YouTube Plays On Your Child’s Curiosity (and Not In a Good Way)

On YouTube, videos of fluffy kittens or a singing mouse can quickly take a child down a “rabbit hole” and a journey to explicit videos.  According to one study, children on YouTube can typically get to inappropriate material such as nudity and violence in only three clicks. 

Take Rastamouse, a popular children’s cartoon on YouTube, for example. While watching this child-friendly material, the viewer can scroll through “Suggested” videos on the right side of the webpage. These “Suggestions” range from more cutesy cartoons to music videos with vulgar language to other inappropriate things.

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View our Internet Safety and Strategy SlideShare!

View the SlideShare on our Internet Safety eBook. This is a short and sweet version of our full length eBook that you can download for free here. Learn why summer can be a dangerous time for kids to be on the Internet for lenghty amounts of time, the importance of technology in their lives, how to strike a balance and much more!

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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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The Scary Connection Between Smart Phone Images and Location

Parents, do you love to snap pictures of your children on your smart phone and then upload them for family and friends to see? What if I told you that this practice could make it very easy for predators and bad guys to see where your children were located, even down to the exact spot of their bedroom? Might freak you out, right? 

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Download Our Newest eBook Now On Summer Internet Safety!

uKnowKids has released our first educational piece of content for Internet Safety Month! Our newest eBook is entitled "Internet Safety and Strategies for the Lazy Days of Summer."

For as long as children have spent summers away from school, parents have struggled to keep them occupied and out of trouble. With new technologies being developed seemingly at the speed of light, fewer parents have to worry about their kids getting bored over long, hot summers. But this doesn't mean you can leave them to their own devices on those devices. Download this eBook and learn about some of the most prevalent digital dangers during the summer and how to prepare and protect your children from them.

You will learn: 

  • Why some technical threats are more common in the summer

  • The role of technology for kids in the summer

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17 Cyber Safety Experts Share Tips for Keeping Children Safe Online

This is a post from our friend's over at SafeSoundFamily. They interviewed 17 Internet and mobile safety experts about how to keep children safe online, and Tim was one of them! Read the full post for some great information from the leading experts in digital safety.

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Top 25 Family Safety Articles of the Week

Home Safety

  1. We all understand the importance of home security, but we also know it can be pricey. Rehna from Ardor NY Real Estate gives us five inexpensive ways to boost your home’s security.

  2. Metzae at Dandy Gadget has an interesting article on how smart-home technology is changing the face of home security.

  3. We’ve discussed how to burglar-proof your doors, and the Homes and House blog echoes these sentiments, recommending super-sturdy composite doors for security.

  4. Tammy, from A Mom and Her Blog, talks about the benefits of wireless home security systems.

  5. Powers Heating & Air has a different take on staying safe at home, doling out sage advice on three all-too-common home safety hazards.

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Top 25 Family Safety Articles of the Week

Another big thanks to the SafeSoundFamily team for pulling together the 25 best family safety articles this week from many great sources--online, TV and print! We highlighted them last week, and were so impressed with the articles that made the list this week, that we had to share them with our readers.  SafeSoundFamily is free resource for home security information and alarm systems. Check them out!

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Blog Series: What Does Digital Parenting Mean to You?

As part of an on-going blog series that began last week, we have interviewed some internet safety experts, parenting experts and industry leaders and are pleased to present our findings. Our questions centered around 'digital parenting' and what people thought were the biggest issues regarding this subject.  

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Digital vs. Analog Parenting: Strangely Similar

Right now, we are living in the future, where many of us have social circles and professional interactions without ever leaving the house.  The internet has enabled people to become more global and worldly, but there are still some kinks were are working out of this new social structure that we haven't fully been able to figure out.  

With the world being at your fingertips and the wealth of knowledge right there whenever you need it, there are so many intellectual advances your child can make that you might never have imagined as a kid.  With only a single generation separating the "space age" from the "information age" digital parenting is something we also need to consider.  Because with the entire world at a glance, there are a lot of things out there that you, as a parent, have to decide if your child is ready for or not.  

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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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Free and Simple: Parental Monitoring Tips and Tools For Online Safety

As parents, we all want to think the best of our children. However, sometimes they don’t live up to our expectations. Even a child with the best of intentions can find themselves involved in the darker side of social networking. The good news is that parents can take some simple and free steps to begin effective parental monitoring.

