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Protecting Your Child's Identity With Mobile and Internet Safety

By Tim Woda on 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.

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Girl Scout Cookie Sales Go Digital, Move Poses Internet Safety Risks

By Steven Woda on December 15, 2014 at 9:24 PM

In the new "Information Age," it seems that everything eventually ends up on the Internet. Up until the beginning of December 2014, however, Girl Scout cookies were an exception. Most Girl Scouts would begin by selling a few cookies to close friends and relatives, then move on to canvassing their local neighborhoods door-to-door, and finally expand to other nearby towns. 

The recent announcement by the Girl Scouts of the USA that members will soon be allowed to set up their own personalized websites to market Girl Scout cookies to a wider audience has been met with mixed reactions by parents.

The Promise of Online Sales

By enabling Girl Scouts to contact far-off relatives, parents' co-workers, friends of friends, and even outright strangers, overall sales are sure to boom. Valuable experience will likely be gained in running these "miniature online businesses," which will serve them well in years to come. Scouts will be able to post their photos as well as a short "cookie commercial" video online. They will also be able to send eCards to potential customers. 

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Public WiFi: a Threat to Internet and Mobile Safety?

By Steven Woda on 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. 

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Digital Parenting: Are Your Children Gaming Safely?

By Tim Woda on April 25, 2014 at 3:56 PM

Have a gaming teen, tween or child in your household?

Parental monitoring and involvement is critical when it comes to helping children game safely. You should take an active interest in the games that your child plays and wants to buy.

We also suggest that research game ratings and content on www.esrb.org. This website is maintained by the Entertainment Software Rating Board which rates thousands of games each year.

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4 Effective Ways to Safely Navigate Tumblr

By Steven Woda on April 25, 2014 at 12:26 PM

Tumblr is one of the fastest-growing online social networks that are ideal for teens and young adults. The company itself was recently acquired by Yahoo! for 1.1 billion dollars. Staying safe on the blogging site is essential to protect your identity, whereabouts and other personal information that can be used by strangers, online bullies and predators. Knowing a few Tumblr safety tips will help you keep your account from being hacked, compromised, and from sharing personal information with potential threats.

Change Your Privacy Settings on Tumblr

Once you create an account on Tumblr, you can immediately access your account and privacy settings from the homepage after logging in. Editing your privacy settings is a way for you to create a password-protected blog or a private blog where users you invite are the only individuals who can see the content you post and share.

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View our Online Identity Theft Protection Infographic Now!

By Tim Woda on March 20, 2014 at 12:43 PM

We just released a new infographic yesterday about the dangers of online identity theft, especially in children.

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View uKnowKids' Newest SlideShare on Identity Theft Protection

By Tim Woda on March 11, 2014 at 5:05 PM

uKnowKids has created another SlideShare to help you manage digital parenting. This latest SlideShare includes lots of information on how to protect you and your family from online identity theft. Did you know that the total financial loss attributed to identity theft in 2013 was $21 billion? Don't let your family be a statistic. View this SlideShare and learn:

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Kim Kardashian’s Identity Theft Case Cracked

By Steven Woda on March 5, 2014 at 4:49 PM

This article was originally published on Huffington Post by Robert Siciliano, personal security and identity theft expert.

Never underestimate the brains of a young guy who still lives with his mother—at least not the case of 19-year-old Luis Flores, Jr., who was smart enough to steal the identities of Kim Kardashian and even the head of the FBI, and assume their financial accounts

Of course, he wasn’t smart enough not to get caught.

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Download uKnowKids' New Identity Theft eBook Now!

By Steven Woda on February 26, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Did you know that children are being targeted for identity theft 35 times more often than adults? How about that 11.5 million

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The Decline of Online Privacy

By Steven Woda on February 19, 2014 at 5:33 PM

High-profile data breaches and issues arising over who actually owns personal data have raised important questions about online privacy and the security of personal information. There is a growing sense of fear and powerlessness among the public as businesses and governments continue to gather more and more personal data. The truth is, digital privacy is becoming a myth and it will take a combination of personal responsibility and policy changes to change the tide.

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Is Public WiFi Safe?

By Tim Woda on February 18, 2014 at 10:03 AM

Public WiFi is any network connection that doesn't require a pass code or key code to access. They are open to anyone who is within range. Devices such as cell phones, tablets and laptops will pick up a signal and begin to connect with it if their WiFi setting is turned on. It makes no difference if the signal is being transmitted from a person's home, the local coffee shop or a local business.

The question of safety is always on your mind when dealing with your children and your financial information. With more and more teens having internet capabilities on their cell phones and other devices, parents are concerned with the safety of public WiFi networks. The problem is not with the networks, so much as with the devices being used to connect with it.

Who Can Connect With Public WiFi

Once an internet signal is set up and broadcasting, anyone can access it that has the pass code or access to the router. If there is no code, anyone can pick it up. This includes

  • your children

  • your neighbors

  • people passing by in vehicles

  • people walking within a certain distance

  • hackers

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The Dangers of Online Predators and How to Protect Your Family

By Tim Woda on January 31, 2014 at 3:42 PM

With so many ways to access the Internet, including mobile phones, game consoles, music players and tablet devices, people have unprecedented access to information and computing capabilities. Unfortunately, email, social networking, chat rooms and instant messaging expose kids to online relationships that may be harmful and can turn dangerous when online predators are involved. Families need to be vigilant and understand the dangers and how to protect against them.

