Contact Us

Internet Security Could Save Your Child From Crime

By Tim Woda on May 12, 2015 at 10:30 AM

Protecting their child is the number one objective of any parent. This is the primary role and responsibility. Unfortunately, it is becoming a role that is more difficult with the Internet around. Although the vast majority of people use the Internet for harmless everyday tasks, there are some who use this medium to commit crimes.

Worse yet, many of these crimes are committed against children. Take this headline from the Calgary Herald for example:

Continue Reading

Digital Parenting: Understanding the Risk of Snapchat

By Tim Woda on April 16, 2015 at 3:28 PM

Snapchat started as a college course project, but has grown exponentially in the last year. Now available, for free, through app stores, the application allows people to send and receive pictures and videos directly to their phone.

The "Snap" is only available for a set period of time (about 10 seconds), then it is deleted from the phone and the server. Snapchat seems like a fun enough venture, but for those trying to parent in the digital age, it can be problematic. 

Potential for Sexting

Because Snapchat only keeps photos for 10 seconds or less, parents have no way of really knowing what content their child is swapping. For many years, Snapchat has been dubbed the "sexting app". Although not every person using Snapchat is sexting away, the app didn't get their nickname for no reason.

Continue Reading

Major Florida Sextortion Case Serves as a Warning For Tweens

By Steven Woda on December 19, 2014 at 2:48 PM

A Florida child porn case is making headlines because of its sheer magnitude. Lucas Chansler, 31, was sentenced to 105 years in prison for his coast to coast sextortion of young girls. Authorities found around 80,000 child porn pictures and videos on his computer and amongst his possessions.

Chansler used video chat to convince 350 girls between the ages of 13 and 18 to send him explicit pictures and videos. The images were sent between 2007 and 2010. Chansler admitted that he extorted the young girls to send nude pictures by threatening them. He pleaded guilty on 9 counts of producing child pornography. He'll likely spend between 15 and 30 years in prison and he'll be forced to pay a quarter of a million dollars in fines for each of the 9 counts.

Chansler didn't target girls in his home state of Florida or any other specific region. He went for anyone and everyone he could ensnare. His victims were spread out across 26 states. Chansler used video chats to weasel his way into conversations with the girls by pretending to be an acquaintance. He used multiple screen names to alter his identity with his victims.

Continue Reading

Daughter of Police Sergeant Victim in Sexting Scandal

By Tim Woda on December 5, 2014 at 10:31 AM

Parents, teens and tweens across the world can learn a lesson from Michaela Snyder's story. Michaela, 15, is the daughter of a police sergeant and she is making her story known in an effort to make a positive impact on teens who are tempted by peer pressure.

When Michaela was 12 years old, she grew interested in a boy in her same grade. This crush turned out to be a tragedy that all parents and youngsters should know about. Michaela admits that she was so infatuated with her new boyfriend that she would do just about anything to maintain the relationship.

Oftentimes, tweens and teens lack self confidence and will do unhealthy things for the affection of others. Michaela's boyfriend asked her to send semi-nude pictures from her cell phone. At first, Michaela refused but then felt pressured into sending the pictures as the boy gave her an ultimatum. She had to either send him the salacious shots or he would leave her.

Continue Reading

Common Mobile and Internet Child Safety Dangers to Avoid

By Steven Woda on November 12, 2014 at 6:09 PM

The moment that a child logs on to the Internet is the moment that they are exposed to a number of risks. While the Internet is designed to help us all accomplish tasks, learn new information, and even do business, there are potential threats that lurk as well, particularly for children. Mobile and Internet child safety is an important topic to learn about. 

Continue Reading

Sexting Facts and Statistics: Why Parents Should Be Concerned

By Tim Woda on 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.

Continue Reading

Audrie's Law Moving Through California State Legislature

By Tim Woda on May 19, 2014 at 12:34 PM

Legislation has been introduced in the California state legislature that would make it a felony to share sexually explicit images of young people or images of their body parts on social media or smart phones for the purpose of bullying them. It is part of a package of legal changes that would close a legal loophole that makes it a less serious crime to rape someone who is physically or mentally incapacitated than to rape someone who is of clear mind.

The cyberbullying part of the bill is called ”Audrie’s Law” after a young woman named Audrie Pott who died as result of a sexually inspired act of cyberbullying.

Continue Reading

Is Snapchat Actually Safe for Teens & Tweens?

