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Digital Parenting: The Dark Side of Instagram

Topics: social media, privacy, oversharing, For Parents, instagram, monitoring, dangers & safety, underage users, terminology

Don't Be Naive. Take the Initiative With Your Kids and Social Media

Topics: social media, Parental Intelligence, Facebook, twitter, instagram, monitoring, positive parenting practices, For Tweens & Teens, Spying vs Engaging

4 Cardinal Twitter Safety Tips for Teens and Tweens

Topics: social media, Parental Intelligence, oversharing, For Parents, twitter, monitoring, password protection, dangers & safety, Privacy & Reputation, For Tweens & Teens, child app

Location Sharing in Facebook's Messenger App: The Basics

Topics: social media, apps, privacy, Facebook, location monitoring, monitoring, GPS Monitoring, Mobile Phones/Apps, Child ID, Driving/Speed Monitoring, child app

Dangers of the New Location-Sharing Facebook Feature: Nearby Friends

Topics: social media, Facebook, location monitoring, monitoring, geotagging, dangers & safety, Mobile Phones/Apps, Child ID, child app

5 Ways to Monitor Your Child Online Without Invading Their Privacy

Topics: social media, Parental Intelligence, Facebook, parental monitoring, monitoring, positive parenting practices, Spying vs Engaging

Guest Post: What to do When Your Kids are (Web) Smarter Than You

Topics: iPhone, digital parenting, Parental Intelligence, Android, monitoring, kids & technology, Digital Parenting Tips, Mobile Phones/Apps, cellphones rules & safety

Digital Parenting: Is My Child Ready For Twitter?

Topics: Facebook, Internet Safety, For Parents, twitter, instagram, monitoring, dangers & safety

How to Set Certain Mobile Boundaries with Your Teens

Topics: sexting, cyberbullying, Parental Intelligence, Internet Safety, monitoring, Digital Parenting Tips

Instagram or Snapseed-What's Your Child's Favorite Photo Sharing App?

Topics: digital parenting, social media, Parental Intelligence, instagram, monitoring, other social media sites, Digital Parenting Tips, other social networks

Top 5 Back-To-School Tech Essentials

Topics: iPhone, digital parenting, Parental Intelligence, Android, Facebook, parental monitoring, monitoring, school, monitoring apps, Mobile Phones/Apps, Spying vs Engaging

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

Topics: iPhone, social media, Parental Intelligence, Android, Facebook, parental monitoring, monitoring, monitoring apps, Spying vs Engaging

Is it Safe For My Teen? Monitoring Twitter Will Make it Safer

Topics: digital parenting, social media, Parental Intelligence, parental monitoring, twitter, monitoring, dangers & safety

Crack Down On Summer Vacation Cyberbullying

Topics: cyberbullying, social media, Facebook, Internet Safety, twitter, instagram, monitoring, prevention, summer cyberbullying

Social Media Monitoring: You Can't Turn a Blind Eye to Facebook

Topics: bullying, sexting, social media, Parental Intelligence, Facebook, parental monitoring, Internet Safety, monitoring, prevention, Spying vs Engaging

Why You Should Be Monitoring Your Child on Instagram Right Now

Topics: social media, Parental Intelligence, parental monitoring, For Parents, instagram, monitoring, Photo & Image Sharing, Privacy & Reputation, Spying vs Engaging

Social and Cell Phone Monitoring Can Make Your Family's Life Better

Topics: digital parenting, social media, Parental Intelligence, Facebook, parental monitoring, monitoring, Digital Parenting Tips, Mobile Phones/Apps, Spying vs Engaging

Is My Child Ready For Facebook? How You'll Know It's The Right Time

Topics: social media, Parental Intelligence, Facebook, monitoring, Digital Parenting Tips, dangers & safety

How To Keep Kids Safe With Social Media: From A Detective's Viewpoint

Topics: social media, Parental Intelligence, For Parents, monitoring, kids & technology, Digital Parenting Tips, dangers & safety, child predator methods

Social Network Monitoring: The Rise Of Instagram and Snapchat

Topics: iPhone, Snapchat, social media, Parental Intelligence, Android, parental monitoring, instagram, monitoring, monitoring apps, Mobile Phones/Apps, Spying vs Engaging, other social networks, child app

LATEST POSTS    

Digital Parenting: The Dark Side of Instagram

Posted by Steven Woda

May 5, 2015 at 9:30 AM

The photo-sharing social media site, Instagram, has been treading more on the innocent side since its launch and rise in popularity. Recently though, a new disturbing trend has risen on Instagram that should have all parents concerned.

Instagram and Teen Body Image

More and more young girls are making their profiles and pictures public and posting a picture for others to assess their attractiveness. Many of these young girls are in provocative poses and are dressed in revealing clothing. The young girls post their pictures using hash tags such as #amipretty or #beautycontest, looking for the most positive comments to boost their self-esteem.

