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iPhone Monitoring Your Teens: the Very Basics

By Steven Woda on April 30, 2015 at 7:33 PM

The threats of identity theft, iCloud hacking, stalking and harassment are very real in the digital age. Thus, safeguarding your children from the perils posed by new technology has become part and parcel of modern day parenting.

The troubling aspect of this necessity is that the technologies are constantly evolving, making it imperative to stay up-to-date and knowledgeable on digital defense. Luckily, Apple is consistently making iPhone monitoring for parents much more accessible and easier to accomplish.

Enabling Restrictions

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Internet Security For Parents With Young Children

By Steven Woda on January 2, 2015 at 9:59 AM

Young children can get into just as much trouble online as their parents. In fact, young children may be more in danger because they do not necessarily know the boundaries of what they should and should not do. Therefore, Internet security should be a primary concern for any parent with a young child. 

Keeping Children Away From Sensitive Information 

Vodaphone.com recommends the following for children under the age of 5: 

KEEP devices like your mobile out of reach and make sure you have passwords/PINs set up on them for the times you might lend them to your child... or for when they simply get hold of them themselves!

It is too easy for a child to start crawling through your personal information and data if they are able to access your phone without having to enter a pin. It is simply the safest to keep those devices locked up and out of reach. 

Curbing Child Identity Theft

Quick facts about the prevalence of identity theft:

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7 Simple Steps Parents Can Take To Enforce Mobile and Internet Safety

By Steven Woda on November 5, 2014 at 5:51 PM

Times are quickly changing. Kids are facing a world with more access to global information and communication thanks to a number of technological advances and the development of various social networking sites and app connections. Cyberspace has afforded today's youth with the availability of digital communication and sharing, among other activities.

There are obviously many pros and cons concerning these advances, but the facts speak for themselves; youth use computers and mobile phones more today than they have ever done and at increasingly younger age ranges. Discussions on mobile and Internet safety are important in ensuring a safe and positive experience for your child and others.  

Check out these 7 simple things you can do as a parent to teach and enforce Internet and mobile safety:

  1. Set tech time limits. By setting limits to the amount of time your child spends on the phone or computer, you are also setting boundaries. Multiple studies show that too much time spent with technology can lead to poor social, physical, and mental health. Limiting cyber time keeps a child from becoming too involved online and can also enable them to develop a more balanced relationship with technology in the future. You may consider implementing tech-free zones in your house, which establish clear times and places where tech is permitted to be used.

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How to Use Location Monitoring Without Being Creepy

By Steven Woda on August 13, 2014 at 11:18 AM

As parents, it's only natural for you to worry about where your children are, who they are with, and what they are doing. However, it is just as important to respect their limitations and privacy. So how do you do both?

Nowadays, there are so many ways to use location monitoring that it could be overwhelming. It could be used to share your location on social media, find directions, book travel, and more. It's no wonder than many find location monitoring creepy! On the upside, since most people use location services nowadays, monitoring children can be easier and less-intrusive than it was before. 

Recently, we wrote about why location monitoring your teens and tweens is not creepy. Put the idea into practice with these steps:

1. Have a discussion with your child.

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7 Media-Savvy Skills All Parents Need in 2014

By Tim Woda on February 28, 2014 at 4:30 PM

In an article originally published on Common Sense Media, Caroline Knorr reports seven skills that parents need to learn this year in order to stay ahead of the technology curve.

Instagram. Snapchat. Facebook. Everyday there's some new thing we parents need to figure out. Getting up to speed -- plus giving our kids guidance and limits -- is a daily challenge.

You don't have to become an expert to help your kids make good decisions. Just get involved in their media lives. By engaging with them, you can help them use these tools responsibly, respectfully, and safely. Here are some ways to be a media-savvy parent this year:

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Digital Parenting and More Positive Views of Digital Tech Dangers

By Steven Woda on June 22, 2013 at 7:06 AM

Digital parenting seems to be changing into more of a shared family experience, according to a new study cited by CNN from Northwestern University. And in that same study, it's found that parents aren't that concerned about the dangers of the digital world with their kids. Whether that's a sign of parents becoming too busy to deal with reality or not, it's an interesting examination of where America is headed in families dealing with an increasingly digital world.

Digital Media isn't Always a Babysitter

The most positive news in the above study is that many parents use regular toys, books or other play activities to keep their kids occupied above using a smartphone, tablet or other digital media device. It's an encouraging sign that the digital world won't replace traditional items in developing the minds of the new generation. At the same time, when that digital media is used, it's becoming a collective family activity--that is, when the parents are actually around.

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Is Your Child Online Constantly? Time to Think About Parental Controls

By Steven Woda on June 14, 2013 at 3:20 PM

Our next guest blog post for Internet safety month comes from Ann Biddlecom, Senior Product Manager at Kaspersky Lab, one of the world's leading Internet security companies. Read on for her take on keeping your children safe on the computer.

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Digital Parenting: How To Do It Like a Pro

By Tim Woda on May 23, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Dads and moms can’t be everywhere at once. While we would all like to be able to meet all of our work, family, and social obligations while still being able to keep both eyes squarely on our kids at all times, life just doesn’t work that way. Still we need to be conscientious parents and we’d like to know what’s going on with our kids for those hours a day that their heads are burrowed into their phones, tablets, laptops, and computers. Digital parenting is one of the newest trends sweeping the nation and this is something which has been borne out of both curiosity and necessity. 