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Guest Post: Simple Ways To Make Sure Your Child Is Safe Online

By Steven Woda on January 29, 2014 at 10:53 AM

The endless advancement of Internet technology has put complacent parents on notice. These days, it's not only possible, but actually quite easy, to invite strangers into our homes thanks to the power of social media. Knowing when, how, and with whom our children are interacting during the time they spend online is going to be even more important in the coming years.

It might seem harmless enough to allow children onto their favorite social media sites, but there are a number of important safety measures to take before you allow them access. Here are some cyber security fundamentals to keep in mind.

Social Media Is Only as Private As You Make It

There's good news for parents: social media sites like Facebook have a number of built-in settings to help your child maintain a low profile while they're online. Sit with your child and guide them through the process of setting their profiles to private, including their online photo collection. This is arguably the first and most important step toward ensuring that their personal information stays personal.

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ICYMI: A Snapchat Security Breach Affects 4.6 Million Users

By Tim Woda on January 3, 2014 at 11:13 AM

ICYMI (in case you missed it) there was breaking news on the Snapchat front this week. Here is an article from the Washington Post detailing exactly what happened.

Snapchat users are waking up to troubling news: Thanks to a gap in the service's security, the phone numbers and usernames for as many as 4.6 million accounts have been downloaded by a Web site calling itself SnapchatDB.info.

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Digital Parenting: Recent Changes to Facebook's Privacy Policy

By Tim Woda on November 19, 2013 at 4:56 PM

This is from one of our favorite Internet safety blogs, The Sue Scheff Blog, and is written by Erin Steiner.

Should you be worried? As a digital parent, the short answer is yes.

For those who haven’t heard, Facebook recently updated its privacy policy for teenage users of the system. Now there is no such thing as “too young to learn about online reputation management.”

Until last week, Facebook automatically made the profiles of users aged 13-17 private and only viewable to friends and friends of friends. Now their profiles are automatically public. That’s right. You’re newly-minted 13-year-old can broadcast his thoughts to the whole world with just the push of a button.

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Password Protection--Is Yours Too Easy?

By Tim Woda on October 14, 2013 at 3:35 PM

According to the Pew Research Center, a nonprofit “fact tank,” 85 percent of U.S. adults use the internet, and 56 percent of all Americans are smartphone users. Most of us have multiple email accounts, are members of social network sites, shop, bank, and store personal data online. As a result of the vast amount of sensitive personal information stored in these various places, you may find yourself wondering if your current password is an effective deterrent against online criminals looking to profit by accessing your personal data.

Your Personal Information is Easily Hacked
Your computer itself stores information about sites you frequently visit in the form of internet cookies and temporary internet files on your computer. Often forgotten about by web browsers, these files assist hackers in gaining access to your personal information.

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How to Talk to Your Kids about Protecting Themselves Online

By Tim Woda on October 11, 2013 at 2:54 PM

The Internet has changed the world in ways we couldn’t have even seen coming. Young people today find themselves n a world where they are constantly online. With cell phones, Wi-Fi hotspots, and tablets have made it so being online 24/7 is becoming the normal way doing things, thus digital parenting is ever important. According to research thirty seven percent of Americans aged twelve to seventeen access the Internet on a smartphone. Because of the Internets increasing prevalence in our society its more important then every to know how to talk to your connected kids.

During the course of digital parenting, it’s hard for children to understand you’re only concerned for their wellbeing. Most advice you offer seems like it’s completely ignored or seen as a challenge. There are ways to talk to your children so they understand your concern and don’t see it as an attack. Remember that your own teenage years likely saw you become stubborn as you tried to learn how to make your own choices. Technology may have connected kids but it didn’t change what being a kid is. While the experience of growing up may be the same the connected world your kids find themselves in creates new challenges.

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Your Kids and Their “Internet Posse”

By Steven Woda on July 11, 2013 at 3:48 PM

Parents may not get it. Actually, I didn’t get “it” until I was forced to evaluate child-directed websites as a part of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) compliance, as newly required by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). 

Starting July 1, 2013, the FTC requires that sites and applications directed primarily to children, effectively allow parents to review where their child’s information is shared, and delete that internet footprint, or record of sharing.  This sharing of child information through ad networks, cookies, clear gifs, beacons, etc. is what one can consider your child’s “Internet Posse”.  They are a Posse as they are not there just for the initial sharing of internet activity, but in behavioral advertising networks; they can follow your child’s internet activities outside of the child website that they visited.

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10 Common Internet Scams Your Child Might Fall For

By Tim Woda on July 10, 2013 at 3:44 PM

 The world wide web can be a big, scary place for your kids.The most efficient way to monitor your child's online activity is through a parental intelligence system that will monitor and analyze their actions. Scams come a dime a dozen, but it's worse when they specifically target your children. You need to know what to watch out for.  Here are the 10 most common Internet scams your child might fall for:
  
1. Knockoffs

Kids love clothes, especially teenagers. They want to be trendy and have all the latest designer styles when they know they can't afford it. So scammers create ads for all these "discount" online stores

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Parental Controls Also Include Education: Kids Are More Tech Savvy

By Tim Woda on June 23, 2013 at 4:36 PM

Parental monitoring tools enabling parents to see what kids are doing online are going to be needed more than ever. An extensive study is out that says children look up things they shouldn't when the parents aren't around. This study through McAfee is a real eye-opener and goes into the deep layers of what makes parental control so difficult: Lack of time and knowledge.

Parents Not Keeping Up with What Kids Know

In the above study, it's found that many teens take advantage of parents not knowing how easy it is to guess passwords those parents set for parental controls. As well, the general lack of tech savvy by busy parents means kids are taking advantage of the situation. The most concerning is that the parents in the study thought it was impossible for their kids to learn the parental control passwords.

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