Read More

Topics: social media, privacy, oversharing, For Parents, instagram, monitoring, dangers & safety, underage users, terminology

Don't Be Naive. Take the Initiative With Your Kids and Social Media

Posted by Tim Woda

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.

Read More

Topics: social media, Parental Intelligence, Facebook, twitter, instagram, monitoring, positive parenting practices, For Tweens & Teens, Spying vs Engaging

4 Cardinal Twitter Safety Tips for Teens and Tweens

Posted by Tim Woda

November 21, 2014 at 2:30 PM

Twitter is now the second largest social networking website on the planet. Still, there remains a lot of room to grow for this social network. Internet security and how it relates to Twitter continues to be a hot topic. 

Follow these steps to optimize your account security when using Twitter:

Change Passwords Regularly

As with almost any other website, frequently changing the password is a good way of staying safe. Sometimes, passwords are stolen by computer hackers. In other cases, someone may simply figure out what your password is if they see you type it in or if it is just too obvious. Thus, changing the password on a regular basis can help minimize the chances of the account being compromised.

Here are some other best practices teens can use for optimal password security:

  • Avoid anything on a list of most common user passwords - sequences of numbers like 123456, names of family members or pets, or the word "password" itself should all be avoided.

  • Don't make a password too short. Generally eight characters is considered the minimum for security.

Read More

Topics: social media, Parental Intelligence, oversharing, For Parents, twitter, monitoring, password protection, dangers & safety, Privacy & Reputation, For Tweens & Teens, child app

Location Sharing in Facebook's Messenger App: The Basics

Posted by Steven Woda

November 19, 2014 at 12:09 PM

The launch of Facebook's Messenger App came with a whole lot of concern. Everyone seemed immediately worried about its safety as it has the ability to send your location along with every new message.

Questions and concerns about Facebook's location sharing feature and the safety of the feature have made waves across the media. The social media powerhouse even required that its mobile users either install the Messenger App, or give up using the Facebook private messaging feature altogether. The result: (even with clear evidence that it did indeed include your location in messenger by default) over 500 MILLION people downloaded it. Million.  

Read More

Topics: social media, apps, privacy, Facebook, location monitoring, monitoring, GPS Monitoring, Mobile Phones/Apps, Child ID, Driving/Speed Monitoring, child app

Dangers of the New Location-Sharing Facebook Feature: Nearby Friends

Posted by Tim Woda

May 20, 2014 at 1:01 PM

Facebook has recently launched a new location sharing feature called Nearby Friends. Naturally, the introduction of the new feature (and the general popularity of location-sharing within social media) is a bit disconcerting for parents of tweens and teens. Sharing locations can increase the dangers of cyberbullying and stalking by strangers and "friends" alike. 

What is Nearby Friends?

The basic idea of the Nearby Friends feature is to further connect people within the network.  Similar to other apps with location tracking systems like FourSquare, Connect, and SocialRadar, Nearby Friends pulls information about the locations of other Facebook friends who have enabled the feature and displays where users are on a map. If there are a certain number of friends located in a user's surrounding area, they will receive a notification about which friends are in the area and are encouraged to view their locations. 

Read More

Topics: social media, Facebook, location monitoring, monitoring, geotagging, dangers & safety, Mobile Phones/Apps, Child ID, child app

5 Ways to Monitor Your Child Online Without Invading Their Privacy

Posted by Tim Woda

January 24, 2014 at 1:14 PM

Monitoring your kid's private life doesn't come easy. You need to watch out for your child without invading their privacy -- possibly limit their experience while still allowing them freedom to explore life. It's a tricky balance, and it's not the same for everybody. But, there's plenty you can do to try to make sure your child stays safe on the Internet without losing his trust. The following list shows different ways you can keep your child and the computer in a safe zone without altering the experience.

Did you know that just about every social media website out there has an age limit? For example, Facebook doesn't let people under 13 join their network. Unfortunately, they can't truly enforce this, as all they do to verify your age is ask you how old you are. Make sure that whatever social media account your child uses, they have passed the appropriate age limit designated by the site; they designate these ages for good reason.

Read More

Topics: social media, Parental Intelligence, Facebook, parental monitoring, monitoring, positive parenting practices, Spying vs Engaging

Guest Post: What to do When Your Kids are (Web) Smarter Than You

Posted by Tim Woda

January 21, 2014 at 10:45 AM

My niece has a smartphone.

Up until a year ago, I had a flip phone. And the screen didn’t even work. Once I finally upgraded, my niece had to sit me down and explain all the features of my new phone. Sound familiar to you?

If you’re a parent who still fires up the PC, or thinks they’re tech-savvy because you use a laptop, or even if you navigate well through your apps and smartphone features, beware: Your kids learn faster than you do, especially when it comes to managing their digital footprint on the Internet.