What it is: Digital parenting gives parents the tools they need to monitor their kid’s virtual activities. It’s no secret that there are bad people out in the world. The virtual and literal anonymity of many corners of the online world have made it vital that your kids be kept an eye on.

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Digital Parenting on Wireless Devices for Safe Children

By Tim Woda on May 10, 2013 at 2:07 PM

Digital Parenting is controlling the parameters of digital life with children.  It is important for parents to learn how to play and teach their children to play it safely.  It is obvious our world and lives are going to continue to revolve around digital sources.  Wireless is infiltrating most every sector of the lives we lead.  Parents need to become familiar with how to protect their children.

Here are five important tips to keep children safe in the digital age:

Family Intelligence and Education

  • Develop safe practices and rules for the family on mobile device usage.  Everyone in the family should subscribe and adopt the rules.  These can be as easy as: "Never use my phone to harm others", and "Remind all drivers to never text and drive".

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You Need To Add Location Monitoring To Your Child's Phone Right Now

By Tim Woda on March 5, 2013 at 5:29 PM

The Numbers

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, over 800,000 people under the age of 18 go missing on an annual basis. Some of these are simple incidents of the child getting lost and reappearing later, surprised that everyone was so concerned. However, approximately 258,000 of these cares are outright abductions in some shape or form.

Put into perspective, ChildStats.gov notes that for the year the study used by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children was conducted, there were roughly 71.9 million children in the United States. By these numbers, over a full percent of them would go missing each year. Looking at it another way, the average elementary school (476 students) would probably see one and a half of those students actually abducted sometime during the year, and several more simply not show up for reasons other than skipping.

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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.

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Your Phone is Up to Date, Is Your Mobile Monitoring?

By Tim Woda on November 7, 2012 at 11:00 AM

Doesn't it seem that new smartphones appear all the time? If the media isn't touting the latest and greatest new phone, your teenager certainly is! While teenagers around the country started to drool over the new features, parents face the same dilemma they have faced since the origianal smart hones started appearing on kids' birthday and holiday gift lists. How do I keep my child safe?

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70% of Teens Hide Their Online Activity

By Steven Woda on September 24, 2012 at 9:53 AM

Parental monitoring is difficult to begin with. It's no longer just about the family computer, but about knowing what your teen is up to on the laptop, iPod, Xbox live, and smart phone. And to make it even more difficult, your teen is probably actively trying to hide their Internet activity from you.

7 out of 10 teens report hiding their online activity from their parents, whether by minimizing browser windows when you enter the room or using a device they know you don't or can't monitor as closely.

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"Bullycide" Making The Cyberbullying-Suicide Connection

By Tim Woda on August 27, 2012 at 10:35 AM

The media loves the phrase 'bullycide,' and the kids like Phoebe Prince who take their lives in the wake of cyberbullying are never far from the thoughts of parents. But are we doing our kids a disservice by stressing the link between cyberbullying and suicide. 

When I picked up my friend's 10-year-old daughter Gabby for art class last spring, I asked her how her day had gone. “Good,” she said. “A guy came to our school and told us about his son, who killed himself because he was bullied.”

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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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Too Much Texting or Sexting? Is it Affecting Your Teenager?

By Steven Woda on February 8, 2012 at 11:13 AM

Do you ever wonder about the impact that excessive technology might have on us as a society? Probably no one is more concerned than parents of teenagers, because teens are much more likely to text, be sexting, play games online, and use social networking all the time.

Though scientists are still forming conclusions about the effects of a digital lifestyle, one new study suggests that frequent texting may lead to shallow patterns of thought and behavior in young people.

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Child Getting a New Phone? Better Have a Parental Monitoring Tool

By Tim Woda on January 1, 2012 at 3:55 PM

What are the conditions of giving your child a cell phone? Whatever is acceptable for your child, it's important to clearly communicate those rules in a parent/child cell phone contract.

As adults, we have to sign a “terms of use” agreement for pretty much everything we do. It lets us know what's expected of us and what happens if we break our word. Kids who receive a cell phone from their parents need exactly the same thing.

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Cell Phone Use Among 6-12 Year Olds

By Steven Woda on January 8, 2011 at 3:09 PM

kids on phonesThings were sure different when we were kids. If we needed to call mom and dad away from home, we had to find a pay phone. But cell phones are becoming more and more common with our kids, even among those as young as 6 years old.

Kids and Mobile Phones

In 2008, 51% of 12-year-olds owned cell phones, up from 18% in 2004. Among tween mobile phone owners, the average age of receiving the first phone is 10 or 11.

Parents are ostensibly providing their kids with cell phones so that they can keep tabs on them, stay connected, and make sure their kids always have access to help when they need it. But what is a 7-year-old doing with his phone, anyway?

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Girls More Avid Texters Than Boys

By Tim Woda on December 9, 2010 at 3:12 PM

girl textingWe know that tweens and teens are really, really good at texting. Texting while walking, texting discreetly in class, carrying on multiple text conversations at once. But is there a difference among kids in who texts the most?

Turns out that it’s no coincidence that both the winners and half-dozen finalists in the 2009 and 2010 LG Texting Championships have been female. Girls do the bulk of the texting the majority of the time, specifically teenage girls.

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