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Why It's Not Creepy To Monitor Your Teens' Locations

Topics: Parental Intelligence, parental monitoring, location monitoring, GPS Monitoring, Mobile Phones/Apps, Spying vs Engaging, teen privacy, trust both ways, monitor your teens locations

What is Geotagging and Is It Safe for My Teens To Be Doing It?

Topics: social media, privacy, oversharing, location monitoring, twitter, instagram, geotagging, Mobile Phones/Apps

Is My Child Suffering From Gaming Addiction?

Topics: digital parenting, Parental Intelligence, gaming addiction, addictions, Social Trends, Online & Console Gaming

6 Positive Social Media Activities for Tweens & Teens

Topics: digital parenting, social media, Parental Intelligence, Facebook, positive Facebook activities, Teens, tweens, For Tweens & Teens, positive social media activities

Is My Teen Falling Into the "Hooking Up" Trend?

Topics: digital parenting, Parental Intelligence, Teens, sexting study, behavior, peer pressure, Social Trends

Android Apps That Your Teens and Tweens are Probably Using

Topics: social media, Android, apps, Facebook, instagram, social apps, Mobile Phones/Apps, Kids Apps, Kik

4 Eye-Opening Tips to Improve Your Relationship With Your Teen

Topics: digital parenting, Parental Intelligence, Teens, Spying vs Engaging, trust both ways

Too Much Tech: Preventing Digital Addiction in your Tween-to-Teen

Topics: digital parenting, Parental Intelligence, technology addiction, addictions, Spying vs Engaging, health & wellbeing, discipline, screen addiction

Summer Camp Tech Policies: Should Kids Bring Devices?

Topics: digital parenting, Parental Intelligence, kids & technology, Spying vs Engaging, parenting styles, summer camp tech policies, summer camp

Teens Overshare & Chat With Strangers Online More Than You Think

Topics: Parental Intelligence, Internet Safety, oversharing, McAfee, online predators, child predator methods, Social Trends, Privacy & Reputation, social media news, McAfee Teens and Screens Study

Sex Offender Monitoring Apps Every Parent Should Have

Topics: iPhone, Android, Internet Safety, online predators, location monitoring, monitoring apps, Mobile Phones/Apps, Sex Offender Registeries, sex offender monitoring apps

6 Requirements for Managing Peer Pressure Among Kids/Teens

Topics: digital parenting, Parental Intelligence, communication, peer pressure, Digital Parenting Tips, Social Trends, Managing peer pressure

Social Media As An Outlet For Teen And Tween Growth

Topics: digital parenting, social media, Parental Intelligence, behavior, positive parenting practices, Spying vs Engaging

Live Offline: Tips to Live Away From the Internet

Topics: digital parenting, Parental Intelligence, location monitoring, kids & technology, Mobile Phones/Apps, health & wellbeing, Tech-Free Zones, live offline, unplugging

Top Pros and Cons of Using the Photo Sharing App Instagram

Topics: social media, Parental Intelligence, oversharing, For Parents, instagram, dangers & safety, Privacy & Reputation

Subtweeting: Inside the Harmful New Social Media Trend

Topics: cyberbullying, Parental Intelligence, Internet Safety, social media cyberbullying, digital trends, Social Trends, netiquette, social media news, what is subtweeting, subtweeting

Tyler Cohen Wood's Catching the Catfishers

Topics: Parental Intelligence, online privacy, Internet Safety, online predators, catfishing, internet safety resources, Privacy & Reputation, warning signs

Catfishing: Happening To Teens and Among Teens

Topics: digital parenting, Parental Intelligence, Internet Safety, online predators, catfishing, kids & technology, child predator methods

Understanding Cyberbullying: Why It Happens and How To Prevent It

Topics: cyberbullying, Parental Intelligence, parental monitoring, Internet Safety, victims of cyberbullying, prevention, Spying vs Engaging

Calculator or Hidden App? Teens Are Disguising Content With Apps

Topics: iPhone, Parental Intelligence, Android, dangerous apps, monitoring apps, spy gadgets, Mobile Phones/Apps, Spying vs Engaging, steps kids take to stop spying, Hiding Apps

LATEST POSTS    

Why It's Not Creepy To Monitor Your Teens' Locations

Posted by Steven Woda

July 18, 2014 at 3:26 PM

Location monitoring is a recent innovation, based on modern GPS technology. Parents can now use it to determine where their children are, particularly when they are in their teens. As a parent, you may be hesitant about using this impressive bit of technology on kids and teens. Perhaps you may think of it as an intrusion, or you may be afraid that they will be angry with you.