By Tim Woda on May 6, 2014 at 11:55 AM

In the past two years, the Snapchat app has garnered impressive popularity among teens. The nature of the app and the January 2014 Snapchat security breach have caused parents some concern over the safety of the app.  Not only should parents be concerned with these factors, but they should also be privy to Snapchat’s alarming privacy policy and unsettling origins.

For those who are unfamiliar with the app’s features, Snapchat allows users to send and receive pictures or short videos with a set number of seconds to view the videos and photos. After those seconds are completed, the data is erased. Snapchat is notoriously wary of providing the exact number of users of their app, but as of October 28th, 2013 they had roughly 26 million US users. 32% of teens ages 13-17 currently use Snapchat, and 70% of Snapchat’s users are female.

Continue Reading

Digital Parenting: Fighting Back Against ‘Revenge Porn’

By Tim Woda on May 1, 2014 at 11:23 AM

Just another reason to ensure that your teens aren't participating in sexting: exes posting revenge porn. This article was originally published on the Washington Post by Lindsey Bever.

Many of their stories start the same.

She Googles her own name. A Web site pops up, claiming to have nude photos or videos of her posted online for all to see. And, just out of curiosity, she clicks on it.

That’s when she realizes the ex she broke up with forever ago, uploaded the private pictures she once intended for only him. And there’s nothing she can do about it.

Often, her name, address and links to social media profiles are provided as well. And, in some cases, sites created for this reason will charge her a fee to remove it.

It happens to men, too.

This kind of cyber extortion or, at the very least, cyber humiliation, called “revenge porn” has grabbed the attention of lawmakers increasingly seeking to criminalize it.

Continue Reading

You Caught Your Kid Sexting, Now What?

By Steven Woda on January 25, 2014 at 1:27 PM

This article was originally posted on the Huffington Post by Rachel Busman, PsyD.

I am getting asked more and more in my practice about how to talk to teens about situations that involve racy interchanges on Facebook, sending inappropriate pictures via text, and other Internet situations that spiral out of control. As the social media landscape continues to grow and change, these questions are coming up more and more and parents are looking for answers.

Continue Reading

Personalized Pornography: The Explosive Growth of Sexting Among Teens

By Tim Woda on August 29, 2013 at 10:24 AM

This article was originally written by Jonathon Von Maren and published on LifeSiteNews.

The embarrassing political troubles of the unfortunately but aptly named former Congressman Anthony Weiner has catapulted the term “sexting” into cultural consciousness once again, prompting a sudden discussion on what, exactly, “sexting” is—and whether we should be worried about it. Dr. Keith Ablow, FOX News’ psychiatry expert, weighed in with a column entitled “What Weiner’s sexting scandal tells us about young women today,” concluding that it tells us that too many women are not having Private Part Pinups texted to them against their will. Rather, Ablow writes, “I can tell you that the average young woman no longer balks at sexting, watching pornography, or being the aggressor sexually in a relationship.” Slate.com noted that while the rates of boys and girls sexting—specifically, sending nude pictures of themselves—are pretty much the same, boys are far more likely to send these pictures on to their peers, resulting in often savage bullying that has culminated in tragedies like the recent suicides of several young girls. While Monsieur Weiner’s recurring predicaments have prompted a lot of snickering from the media, the “sexting” problem in general has become decidedly unfunny.

Continue Reading

uKnowKids Featured in Mashable!

By Tim Woda on August 9, 2013 at 1:59 PM

uKnowKids was featured in Mashable in the article "Keep it Clean: 8 Tools to Block Porn and Sexting." uKnowKids can help parents prevent their children from sexting and the dangerous pitfalls that can come with it! Here is it, by Taylor Casti.

If Anthony Weiner has taught us anything, it's that sometimes naughty pics just aren't worth it.

Sexting and pornography can be a problem for parents with teens. For teenagers and preteens, sexting can have major consequences, the least of which being a bad reputation. Nude selfies are still considered child pornography and are against the law. Even if the photo never makes it into the wrong hands, one study shows that teens who engage in sexting are more likely to take bigger sexual risks (such as having sex) that could lead to sexually transmitted diseases or teen pregnancy.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

Sexting: Your Photo Fate

By Tim Woda on May 24, 2013 at 2:18 PM

Cell phones are becoming more ubiquitous with teens and tweens texting their friends every chance they can get. While this isn’t generally an issue, and can even provide smiles and a fun way to communicate with peers, there is a concern with a type of texting called sexting.

Sexting is the sharing of nude or near nude pictures by cell phone texts. Sexting is different from sending suggestive text messages, which although also a subject of concern, is not the same as sending an actual photo of one’s self in the nude with possibly a suggestive text message accompanying it.

