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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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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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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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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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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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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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How to Keep Your Kids Safe Online

By Tim Woda on June 29, 2013 at 12:55 PM

The internet is a truly wonderful thing. Never in history has so much information been so readily available. All it takes is a query and a few pecks on a keyboard for a person to immerse themselves in books, videos, periodicals, tutorials and countless other forms of media. However, as information amasses in databases all across the web, so does material that is unsuitable for younger audiences.

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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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17 Cyber Safety Experts Share Tips for Keeping Children Safe Online

By Steven Woda on May 2, 2013 at 5:12 PM

This is a post from our friend's over at SafeSoundFamily. They interviewed 17 Internet and mobile safety experts about how to keep children safe online, and Tim was one of them! Read the full post for some great information from the leading experts in digital safety.

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Teacher Gives "Cyber Ninjas" Social Network Training Wheels

By Tim Woda on April 17, 2013 at 2:31 PM

Beth Gentrup at Norfolk Junior High in Nebraska is providing seventh-graders Social Network training wheels in the form of an elective course called "Becoming a Cyber Ninja." The course teaches about a wide variety of topics meant to protect online users and promote proper online behavior.  This means addressing topics like cyberbullying, stalking, identity theft, and uses of personal information.

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Online Parenting TMI: Sharing Information Puts Your Family at Risk

By Steven Woda on March 13, 2013 at 11:04 AM

Social media overshares generally land somewhere on the "enjoyable spectrum" between a hoard of blood-thirsty mosquitoes and a Gilbert Godfrey recording on repeat. In addition to often being crass and irritating, social media overshares can lead to serious crimes and bullying. It’s time to wise up and teach your family proper social media etiquette, it could save more than just a reputation.

Don’t Leave Trails

While it may be tempting to countdown to your school vacation or brag about your weekend trip to the slopes, disclosing any dates or times you may be out of town is basically like slapping a “SITTING DUCK” sign outside your home. Even posting the cliché complaint about long school hours or grueling work schedules can be a tip-off to anyone looking for a mark to loot. Even if you trust everyone on your friend’s list, can you guarantee all of their friends are hundred percent trustworthy? Or, every single person on your list is at a zero percent risk of leaving their account open somewhere?

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Making Digital Parenting Fun: Websites that Teach Online Safety

By Tim Woda on February 16, 2013 at 1:54 PM

Keeping your kids safe on the internet can feel overwhelming and exhausting.  Between time spent researching safety tips, monitoring your kids' digital whereabouts, and arguing with them about online restrictions, a significant amount of your family time can be spent dealing with digital parenting issues. Several online websites can put a little fun back in to the process by teaching your kids digital safety while they play games and learn valuable lessons about staying safe online.  As a bonus for parents, it allows you to say to yes to an online experience, instead of always saying no; take those brownie points where you can get them!

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Understanding ESRB Ratings

By Steven Woda on April 24, 2012 at 3:28 PM

online gamesThe ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) is a non-profit organization that assigns computer and video game content ratings, enforces industry-adopted advertising guidelines and helps ensure responsible online privacy practices for the interactive entertainment software industry.  The ESRB was started so consumers, especially parents, could make informed purchasing decisions.

The ESRB Rating is made up of two equally important parts:  Rating Symbol and Content Descriptors.  This two-part approach provides parents with a more granular understanding of the games they might buy and the ones their kids are playing – online and off.

Ratings Symbols

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5 Easy Tips for Internet Safety Basics

By Tim Woda on February 22, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Internet safety is a big deal if you have kids in your house, and even if you dont it should be taken seriously. Kids safety online is reliant on the measures you take to protect them before they ever log on. Here are 5 easy tips to keeping yourself and you kids safe online:

  1. Install firewall, anti-spyware, and antivirus software, and update them often.

  2. Don’t open e-mails from someone you don’t know, download software from source you don’t trust, or enter “free” contests from companies you don’t recognize.

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Replacing Facts with Skills in the Classroom: Internet Safety

By Tim Woda on January 26, 2012 at 2:13 PM

A student asked me recently: “Why do I need to know when Frankenstein was published? I have a smart phone—I can always find the answer if I need it.” 

He was right. And while I can expound easily and at length about how important it is to understand the time period in which an author was writing in order to fully analyze the novel, for most students in American high schools today, my lecture would fall under the “not relevant—tune out” category, and instead of listening to me, they’d spend the next twenty minutes ignoring my painstakingly planned lesson in favor of tweeting and texting their friends from under their desks.

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Positive Ways Teens Can Use Social Networking and Facebook for Kids

By Tim Woda on June 14, 2011 at 2:21 PM

social networkingMaybe it's just the parent in me, but when I hear the words “social networking” and “kids” in the same sentence I get a little tense worrying about my kids safety. There are so many things we need to worry about when our kids start using Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter: cyberbullies, online predators, sexting, loss of privacy – the list goes on. But don't forget that social networks can be a great way for our tweens and teens to get involved in good causes, spend their time productively, and do their own small part to make the world a better place.

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