The fact is, however, that teenagers are still minors and that it is your perrogative to use whatever means you have at your disposal to monitor them. Teens are learning and growing during a time when they're given increasing amounts of responsibilities and it is natural for there to be some issues along the way.

Read More

Topics: Parental Intelligence, parental monitoring, location monitoring, GPS Monitoring, Mobile Phones/Apps, Spying vs Engaging, teen privacy, trust both ways, monitor your teens locations

What is Geotagging and Is It Safe for My Teens To Be Doing It?

Posted by Steven Woda

July 11, 2014 at 11:13 AM

You would never post your home address online or tell the world that your kids were home alone at that address, would you? Yet many of us are innocently and unknowingly doing just that, by geotagging.

Geotagging is a relatively new phenomenon in that age of smartphones and many teens and parents are unaware of exactly what it is and why it's dangerous. True privacy and safety are becoming ever more elusive and complex in the information age. Here's what you need to know about geotagging to protect your teen's privacy and safety online. 

What is Geotagging?

Geotagging is a way of embedding location information into photos or posts made through social media sites, providing the exact coordinates of where a photo was snapped or a post was made (within 10 to 15 feet depending on the accuracy of your GPS chip). Ultimately, geotagging is not a safe practice for anyone for a myriad of reasons.

Read More

Topics: social media, privacy, oversharing, location monitoring, twitter, instagram, geotagging, Mobile Phones/Apps

Is My Child Suffering From Gaming Addiction?

Posted by Steven Woda

July 10, 2014 at 3:57 PM

The number of children addicted to video games is increasing at an alarming rate. More and more kids are choosing the television and PC screens over interpersonal interactions with friends and family. Games have become so advanced that they have the power to captivate players like never before. Let's take a look at some signs of video game addiction along with some parenting strategies that can wean kids off of video games.

Signs Of Addiction

Your child may be addicted to video games if he spends most of his free time in front of the screen and has developed an anti-social personality. If the first thing he does when he gets home from school is head over to his console for some Xbox Live or his PC for an online game like World Of Warcraft,

Read More

Topics: digital parenting, Parental Intelligence, gaming addiction, addictions, Social Trends, Online & Console Gaming

6 Positive Social Media Activities for Tweens & Teens

Posted by Steven Woda

July 9, 2014 at 2:34 PM

Teens and tweens are on social media in their millions. In fact, that’s no longer the question; the question is which social media platforms are they on and what exactly are they doing there. The first part of that question is also easy to answer. You probably know that Facebook is the social networker’s favorite platform and that other websites such as Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter will also weigh in heavily. Other social websites frequented by this group of users include Vine, WhatsApp, Wanelo, Snapchat, 4Chan, and Kik Messager.

So, what do they do on social media?

Well, the truth is that some aspects of these social websites can be destructive for our teens and tweens. Vine for example is rated 17+ for a reason.

Read More

Topics: digital parenting, social media, Parental Intelligence, Facebook, positive Facebook activities, Teens, tweens, For Tweens & Teens, positive social media activities

Is My Teen Falling Into the "Hooking Up" Trend?

Posted by Steven Woda

July 4, 2014 at 3:27 PM

Although underage sex is an uncomfortable topic to broach, the truth is that plenty of teenagers are “hooking up”. This term refers to having "no strings attached sexual activity" with a partner. Many sociologists argue that the hooking up trend is part of a larger societal movement toward obtaining immediate gratification.

While most parents will argue that it is unacceptable for teens to be having sex, some have accepted it as inevitable. Yet this doesn't mean that the teens should be engaging in sexual activities with people that they hardly know. Herein lies the underlying problem with hooking up.