Read More

Topics: iPhone, digital parenting, Parental Intelligence, Android, monitoring, kids & technology, Digital Parenting Tips, Mobile Phones/Apps, cellphones rules & safety

Digital Parenting: Is My Child Ready For Twitter?

Posted by Tim Woda

January 8, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Twitter is a fast paced, information loaded social networking site that many find to be too much to handle. At the same time, there are others who have adopted the social network as part of their overall usage of the Internet and now say that they are hooked on it. So, you have to ask yourself as part of digital parenting, "Is my child ready for Twitter?". 

Maturity

The maturity level of your child in particular is a large part of the answer about if they are ready for Twitter. Luckily, with Twitter there are not some of the pitfalls that other sites might have which are inappropriate for children. Rather, with Twitter the concern is more about how much time they will spend on it and what kind of things they will say to the public. 

Watch What You Say!

Perhaps the most important part of the Twitter conversation that you have with your children is the part about making sure that they understand that what they say on Twitter is broadcast to the Twitter using world. This can be both very cool, and quite scary at the same time. There is a point at which some of the information that is going out may not be things that should be said at all. Thus, the child needs to have this part understood. 

Read More

Topics: Facebook, Internet Safety, For Parents, twitter, instagram, monitoring, dangers & safety

How to Set Certain Mobile Boundaries with Your Teens

Posted by Steven Woda

October 3, 2013 at 9:53 AM

The adoption of smartphone among teenagers has significantly increased over the past few years. According to the 2013 Pew Internet study, nearly 80% of American young adults now own a cellular device. One in every four is a heavy internet user who would rather go online on their mobile device than a traditional computer. For academic pursuits, having a portable internet device is indeed very beneficial, since it aids them in their doing homework and research.  But how can you ensure that they are not spending too much time with their gadgetries? What about their exposure to restricted online content? As parents, an effective solution to avoid your teens turning tech-obsessed is to set certain mobile boundaries.

Read More

Topics: sexting, cyberbullying, Parental Intelligence, Internet Safety, monitoring, Digital Parenting Tips

Instagram or Snapseed-What's Your Child's Favorite Photo Sharing App?

Posted by Tim Woda

September 10, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Kids are always collecting text messages, images, contacts, downloaded applications, check-ins and location histories. An Android device allows a parent to understand what the child is doing with their smart phone in just minutes. With an iPhone, parents review contacts and mobile images while also utilizing suites of family locator tools. But what about checking on the photo downloads and the issues that arise when kids visit photo sharing sites.

Parents Automatically Work to Protect Their Children

Almost like a knee-jerk reaction - parents have a heightened sense of protection of their kids. Its is natural for the emergent technologies to raise concerns, if not eyebrows.

The explosion of social media has led to the prevalent misuse of innocent social tools by predators. Today it seems almost inevitable that however small the chance might be -  your children or teenagers may have photos that will fall into the wrong hands.

Read More

Topics: digital parenting, social media, Parental Intelligence, instagram, monitoring, other social media sites, Digital Parenting Tips, other social networks

Top 5 Back-To-School Tech Essentials

Posted by Tim Woda

August 22, 2013 at 5:24 PM

Students will head back to school over the next month, which means parents are finishing up all the last minute back-to-school shopping. You've already loaded up on #2 pencils, highlighters in every color of the rainbow, and those classic pink erasers. Now it's time to start thinking about electronics. Students today go to school with much more than a new backpack and smartphone. This year, load them up with a powerful set of digital tools to enhance their educational experience and some digital parenting tools for yourself as well. 

Headphones

Last year, headphones went seriously high-tech with the introduction of the Beats by Dre headphones. These stylish, state of the art headphones were on the wish list of every teenager last Christmas. The headphones continue to prove popular but some other headphone options might work well for students as well. 

Many classrooms use online teaching tools now that require students to wear headsets with USB plugins and microphones for recording. These common headsets get worn by everyone in the school. To protect your students from germs or lice, provide them with their own headset with USB plugin and microphone.

Read More

Topics: iPhone, digital parenting, Parental Intelligence, Android, Facebook, parental monitoring, monitoring, school, monitoring apps, Mobile Phones/Apps, Spying vs Engaging

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

Posted by Tim Woda

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.

Read More

Topics: iPhone, social media, Parental Intelligence, Android, Facebook, parental monitoring, monitoring, monitoring apps, Spying vs Engaging

Is it Safe For My Teen? Monitoring Twitter Will Make it Safer

Posted by Steven Woda

June 24, 2013 at 5:24 PM

Twitter, which was founded in 2006, began as a text messaging service for people to connect within a small group.  A tweet, a message consisting of up to 140 characters, is what Twitter is made up of. Photos and videos can be included within your message.