So how can you protect your child from, and teach your child about, the implications and consequences of sexting?

Continue Reading

How to Keep Your Child Away From the Dangers of Sexting

By Tim Woda on March 23, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Every generation has its list of potentially dangerous activities targeting adolescents and teenagers. While experimenting with drugs and online dating are some of the major trends these days, there's another pattern that's catapulted to the top of disturbing behavior among today's youth. Sexting, or text messaging, is extremely popular for individuals mainly between the ages of 9 and 18.  Parents should be aware of this new form of engagement and how to protect their children from its negative aftermath. Sexting refers to sending sexually suggestive messages, photographs, and signage to others via text messages on mobile devices or other multimedia tools. The items sent by users are typically nude pictures and erotic words or phrases. The purpose is to flirt with romantic prospects, invite dating experiences, and increase social status among youth circles. Many pre-teens and teenagers get involved due to boredom or peer pressure. 

Sexting Consequences 

Although it may seem harmless to some young people, there's several severe drawbacks to sexting. For one, individuals must live with the permanence of their activity.

Continue Reading

Digital Parenting--The Perils of "Sexting"

By Tim Woda on February 11, 2013 at 10:34 AM

We know we have been blogging a lot about sexting lately, but it is a serious issue that we want all parents to be informed about. Here we discuss the perils associated with the sharing of nude or semi-nude photos, and tips to stop your child from making a big mistake from what they think is a seemingly innocuous action. 

When it comes to digital parenting, then, is that this new and exciting technology is often difficult to keep up with.  For example, what can we do about sexually explicit text messages, or "sexting?"  How do we keep our kids safe?

First off, know the technology.  It seems like kids will always know more about technology than their parents, but in this case the parents really need to do their homework.  Know what safeguards are available for the child's phone, including the ability to turn off or block texting and sending pictures.

Next, it is vital to keep the lines of communication open.  Talking to our kids is always good, but in this case, it's necessary.

  • Set up rules about what sort of information and pictures are appropriate. 

Continue Reading

Snapchat and Sexting: Defined and Dethroned

By Tim Woda on December 14, 2012 at 5:02 PM

With Snapchat making the headlines a lot the past few weeks, uKnowKids thought it would be very helpful to decode this app for you and show you exactly why using this app as a means to send nude or semi-nude pictures is a bad, bad idea.  And why sharing intimate photos in general is never a good idea.

Snapchat is a unique app that lets users take and then send pictures to a contact with a self-destructing timer on them.  When the timer runs out (1-10 seconds max), the picture is gone forever.  Many tweens and teens think this feature provides security and are using this app as a means to send intimate pictures---
but this is a very, very bad idea.  Download our infographic now to find out why. 

 

Continue Reading

When Sexting Graduates Into Something More

By Steven Woda on December 3, 2012 at 11:01 AM

I myself do not yet have kids, but I am certainly always learning from my parents, younger siblings, friends, coworkers and everyone around me about the difficulties and stresses that can come from it. I'm a person that grew up in the "digital age," and I know that for the younger population, it's just as natural as talking or using a phone. The issue seems to be that when you can talk anywhere at any time to anyone, it becomes almost impossible to keep your thumb on what exactly your kids are talking about.

Continue Reading

Sextortion: What is it? And Would Your Child Know What To Do?

By Steven Woda on October 2, 2012 at 12:19 PM

This month Marco Viscomi, a 27-year-old college student from Canada, was indicted in federal court for using a computer virus to blackmail teenage sisters into producing child pornography – of themselves.

He struck up a conversation online with the 17-year-old and talked her into sending him some risqué photos, then downloading a file from him that turned out to be a virus. Then he told her that he would ruin her laptop and send the photos to her parents if she didn't make explicit videos with her 13-year-old sister.

Continue Reading

7 Consequences of Teen Sexting

By Steven Woda on June 26, 2012 at 3:59 PM

If you think the trend of teen sexting is troubling, just listen to some of the attitudes teens have about it.  Many teens shrug and say it's no big deal, nothing could really happen. A 2009 study on teens and technology reported that 90% of teens who had sexted said that no negative consequences ever came from it.

Teens think they are invincible, that nothing bad would happen to them. If this describes your teen, talk about a few of 7 consequences of sexting that could make them regret hitting “send.”

  1. It could be shared with people you don't intend to share it with. The person you are sexting

Continue Reading

Lists by Topic

see all

Posts by Topic

see all