Steven Woda

Steven Woda
Steve Woda is the co-founder and CEO of uKnow, and a leader in the Internet safety and security field for over 15 years. He frequently speaks on the topics of Internet and mobile security, ecommerce and information economics. You can follow Steve on Twitter or on his blog.
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Recent Posts

Is This Donut a Secret Message From Your Kid?

The issue with parenting in the digital age is that it moves at the speed of light, and kids are at the very forefront of it. They know about the latest apps weeks, perhaps months before you do, and they are quietly discussing who-knows-what with their friends via texting apps and Facebook messenger. The age of being able to eavesdrop on a conversation and get all the knowledge you ever needed is over.

While those days are over, we’ve developed a new way to keep up with our kids, and digital parents need digital weapons. With that being said, kids are starting to get a bit wise to the ways of the digital parent.

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Why Snapchat Should Terrify You

Children have more ways than ever before to communicate with their friends and family. While living in the digital age has its advantages, parenting in the digital age can be a difficult and confusing process. Each day many apps are added to digital stores. Whether your child is using an iPhone, a tablet, and iPod or an Android device, he or she has access to thousands upon thousands of applications. While many of them are harmless, there are a few apps that pose a significant risk to your child. Snapchat, is one app that, on the surface, may seem innocent enough, but can be extremely harmful.

What is Snapchat? 

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Lessons Learned from Cyberbullying

Unwelcome sexting, abusive text messages, digital public humiliation and social media harassment all fall under the umbrella of cyberbullying. The sobering realities of cyberbullying have become so prevalent that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) published a "Cyberbullying and Sexting: Law Enforcement Perceptions" bulletin advising agencies that "94 percent of school resource officers agreed that cyberbullying was a serious problem warranting a law enforcement response."

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Calculator or Hidden App? Teens Are Disguising Content With Apps

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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Could Your Child Be an Online 'Troll'? But What Is Trolling?

“Trolling” is making inflammatory, anonymous statements on the Internet for the sole purpose of derailing an online discussion or provoking the other participants in the discussion. In other words, another way for kids to participate in cyberbullying. A troll, in Internet lingo, is somebody who does these things online. Often times you might encounter this image when searching for a “troll”:troll face

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Is My Child Watching Pornography Online?

When we think of people who are consumers of online porn, we automatically picture grown adults. However, with access to pornographic sites becoming increasingly widespread, a large number of tweens and teens are believed to have viewed some kind of online porn.  

How Many Children Are Watching Porn?

Today, it's reported that at least 90 percent of kids between the ages of 8 and 16 have watched pornography online at least once. Not only have most tweens and teens seen porn, but boys ages 12 to 17 are actually the largest consumers of online pornography. With this statistic, pornography has even been compared to being the drug of choice for youth.

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7 Safety Rules for Video Chatting

Picture your favorite person in the world. It could be your spouse, your child, a parent, or a family friend. If you could speak with this person right now, would you prefer a phone conversation or an in-person one?

Of course you'd rather see their face, their expressions, and their gestures. A phone call just doesn't compare. That's why almost 2 in 5 teens have used Skype, iChat, or GoogleTalk to video chat with others.

If your teen regularly uses a service like Skype, or if he has a social networking account (most social networks have video chatting capabilities on-site), teach them these Internet safety rules for video chatting online.

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6 Requirements for Managing Peer Pressure Among Kids/Teens

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.

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10 Things Parents Need to Know About Xbox LIVE and Kids Safety

Xbox LIVE is the online sevice for the Xbox 360. With a paid gold membership and a set of headphones, your child can play online with a community of 40 million other users worldwide.

This can be seriously awesome for the gaming enthusiast in your house, but there are 10 important things parents should know about Xbox LIVE and keeping kids safe before setting it up for their child. 

  1. It's more than just a gaming site. Xbox LIVE users can also chat with each other, send and receive friend requests, and share their profile and gaming stats.

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Sex Offender Monitoring Apps Every Parent Should Have

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 registries and apps, parents can stay up-to-date on the sex offender registries.