Today's teens often speak of “friends with benefits”. This is a term that refers to two people engage in sexual intercourse or sexual activity without passing through typical courting rituals or even becoming boyfriend and girlfriend. Research conducted by Students Against Destructive Decisions shows that almost one in four sixth-graders and one in three seventh-graders have engaged in sexual behavior. More than three in four twelfth-graders report the same.  Simply put, teens are jumping to dessert without eating their appetizer and main course.

Read More

Topics: digital parenting, Parental Intelligence, Teens, sexting study, behavior, peer pressure, Social Trends

Android Apps That Your Teens and Tweens are Probably Using

Posted by Tim Woda

July 4, 2014 at 3:14 PM

In this day and age, just about everyone (adults, teens and tweens alike) has smartphones! With the prevalence of smartphone use comes prevalence of app use. Check out and get to know which Android apps your tweens and teens are most likely using.

Facebook and Facebook Messenger. Facebook continues to be one of the most popular social media platforms out there and many young teens are on it. Facebook is one of the fastest ways to stay updated with friends and family. It allows users to chat, upload photos and videos, share common interests, and so much more. The Facebook Messenger app allows users to get personal messages instantly, a lot like texting, but without the standard text fees. Facebook Messenger users can create group chats and send videos and photos. Also, a fun and popular part of this app are the stickers and Emoji (icons that express emotions).

Read More

Topics: social media, Android, apps, Facebook, instagram, social apps, Mobile Phones/Apps, Kids Apps, Kik

4 Eye-Opening Tips to Improve Your Relationship With Your Teen

Posted by Tim Woda

June 27, 2014 at 3:16 PM

Summer is upon us! Teens may view these lazy summer months as a time to do whatever they want and possibly push the limits of their independence. More free time along with having another school year under their belts may prompt them towards some acts of rebellion.

Whether you decide to give them a little more freedom or not, it's important for parents to make smart steps to maintain control. If you are looking for help on how to improve your relationship with your teen by understanding teens, look no further. We've compiled a four-step guide, which will leave you with a grasp on teen parenting like a pro!

Read More

Topics: digital parenting, Parental Intelligence, Teens, Spying vs Engaging, trust both ways

Too Much Tech: Preventing Digital Addiction in your Tween-to-Teen

Posted by Steven Woda

June 25, 2014 at 5:27 PM

As an adolescent counselor, most of my time is spent talking and connecting with text-happy, Instagram-snapping, YouTube-watching, Halo-shooting, iPhone-obsessed middle- and high-schoolers and their parents.

Recently, I received a call from a parent who said, “My 13-year-old is absolutely addicted to technology. If she’s not texting, then she’s emailing. If she’s not emailing, she’s on YouTube or Instagram. If she’s not doing that, then she is playing with a new app. I really don’t know what to do. Help!” 

I get it. I really do. I have three tween-to-teens of my own. So, when it came to writing an article on digital addiction and adolescents, I didn’t have to look much further than my own house. Seriously, it was in my own house. 

Read More

Topics: digital parenting, Parental Intelligence, technology addiction, addictions, Spying vs Engaging, health & wellbeing, discipline, screen addiction

Summer Camp Tech Policies: Should Kids Bring Devices?

Posted by Tim Woda

June 23, 2014 at 4:30 PM

Most people think of summer camps as a warm weather break from the activities that typically happen at home. This often means a few weeks or more without technological devices. Asking a youngster to scrap his cell phone and video games for an entire month is easier said than done!

Fun Without The Screen

If you were to ask a random assortment of parents and their kids about the meaning of summer camp, chances are that most answers would be similar. Respondents would say that summer camp presents the opportunity for young people to develop new friendships, learn new skills and enjoy the warm weather. Few people would even think of responding with an answer that involves video games, cell phones, movies, television and other electronics.

Read More

Topics: digital parenting, Parental Intelligence, kids & technology, Spying vs Engaging, parenting styles, summer camp tech policies, summer camp

Teens Overshare & Chat With Strangers Online More Than You Think

Posted by Tim Woda

June 20, 2014 at 1:12 PM

In case you missed it, McAfee released a Teens and Screens study earlier this month exposing shocking revelations about the depths of the extent and how often teens overshare and chat with strangers online. In McAfee's Teens' Online Behavior Can Get Them in Touble, Robert Siciliano reports of the study that:

About 75% of tweens and teens friend people whom they know in the real world, however, 59% engage with strangers online. And one out of 12 meet the online stranger in real life. This could be because 33% of them say they feel more accepted online than in real life.

