Is it Safe For My Teen? Monitoring Twitter Will Make it Safer

Twitter, which was founded in 2006, began as a text messaging service for people to connect within a small group.  A tweet, a message consisting of up to 140 characters, is what Twitter is made up of. Photos and videos can be included within your message.

The use of hashtags on Twitter is a way people link to a certain topic. Twitter publishes trending topics on the site throughout the day. 

The information you put out there is done so in real-time. The information is shared instantly.

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Teens Abandoning Facebook for Twitter?

The social network training wheels parents provided for Facebook are beginning to shift to something new now that teenagers are moving more exclusively to other social network sites like Twitter. With adults seeming to be taking over Facebook and the endless battles over privacy issues, can teens really find more peace, tranquility and safety over at Twitter? According to a Pew Report, kids were finding better methods of expression on Twitter (and Instagram) than Facebook has ever provided.

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Digital Parenting: 5 Signs Your Child is Addicted to Facebook

Social networking sites are a popular way for children and teenagers to keep in touch with each other and stay updated with what is going on in their lives. Facebook is currently the most popular site by far, and the process of updating your own status, and looking at other users' information, can take up quite a bit of a child's time. Unfortunately, some kids are on the site far too often and for long durations of time, leading to what can be called "Facebook addiction". This can lead to slipping grades, disciplinary problems, and social anxiety.

Stepping in before Facebook addiction becomes a real problem can be done with sensible digital parenting and Parental Intelligence solutions, but it always helps to know what to look for in order to tell if your child is addicted to Facebook. These 5 signs should be taken very seriously and if they are present, you should be prepared to set rules and limits on Facebook usage.

1. Is your child constantly on Facebook?

A child being constantly on Facebook is a sure sign of Facebook addiction. If their time on the site can be summarized as "multiple hours a day", you should have a talk with your child and let them know that it can be potentially unhealthy to be on Facebook for so long every day. Facebook monitoring programs can help you determine how long they are on and what exactly they are doing on the site.

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Instagram and Privacy: There is a Serious Issue Here

In this article from The Washington Post, Cecilia Kang investigates underage children, Instagram, and if the image-sharing giant is doing enough to make sure kids are safe from adult strangers. We agree that the safety of children online should be the number one priority from all of these social networks, but unfortunately that is not always the case. Here is an excerpt of the piece below: 

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Cyberbullying Makes Its Way To Instagram

It was only a matter of time: cyberbullying has come to Instagram.

In only one of the most recent incidents, a police report was filed against several girls in a northern California school district for cyberbullying on Instagram.  According to school officials several girls allegedly hacked into their victim’s Instagram account, then posted demeaning and “sexually derogatory information” on the twelve-year old’s account.  The victim’s mother believes the girls took this action to get back at her daughter after she complained about being bullied at school.  It took filing a police report to get the offensive material removed.

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Instagram: It's More Than Just Pictures

Instagram is an application that can be downloaded to several different smartphones and cellular devices. This application is a photo sharing one in which users can take pictures, add special effects, and then share them on several different social media sites with just the click of a button. The photo is then placed out there into the network of friends the users have, both those that have the application themselves and those who do not, resulting in a sharing of moments and memories quickly. The program, however, does not come without dangers. As with any social media sharing entity, the quick expression and release of information is both exciting and dangerous. It is for that reason that parents need to understand the risks and be instagram monitoring vigilantes, especially when it comes to their children that use the application.

Prying Eyes

One of the reasons that Instagram monitoring needs to be taken seriously is because, as with any social media site,

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Sex Trafficking via Facebook: The Latest Digital Parenting Concern

Most people frequently hear cases of cyberbullying or sexting gone wrong in the news, but recently, we were reminded that even more intense dangers exist out there on the world wide web.  CNN Money did a great piece on this latest digital parenting concern entitled "Pimps hit social networks to recruit underage sex workers."  We thought all of our readers needed to know about this latest digital dangers, so we are sharing the article today. 

An interesting excerpt:

"It started with a Facebook Friend request....

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Increase Peace of Mind and Child Safety with Digital Training Wheels

Parenting in the digital age involves a whole new set of tools. Parents are facing technology with which they are not familiar, and the additional perils and parenting blind spots that technology can bring. By providing your child with Digital Training Wheels, you can increase your peace of mind and ensure that your child is using technology safely and responsibly.

Social Media Safety

Social networking sites and applications such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and Instagram open a window to the world which is largely unprotected. Not only do these sites give your child exposure to the world, but they give the world access to your child as well. By using tools that monitor your child's activity on these sites you can provide an extra level of protection in your child's life. You can see:

  • with whom your child is communicating

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Is Your Child Ready for Instagram? You Might Want to Read This First

Many parents who took precautions to make sure that their children under 13 didn’t have a Facebook account failed to realize that Instagram was also a social networking site.  At first, Instagram just seemed like a photo-sharing app and some parents were even excited that their kids were taking an interest in photography.  Soon, they realized that, just like Facebook, Instagram gives you the ability to post comments on photos.  And that was where the downward spiral began, with kids posting nasty comments about each other and feeling left out when others posted photos of themselves doing things together.

