you could spend a whole day on the couch without ever getting up except to go to the bathroom and eat – and maybe your teen has.

Have you seen your texting teenager and wondered whether they're really addicted to their smartphone?

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Smartphones – Your Teen's Life Then and Now

By Steven Woda on August 13, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Does your teen have a smart phone? You've probably noticed that it makes a teenager's life a lot different than when we were kids.

No more asking to use the house phone at a friend's house to call home –  just text mom to ask her if it's okay to spend the night. No need to plan a night out – just check in on FourSquare and find out where everybody is. And that cute guy in Spanish class? You can get the inside scoop on him on Facebook without even talking to him.

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What Kids Think About Sexting

By Tim Woda on June 27, 2012 at 2:08 PM

I'm at a little bit of a loss for words when it comes to the teen sexting phenomenon, and the statistics I see don't seem to give me a clear understanding of the issue.

Is sexting a socially accepted activity among kids, or is there a social stigma to it? Do 1 in 5 kids really do it? And is this more of a middle school or a high school issue?

After stumbling across the transcript of a 2009 teen focus group on sexting, I was even more convinced that even among kids there's not really a consensus.

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Kids Safety and Your Cell Phone Policy for Sleepovers?

By Tim Woda on June 18, 2012 at 10:01 AM

When your children are old enough to carry their own cell phones, you can't help but breathe a sigh of relief. Now you have a way to get in touch with them wherever they are. They can call or text you if they need you. But sometimes, sexting and texting can make the cell phone a double-edged sword.

Do you let your kids take their phone to a party, especially sleepovers?

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