Additional facts to understand:

  • Our tweens and teens overshare personal information – 50% posted their email address,

Read More

Topics: Parental Intelligence, Internet Safety, oversharing, McAfee, online predators, child predator methods, Social Trends, Privacy & Reputation, social media news, McAfee Teens and Screens Study

Sex Offender Monitoring Apps Every Parent Should Have

Posted by Steven Woda

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

Read More

Topics: iPhone, Android, Internet Safety, online predators, location monitoring, monitoring apps, Mobile Phones/Apps, Sex Offender Registeries, sex offender monitoring apps

6 Requirements for Managing Peer Pressure Among Kids/Teens

Posted by Steven Woda

June 17, 2014 at 1:56 PM

Peer pressure can be extremely hard to deal with for kids and teens.  It becomes increasingly difficult without the support of their parents.  When it comes to managing peer pressure among kids/teens, there are things that you should do, and things that you must do. Here are six such "musts" for dealing with peer pressure:

    1. Talk to your child about the dangers of drugs, alcohol and sex: Talking to your child opens up a dialogue that can be very important.  If your child feels safe discussing these difficult topics with you, there is a greater chance that they will come to you if they are curious about trying them.

Read More

Topics: digital parenting, Parental Intelligence, communication, peer pressure, Digital Parenting Tips, Social Trends, Managing peer pressure

Social Media As An Outlet For Teen And Tween Growth

Posted by Tim Woda

June 16, 2014 at 12:14 PM

When thinking about social media in the hands of their teens and tweens, many parents automatically jump to the negative. While there are some negative aspects of social media, there are plenty of very positive aspects. Recent research suggests that social media, when used appropriately and responsibly by tweens and teens, can actually be incredibly positive

Social Media Can Increase Confidence 

Many teens and tweens suffer from self-esteem issues. In many ways, this is a normal part of growing up. Most people, at some point, question whether or not they are attractive and/or feel awkward or uncomfortable in their constantly changing bodies. According to a recent study, about one in five teens believes that social media has increased their self confidence. Only 4% of teens report that they feel social media activities have a negative affect on their self confidence. 

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Topics: digital parenting, social media, Parental Intelligence, behavior, positive parenting practices, Spying vs Engaging

Live Offline: Tips to Live Away From the Internet

Posted by Steven Woda

June 15, 2014 at 12:24 PM

The beginning of summer brings with it more than warm weather; it also brings the summer break from school. This means that not only will the kids be sleeping in late, but once they wake up they will have a lot of free time on their hands and it's best to make it both fun and productive. Some kids will be destined for a couple of weeks of summer camp, some will enjoy a few educational day camps, and some will just be off!

Regardless of the situation your family finds itself in, many hours will have to be filled with some sort of activity. Altogether too often the kid's first choice will be electronic amusement like video games and particularly the Internet. While a little of this is alright, too much means a deficit in physical activity and not enough interaction with the family.

Read More

Topics: digital parenting, Parental Intelligence, location monitoring, kids & technology, Mobile Phones/Apps, health & wellbeing, Tech-Free Zones, live offline, unplugging

Top Pros and Cons of Using the Photo Sharing App Instagram

Posted by Steven Woda

June 14, 2014 at 12:13 PM

As the popularity of the photo sharing app Instagram continues to grow, so does its user base. Children watch their older siblings and peers using the smartphone application and begin using it in order to fit in and feel trendy. Although there is nothing wrong with young children trying to keep up with the latest technology, it is important to weigh the Instagram pros and cons before letting your young children start using the app.

Pros

One of the greatest features of Instagram is its privacy settings. This ensures that outside users--people who are not following you--have to request your permission to see your photos. This helps ward off strangers and potential offenders who could possibly cause harm through their comments.

