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Why It's Important to Monitor Which Apps Your Children Use

By Tim Woda on February 18, 2015 at 6:54 PM

Monitoring your child's activity on the Internet can be complicated and even frustrating. Your child may demand a certain level of privacy and not be completely upfront with his or her actions. In addition, if you think monitoring your child's Facebook and Twitter accounts is satisfactory, you're sadly mistaken.

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3 Must-Have Internet Security Apps For Teens

By Tim Woda on 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

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Sex Offender Monitoring Apps Every Parent Should Have

By Steven Woda on June 19, 2014 at 4:55 PM

We already know that there are a plethora of online resources available to inform parents about the residence of sex offenders. With the integration of these registeries and apps, parents can stay up-to-date on the sex offender registeries.

Here are some easy-to-use and effective sex offender monitoring apps:

Sex Offender Search AppThis App is great for families looking for a new home. You can use the App to put in the address of a house you're interested in and a map will pop up, showing you if there are any sex offenders in the area. The same goes for your child's school; virtually anywhere in the US

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Calculator or Hidden App? Teens Are Disguising Content With Apps

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

In this day and age teenagers are more tech savvy than most adults. They chat on their smartphones with their peers, download all the popular apps and are greatly familiar with their device settings. Another recent thing that a lot of teens do on their smartphones is hide pictures, messages and apps. Find out how teens are doing this and discover what you should be looking for on teens' phones.

Hiding Apps

The most popular way to hide apps or any other content on your phone is by using an app that does that. Both Apple Store and Google Play have a lot of hiding apps for download and the majority of them are free. 

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Understanding the Location-Tracking FourSquare App

By Tim Woda on April 30, 2014 at 2:48 PM

What is FourSquare? 

FourSquare is a free location-based social networking app for smartphones where people can see what is going on around them and find their friends' locations.

How can the app be used?

Users can “check in” to FourSquare when they go somewhere, and the GPS coordinates are recorded. It is like a game of sorts, with the ability to earn points and badges for checking in. If enough points are earned, a user is crowned the “mayor” of an area – until someone else earns more. Some businesses also offer discounts to FourSquare users for checking in at their location.

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Digital Parenting: Making the iPhone a wePhone

By Tim Woda on February 6, 2014 at 1:00 PM

Giving your child their first phone brings with it much of the same responsibility that comes with getting their own set of keys to a car. You would not send your kids out on the road without first ensuring they knew how to operate a car safely nor should you hand over a smart phone without some rules of the road.

We recently discussed the safety and security aspects of Android phones – this post is more specifically focused on iPhones. Set some rules for your kids that range from times of day that are off limits for phone usage, asking permission for app downloads, creating “screen free” hours for the whole family, no phone usage while driving, no phones at the table, etc… Phone privileges should be consistently tied to these rules, if a rule is broken the phone is taken away for a predetermined amount of time. Do remember to model the behavior yourself to show the importance of following the rules. 

For device set up, please consider the following factors:

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Technology Can Be Your Eyes and Ears While the Kids Are Home Alone

By Tim Woda on September 8, 2013 at 10:48 AM

If big brother isn't around, Big Brother can keep an eye on your kids while you're away. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry estimates that thousands of children arrive home from school to an empty house every day. Furthermore, thousands of parents make the decision every week to leave children home alone. Once kids start reaching the tween ages, many parents allow them to stay home alone for a few hours at a time. This can be a bit unsettling—how can parents gain peace of mind while giving kids the independence they crave?

Home Security Systems

Today's home security systems go far beyond entering a code to get in the door. According to www.SecurityCompanies.com, smarthome technology allows homeowners to do everything from controlling the thermostat to accessing live video surveillance via their mobile devices. So if you'd rather not give out the code to younger family members, simply arm and disarm your home security system from your smartphone when you get the call they're at the front door.

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Top 5 Back-To-School Tech Essentials

By Tim Woda on 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.

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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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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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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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How to Monitor Your Child's Text Messages

By Tim Woda on November 15, 2012 at 4:54 PM

Since cell phones are pretty much in 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 but 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.

Talk With Your Child

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Sexting: Will You Know When Your Child Crosses The Line?

By Tim Woda on October 30, 2012 at 1:03 PM

We live in an age that is entirely different from the era most of us grew up in.  If your child is old enough for a cell phone, chances are you remember things like playing your Atari before dinner and going outside to play only to be called in hours later once the sun was going down.  As technology is advancing, so are the ways for your child to get into trouble.  And while everyone else might be doing it, sexting is something you definitely don't want your child participating in.  

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Can I Use uKnowKids to Monitor the iPhone?

By Tim Woda on September 10, 2012 at 10:08 PM

Many potential and current customers ask us what features we monitor for the iPhone. At this time, the iPhone has a technical limitation which makes it impossible for a third-party application to monitor native telecom functionality such as text messaging. As soon as Apple addresses this limitation within their operating system, we will immediately move to monitor iPhone text messaging. 

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10 Parental Monitoring Tips for Cell Phones

By Tim Woda on April 6, 2012 at 4:20 PM

Following Mondays article on parental monitoring and why you should be doing it, I thought we'd follow up with some tips for monitoring his or her phone. I am noticing more and more teens scrolling through Facebook pictures and checking their emails using their mobile phone all the time. And it's not just me.

Facebook's recent acquisition of Instagram, a photo sharing app for mobile devices, shows that users are increasingly going online using a phone.

Even so, statistics show that far fewer parents monitor their child's cell phone as rigorously as they do other Internet-enabled devices, like a laptop or desktop PC. If this is you, don't feel bad – start keeping your kids safer today with these 10 parental monitoring tips for cell phones.

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