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 is available. You can also get alerts through emails and text if a new offender comes into your area.

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Teaching Children About Internet Security Right From The Start

There is never a time too early in the life of a child to start thinking about Internet security. Children of younger and younger ages are starting to get a glimpse into the world of the Internet, and many are potentially at risk if they are not informed of what they should and should not do. 

Have A Conversation

Before you ever get into the technical aspects of what you can do to keep your child safe online, it is a good idea to simply have a conversation with them. You can explain to them the steps to take if they are confronted by someone online that they do not know.

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Long Term Effects Of Bullying On The Victim

Bullying has often been considered as something that some children experience at some point in their lives. However, with the Internet and smartphones, bullying has been elevated to an extremely sophisticated type of social harassment. New studies are showing that bullying can have negative effects that last long into adulthood.

Loss of Confidence

A single act of bullying can cause diminished self-esteem that can last a lifetime. A child who is bullied feels powerless and their self-identity as a competent person who is able to protect himself in the world becomes wounded.

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5 Tips for Mobile and Internet Child Safety

Children now spend more time with the media via Internet and mobile technology than they do with their family, in school, or sleeping.

A nationwide survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that in just five years, media use has increased from 6 ½ to nearly 7 ½ hours a day in children between the ages of 8 and 18. As if this weren’t frightening enough, children also tend to be master multitaskers, using as many as three technological tools at once to browse through their digital lives.

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Digital Parents Are Asking: Is the Video-Chat App Skype Safe?

What is Skype?

Skype is one of the most popular video chatting and communications platforms in the world. Microsoft owns the program, and it is a company that has brought many innovative technologies to the world over the years. Skype allows people to talk to each other from other ends of the world through video, audio and text chat.

Users can download the Skype program to their desktop computers, laptops, tablets or smartphones to enjoy the benefits. The program is free to download, and users have access to some great features upon registration. Additional features such as voice calls and texting are available for a small fee.

How is Skype Beneficial?

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7 Consequences of Teen Sexting

If you think the trend of teen sexting is troubling, just listen to some of the attitudes teens have about it.  Many teens shrug and say it's no big deal, nothing could really happen. A recent study on teens and technology reported that 90% of teens who had sexted said that no negative consequences ever came from it.

Teens think they are invincible, that nothing bad would happen to them. If this describes your teen, talk about a few of 7 consequences of sexting that could make them regret hitting “send.”

  1. It could be shared with people you don't intend to share it with. The person you are sexting

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The Pros and Cons of Xbox: Is Xbox Good for Kids?

Many parents today are wondering if Xbox is good for kids, and while there is much debate about this topic, the findings tend to show there may be more cons than pros when it comes to kids playing the popular video game system. With complaints that this kind of gaming leaves kids too isolated from others to concerns over damaged vision from staring at the screen, parents and educators everywhere are very wary of the potential negative effects.

Yet, there are positive effects that can come from playing Xbox and Xbox Live. Xbox Live is a feature of Xbox which enables the player to game online against their friends or other people. Both Xbox and Xbox Live can have plenty of positive and negative impacts on kids.

Pros

Some of the most common positive effects of playing video games include that Xbox:

  • Increases self-confidence

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Mobile and Internet Child Safety: The Role Of The Schools

Educating children is the role of any school, public or private. They are supposed to teach them about the ways of the world and make them more prepared to join the workforce when they have completed their education.

There is always a question of exactly what the schools are responsible for teaching children and what should be left to their parents. Mobile and Internet child safety is becoming more and more on the shoulders of the schools to help out with teaching. 

Mobile Phones At An Early Age

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Internet Security Question: Is Someone Spying on Your Kids?

You're a 21st-century parent who embraces the wonders of the Internet. This is why you allow your kid to roam the web in search of homework answers, to play online games, and to video chat with grandma.

But you're also aware of the online dangers. That's why you allow use of the desktop or laptop only in the living room where everyone can see. And the built-in camera is only available when you're watching.

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