Top 25 Family Safety Articles of the Week

Tim was once again featured on SafeSoundFamily's "Top 25 Safety Articles of the Week."  Check it out for some of the best articles that were published this week! 

Home Safety

  1. Mike, from the NFPA’s Safety Source, reminds us that we should have changed smoke detector batteries when we moved our clocks forward. He also links to a free resource (PDF) on smoke alarm safety at home.

  2. Judi, also of Safety Source, has some sound advice on cooking safety: never leave your stovetop unattended. This is an all-too-common (but preventable) cause of house fires.

Family & Child Safety

  1. We all know that it’s harder to be nasty to another person’s face, but Tim of uKnowKids puts this in context: cyberbullying is faceless, and is therefore easier and more prevalent than traditional schoolyard bullying.

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Is Your Child a Cyberbully Without Even Realizing It?

As technology changes the way we live, young people find new ways to pick on each other. With the rise of the Internet and social media comes a new challenge. In the old days it was easy to tell when a child was bullying others, but now the lines are blurred to the point where kids may not even realize that their actions are intimidating not funny. Even worse, often the victims of cyberbullying are guilty of it themselves. Understanding the difference between bullying and cyberbullying can help you teach your children what is appropriate behavior online.

The Line Between Being Funny and Being a Bully

What appear to be harmless pranks really are not when done online. Once something is posted online, it is impossible to take it back. Here are a few things that kids may find funny that in reality is considered cyberbullying.

  • Using someone else’s information to login to gain information on the person or to post information under their login information. 

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5 Movies That Teach About Bullying

In today's day and age, bullying is not only done in person, but via the Internet as well. Physical altercations are just as harmful to a child as verbal ones, and a greater deal of harm can be done online, where there is a large network available for these bullying teens to put down their victims. They aren't just picking on them at school in front of a few others, but they are writing horrible things to them or about them on the Internet, spreading like wildfire, doing damage to the bullied child's reputation and psyche.

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Swatting--Why This Form of Bullying Isn't Going Away Anytime Soon

Remember when we wrote about a new trend called swatting a few months back?  Well it hasn't seemed to have slowed down at all.   

If you remember, swatting is where pranksters call police to falsely report that a major crime is underway at some celebrity's home.  Attempted kidnappings and shootings have been some of the most common crimes falsely reported.  This weekend, "X-Factor" judge Simon Cowell was the latest celebrity to fall victim to this form of bullying.  Other swatting victims include actor Ashton Kutcher and singers Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus. Because these people are well-known celebrities, there is usually a full tactical police response, which takes money and resources away from people who might actually need it.

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Is Your Child Being Bullied For Having a "Dumb Phone"?

Maybe you don't know what a “dumb phone” is, but your teens certainly do – and they don't want one.

One of my closest girlfriends hasn't upgraded to a smart phone yet: her trusty old flip phone serves her just fine. She does find herself several times a day, however, constantly apologizing for her lack of connectivity.

If we're in a group and someone says, “quick, grab your phone and take a picture!” or “get on Facebook to show me some pictures of your new niece,” she has to shrug and say, “Sorry, I can't. I have a dumb phone.”

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SWAT-ting...Another Form of Bullying?

SWAT-ting is a new trend that everyone is talking about. It also happens to be a nightmare for police departments around the nation.  SWAT-ting is an attempt to fool an emergency service into dispatching an emergency response team. The callers use services like Spoofcard to disguise the origin of the prank call, change their voices and add background sound effects. 

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Back to School: 10 Ways to Bully-Proof Your Child

With the school year just around the corner, parents are busy getting ready. There are school clothes to buy, new backpacks to fill – but are also you taking the time to bully-proof your child?

Cyberbullying is present in any school: public or private, rural or urban, high school or elementary school. Help to avoid or lessen the impact of cyberbullying on your child with these 10 skills. 

  1. Confidence. Identifying and being proud of his personal strengths will give your child a good feeling about himself that will make bullies less likely to target him.

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BULLY The Movie: New Documentary Zeroes in on Cyberbullying

BullyThe recent buzz in the media is about the new movie BULLY. After failing to lower its rating from R to PG-13 the film is being released without a rating.

I have a weak stomach when it comes to watching kid-on-kid cruelty so I doubt I could make it through the film even if I wanted to see it, but BULLY is intensifying the ongoing national conversation on bullying and cyberbullying.

BULLY follows the lives of 5 kids throughout the 2009-2010 school year: 12-year old Alex, 16-year-old Kelby, 14-year-old Ja'meya, 17-year-old Tyler Long, and 11-year-old Ty Smalley. Both Tyler and Ty had committed suicide, so their stories are told by their parents.

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Top 10 Things Parents Should Know About Facebook for Kids

With a few exceptions, most of the parents I know are less informed about Facebook for kids than their 13 year olds. If you have Facebook for kids of your own, there are 10 important things you need to know about how to keep your kids safe on Facebook– whether or not you have an account yourself.

    1. Facebook's default privacy settings are probably more public than you'd like. Facebook guards the information on minors a little better than the general population, but you'll still need to review your child's privacy settings and manually reset the security to “friends only” or tighter.

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Nation Wide "No Name-Calling Week": Anti-Cyberbullying

Every year, during the fourth week of January, hundreds of schools across the country participate in No Name-Calling Week to encourage the fight against bullying and cyberbullying. During this week, schools plan activities and events aimed at ending verbal bullying and name-calling.

At Mabel Wilson Elementary School of Cumberland, Maine the national No Name-Calling Week included several activities to highlight positive ways children can help stop bullying.

Read More »
We are pleased to announce that Bark will be taking over where we leave off. The uKnowKids mission to protect digital kids will live on with Bark. Our team will be working closely with Bark’s team in the future, so that we can continue making the digital world a safer, better place for kids and their families. While we are disappointed we could not complete this mission independently, we are also pleased to hand the uKnowKids baton to Bark.
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