Read More

Topics: social media, Parental Intelligence, oversharing, For Parents, instagram, dangers & safety, Privacy & Reputation

Subtweeting: Inside the Harmful New Social Media Trend

Posted by Steven Woda

June 13, 2014 at 11:36 AM

One of the more insidious digital trends for tweens and teens has been the development of subtweeting. While this may sound like an innocent social media fad, this impression could not be further from the truth. Among digital trends for tweens, this is one of the worst because it is a form of cyberbullying that can be difficult to pin down and combat.

What is Subtweeting?

Subtweeting consists of using social media (Twitter being one example that inspired the name) to talk negatively about or gossip about a person without naming that individual specifically. All that people involved have to do is use descriptions, characterization or some sort of code to discuss the person with impunity. In some cases, this happens without the participants even realizing what they are doing.

Read More

Topics: cyberbullying, Parental Intelligence, Internet Safety, social media cyberbullying, digital trends, Social Trends, netiquette, social media news, what is subtweeting, subtweeting

Tyler Cohen Wood's Catching the Catfishers

Posted by Steven Woda

June 10, 2014 at 12:39 PM

Tyler Cohen Wood’s Catching the Catfishers explores the digital footprints that we all leave behind, whether we realize it or not. The book sheds light on a comprehensive set of online security components and teaches readers how to best protect their personal information from being put out and circulated on the web. Catching the Catfishers teaches parents and kids alike the value in being aware of the implications that every digital imprint we make can have.

The author is a senior officer and cyber branch chief for the Defense Intelligence Agency within the Department of Defense. Wood clearly demonstrates her authority on all matters of Internet security throughout the book. With a plethora of examples and nuances from recent pop culture and past experiences, Wood shows just how easy it is for people with little to no training to learn everything that they want to discover about someone through the web.

Read More

Topics: Parental Intelligence, online privacy, Internet Safety, online predators, catfishing, internet safety resources, Privacy & Reputation, warning signs

Catfishing: Happening To Teens and Among Teens

Posted by Tim Woda

June 9, 2014 at 2:29 PM

The Internet has opened up the world to our children. In many ways, this can be beneficial. Knowledge that may have taken hours to find is available within minutes and children aren't stuck having to learn things at a pace that may be too slow for them.  

In other ways, however, the vastness of the Internet, and especially its ability to mask one's true identity, can be harmful and even deadly to our children. One trend that can be harmful has recently gained attention in both media and the courts. This is catfishing.

What is catfishing?

Catfishing is the term given to creating a false profile online in order to deceive others. The majority of cases are embarked upon in order to pursue a romantic situation with someone else.  A person will make up an entire identity, sometimes even creating a whole history and network of family and friends that do not exist, in order to get someone to share personal information and romance with them. 

Who participates in catfishing?

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Topics: digital parenting, Parental Intelligence, Internet Safety, online predators, catfishing, kids & technology, child predator methods

Understanding Cyberbullying: Why It Happens and How To Prevent It

Posted by Tim Woda

June 7, 2014 at 2:57 PM

Recently, the media has exploded with tragic stories and consequences of cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is defined as bullying that occurs over electronic devices, often through texting, email or through social media websites such as Facebook. Bullies can send hurtful messages to other children, post embarrassing pictures of their peers on facebook, or send hateful email messages.

Cyberbullying takes on the same form as face to face bullying. The cyberbully will have a clear intent to harm the victim (either emotionally or by threatening them with physical harm), perceivable aggression in the messages, and a perceived or obvious imbalance of power over the victim by the cyberbully.

The abuse that children endure at the hands of cyberbullies leave many parents, teachers, and guardians wondering what causes the bullying to happen in the first place. Cyberbullies engage in harmful behaviors towards their peers for many reasons:

  • The cyberbully wants to feel powerful

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Topics: cyberbullying, Parental Intelligence, parental monitoring, Internet Safety, victims of cyberbullying, prevention, Spying vs Engaging

Calculator or Hidden App? Teens Are Disguising Content With Apps

Posted by Tim Woda

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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Topics: iPhone, Parental Intelligence, Android, dangerous apps, monitoring apps, spy gadgets, Mobile Phones/Apps, Spying vs Engaging, steps kids take to stop spying, Hiding Apps