Talk about your expectations

Kids can’t follow a rule if it doesn’t exist. Clear expectations must be set or your child is likely to make mistakes. The resource link on the uknowkids homepage has free safety tips and an Internet & Mobile Safety Pledge for Kids. 

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How To Help Your Child with Cyberbullying

Hurtful names. Repeated harassment. Extreme embarrassment. As adults, we’ve learned to recognize the signs of bullying, but when it comes to cyberbullying, parents need to be extra vigilant. The widespread availability of the web and mobile phones have created a rich environment for cyberbullying (defined as using of digital media to repeatedly harass another person). Often it happens without any knowledge of school staff and/or parents.

Although it's difficult to watch your child try to deal with bullying, they don't have to go through it alone. You can offer support and help your child through this difficult situation using a variety of strategies. 

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10 Back to School Internet Safety Tips That Every Parent Should Know

It's the end of August, and back to school time is approaching once again. Whether your kids are dreading waking up early to catch the school bus or chomping at the bit to get back, it's time to say goodbye to summer vacation. The new backpacks, new clothes, and new graphing calculators are already bought and waiting. Back to school time is exciting, and it's also a great time to have a refresher course with your teen about Internet safety

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Caution: Google Images and Keeping Your Kids Safe

I love and use Google Images about as much as any parent can. Just this week I've used it to find clip art images for household chore charts, answer my daughter's question about what the flag of Bolivia looks like, and make car-themed bingo cards for my son's birthday party. And it only took me a few seconds.

But all my love for Google Images notwithstanding, I do caution parents whenever their children are using it. Keep your kids safe by monitoring what they search - and what they find.

No matter what the keyword, it's pretty much inevitable that some suggestive, inappropriate, or downright pornographic images are going to appear somewhere in the search results. Luckily, most of the words your kids are going to be searching for will not have these images on the first page.

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Kids Safety: 11 Signs Your Child is Being Targeted by a Predator

Did you know that April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month?

Internet child abuse is disturbingly common and often happens right under a parent's nose. One in five children are sexually solicited online every year, and only one-fourth of them told a parent. When a predator targets a child, they usually spend several weeks or months gaining the child's trust before any real-life abuse occurs.

In honor of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, recommit to protecting your own child, grandchildren, or students by reviewing these 11 signs that your child may be involved with a dangerous person online:

    1. Unfamiliar friends on their social networking buddy list

    2. Unfamiliar contacts in their cell phone

    3. Pornography, especially child pornography, appears for the first time on their phone or computer

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    10 Things to Teach Your Kids About Internet Safety

     

    Like anything else, you need to teach your kids how to use the Internet if you expect them to use it safely and responsibly. Parental control software can be a good training tool, but eventually they need the skills to do it alone. Have you taught your children these 10 critical things about going online?

      1. If you accidentally come across something inappropriate, shut off the computer and tell an adult.

      2. Not everything you read online is true. From rumors to homework resources, no one is fact-checking the Internet for accuracy.

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    How to Spot a Child Who is a Victim of Cyberbullying

    Cyberbullying is the use of Internet technologies to tease, humiliate, and harass someone. It might be mean text messages sent at all hours of the day, or degrading comments about someone posted to a website. Cyberbullying can have devastating effects on children, so read below and learn about the issue and how to help your child deal with it.

    Spot it: A child who is being cyberbullied may:

      1. Avoid using computers, and other technological devices

      2. Appear stressed when receiving an e-mail, instant message or text. Withdraw from family and friends

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    Kids Safety: School Open-Technology Policies, Benefits and Challenges

    Kids safety at school is a big deal, and theres no exception when it comes to internet safety, and facebook for kids at school. After a semester of watching the policy in place, here are some general reflections:

    The Pros:

      1. The entire school is now wireless, which makes showing videos, utilizing web tools and accessing sites, a far simpler task in each classroom. If a student brings up a question that the teacher or class needs further information about—the internet is available at the click of the mouse or tap of a finger.

      2. Students are spending less of their creative brain power trying to figure out how to hide the fact that they are texting and teachers are spending less of their valuable prep time filling out detention slips for students who “couldn’t” wait until after school to send a message.

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