The use of hashtags on Twitter is a way people link to a certain topic. Twitter publishes trending topics on the site throughout the day. 

The information you put out there is done so in real-time. The information is shared instantly.

Read More

Topics: digital parenting, social media, Parental Intelligence, parental monitoring, twitter, monitoring, dangers & safety

Crack Down On Summer Vacation Cyberbullying

Posted by Tim Woda

June 12, 2013 at 5:14 PM

With summer vacation just around the corner, kids have much more free time on their hands for social networking than they did during the school year. With that absence of face-to-face contact and communication that kids are normally exposed to during school hours, cyberbullies are provided a “protective shield” from real-life consequences. Hiding behind the safety of a keyboard, bullies feel invulnerable to any possible negative repercussions of their behavior, making them far more vicious in their attacks. Consider the following few tips on keeping your kids safe from cyberbullying this summer vacation, when decidedly taking preventative measures, or if your child falls prey to one's attacks. Be sure to instruct your children on the proper procedures to execute if they encounter online harassment.

Don't Fight Fire With Fire

Read More

Topics: cyberbullying, social media, Facebook, Internet Safety, twitter, instagram, monitoring, prevention, summer cyberbullying

Social Media Monitoring: You Can't Turn a Blind Eye to Facebook

Posted by Steven Woda

May 21, 2013 at 4:01 PM

With the advent of social media and the fact that kids are spending more time on the internet now more than ever, parents need to be extra sure to pay special attention to what their kids are getting into online. In the past, one of the biggest concerns you might have had as a parent dealt with the kind of kids that your child spends a lot of time with. Now, social media sites such as Facebook give kids an outlet that can reach quite literally the majority of the people that your child may know. This can be just fine if your children are trustworthy and responsible with what they share, but some children cross the line, whether it has something to do with sexting, online bullying, or making inappropriate comments.

Read More

Topics: bullying, sexting, social media, Parental Intelligence, Facebook, parental monitoring, Internet Safety, monitoring, prevention, Spying vs Engaging

Why You Should Be Monitoring Your Child on Instagram Right Now

Posted by Tim Woda

April 25, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Instagram is one of the newest forms of social media that is being utilized by millions all over the world. Using pictures to communicate thoughts, feelings and ideas, this appeals to the younger masses especially and many tweens and teens are flocking to this form of communication to express themselves. Uploading their pictures directly from the applications on their phones or tablets using frames and decorations makes it easy and fun to use to connect with friends and followers.

But Instagram isn't rated PG and there is no actual filter or censorship of what can be shared. There is a ton of content on there that many parents would deem pornographic or simply inappropriate, which is why Instagram monitoring is key. If you're concerned with what your kids are watching, what they're exposed to on the internet and the company that they keep, you should be just as concerned with what they are involved in on their social media applications, including Instagram.

Read More

Topics: social media, Parental Intelligence, parental monitoring, For Parents, instagram, monitoring, Photo & Image Sharing, Privacy & Reputation, Spying vs Engaging

Social and Cell Phone Monitoring Can Make Your Family's Life Better

Posted by Tim Woda

March 20, 2013 at 12:10 PM

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.

Read More

Topics: digital parenting, social media, Parental Intelligence, Facebook, parental monitoring, monitoring, Digital Parenting Tips, Mobile Phones/Apps, Spying vs Engaging

Is My Child Ready For Facebook? How You'll Know It's The Right Time

Posted by Tim Woda

January 2, 2013 at 8:23 AM

Read More

Topics: social media, Parental Intelligence, Facebook, monitoring, Digital Parenting Tips, dangers & safety

How To Keep Kids Safe With Social Media: From A Detective's Viewpoint

Posted by Tim Woda

December 31, 2012 at 10:25 AM

Social media can be a scary thing for parents.  More and more people are joining Facebook and Twitter every day; and many of those people who join these social networks are children and teenagers.  Social media has taken the place of the "playground", in that predators no longer need to physically hang out with children to obtain access to them.  

In Missouri, one school is taking the steps to inform parents about how to keep their kids safe with social media.  Detective Ed Bailey of the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force recently attended parent/teacher conferences at Carl Junction High School to talk to parents about the importance of online safety for their children.  Detective Bailey stated that the key is to get kids to understand how much of their personal information needs to be safeguarded at all costs.  And since many kids generally operate in an "it will never happen to me" frame of mind, getting the message across is difficult.

Read More

Topics: social media, Parental Intelligence, For Parents, monitoring, kids & technology, Digital Parenting Tips, dangers & safety, child predator methods

Social Network Monitoring: The Rise Of Instagram and Snapchat

Posted by Tim Woda

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.

Read More

Topics: iPhone, Snapchat, social media, Parental Intelligence, Android, parental monitoring, instagram, monitoring, monitoring apps, Mobile Phones/Apps, Spying vs Engaging, other social networks, child app