But this wasn’t all.  Like Facebook, Instagram is full of unsavory individuals trying to contact others without knowing them.  There have been instances reported of kids being contacted by pedophiles trying to get their hands on photos of young girls.  They mask themselves as some type of legitimate business like a radio station running a contest, knowing that this is sure to lure young people.

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How To Keep Kids Safe With Social Media: From A Detective's Viewpoint

Social media can be a scary thing for parents.  More and more people are joining Facebook and Twitter every day; and many of those people who join these social networks are children and teenagers.  Social media has taken the place of the "playground", in that predators no longer need to physically hang out with children to obtain access to them.  

In Missouri, one school is taking the steps to inform parents about how to keep their kids safe with social media.  Detective Ed Bailey of the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force recently attended parent/teacher conferences at Carl Junction High School to talk to parents about the importance of online safety for their children.  Detective Bailey stated that the key is to get kids to understand how much of their personal information needs to be safeguarded at all costs.  And since many kids generally operate in an "it will never happen to me" frame of mind, getting the message across is difficult.

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Why Facebook Keeps Violating Your Privacy: Facebook Safety Alert


Shared via Yahoo! News: The latest controversy over who can use your Instagram photos is far from an isolated event.

Facebook's photosharing site Instagram backtracked Tuesday on its new user privacy policy that would have allowed the site to sell users' photos to advertising agencies.

After a huge outcry from Instagram users on both Facebook and Twitter, co-founder Kevin Systrom wrote on the company's blog:

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Parental Intelligence for Social Media

Parents are often ignorant about some of the dangers that stem from social media. Although many children and teenagers view social media as a fun place to connect with friends, it can be very dangerous depending on what they are doing online. Here are some Parental Intelligence issues that you should think about as your child uses social media websites.

- Think about the future

Social media accounts are not private, even if you select private settings for the accounts. Someone can also find a way to gain access to them. Although your children are still underage, a potential employer or even college may decide to view their social media account.

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How To Deal With A Facebook Cyberbully

It is simply not acceptible to have to put up with a Facebook cyberbully. When someone is behaving in this manner they are causing problems that no one should have to deal with when they are just trying to enjoy their social media experience. As such, it is important to know the proper steps to take to deal with a bully should the need ever arise. 

The first thing to do is to add all of the privacy settings that you can to try to prevent this kind of thing from happening again. It will also help to cease any harassment that you are currently experiencing. This wikihow article explains how to go about doing this: 

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Facebook Safety: How to Talk to Your Kids About Social Networks

Parents looking to protect their kids online know that there are no easy solutions. uKnowKids has worked closely with parents, educators and professionals to design a product that can be a helpful tool for parents as they put together their larger strategy for keeping kids safe. One of the most valuable parts of any stategy on how to keep kids safe with social media has to include that age-old tool of parents everywhere: The conversation.

So how do you bring up conversations about your child's online life?

1. Treat social networks as a natural part of your child's life. For today's generation of kids, there is little difference between online and offline. Relationships with friends and classmates flow seamlessly between chats in the lunchroom and chats online. So while you think you're discussing facebook safety for teens, your child will think you're just discussing life

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It's Not an Option: Facebook Monitoring Is A Necessity For Kids

cyberbullyEveryone parent wants to be the "cool" parent. You don't want to be one of those parents who won't let their child have a Facebook account because it could be too dangerous.  And when you mentioned to your child that he could have a Facebook account, you thought his face might break because he was so thrilled.  And he couldn't get to his computer fast enough to get signed up.  Before the night was over, the amount of friends he had was climbing.  At last count, he had over three hundred, which is more than you have on your Facebook page.  You've had yours for three years.

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At What Age is Facebook For Kids Appropriate?

Facebook has taken off in popularity so fast that many parents are left trying to keep up with this craze. Many parents have reported that their kids understand more about the Internet then they do, and this has meant that many parents are having difficultly controlling their kid's online behavior. 

The behavior of kids online can also be difficult to rule over because of the fact that the Internet is becomming more and more accessible. Even if the parent chooses to put up certain parental blocks on their computers at home, there is no guarantee that this will keep the child from doing whatever they please on a friend's computer or on a public computer, perhaps even one at their school. 

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Lessons on Cyberbullying for Watchful Parents

Did you miss Bullying Prevention Awareness Month? If you are a busy parent, it may have been easy to miss all the work that was being done to raise awareness about bullying. After all, you want to spend your extra time connecting with your kids, which doesn't always leave room for everything else.

But the need for anti bullying awareness goes beyond a single month, especially when it comes to cyberbullying, which can take place at home and throughout the year, even when children are supposed to be taking a break from school.

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Facebook for Kids: 9 Features That Impact Your Child's Safety

If your child has a Facebook account, you've got to understand the privacy settings and parental helps Facebook already has in place. Knowing Facebook safety features means that you can teach your kids to manage their private information and stay safe online. Here are 9 things you need to know about Facebook for kids. 

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4 Steps to End Facebook Bullying

There are lots of ways to bully someone online, but social networks are the most effective and most devastating way to go about it. And Facebook, the most popular social network of all, is a prime favorite for cyberbullies. Does your child know what to do if bullied on Facebook?

93% of teens who have witnessed cruel behavior online say that most of the harassment took place on Facebook. If your tween or teen has a Facebook account, they should know these 4 things to do if they become a victim of Facebook bullying

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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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