Location Monitoring for Your Kids Safety

As parents, we have a lot of concerns with regards to keeping our children safe and healthy. There is still some controversy surrounding the location monitoring of children. The world isn’t the safe place we all wish it was, and it is your job to ensure you do what you can in order to protect your child. Location monitoring isn’t about spying on them and not trusting them; it’s about much more. It’s about making sure small bad choices don’t lead to serious consequences and having the opportunity to curve wrong behavior before it goes too far. Location monitoring is also about giving you your peace of mind, knowing your child is where they are supposed to be. Also, if something should happen, you will have a head start on knowing the last location of your child. There are too many good reasons for following through with the monitoring of your child.

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Just When You Thought Google Glass Couldn't Get Creepier....

You will be amazed (and slightly creeped out) by what Google Glass has the capability to do now.

As Google glass becomes mainstream, below is a real life example of how difficult it will be to maintain any form of privacy or anonymity. Parents have to be aware of wearable technology like this and the possible capabilities (good and bad).  There is always a chance that these devices will be used to intimidate, threaten or manipulate children and uninformed users. This article is great because it provides steps they and their family can take to opt out of these kind of databases. Read on for the full text of the original article found on E! News

Have you ever seen someone wearing Google Glass out at the bar? Like a real person at a real bar actually wearing Google Glass? If so, you know how absolutely ridiculous they look. Which may be the only factor we have that will stop this:

A new app will allow total strangers to ID you and pull up all your information, just by looking at you and scanning your face with their Google Glass. The app is called NameTag and it sounds CREEPY.

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Check it Out: uKnowKids Featured in Yahoo! Tech

uKnowKids was featured prominently in Yahoo! Tech and we are thrilled. Check out part one of the article below and share with friends and family!

How to Monitor Your Kids Without Turning into the NSA

Should you spy on your kids? The technology to do it is certainly cheap and plentiful. If you want to, you can install software on their computers that copies you on everything they type and everything they look at. You can turn their phones into digital bloodhounds that map everywhere they go. You can install cameras in your home and watch your kids from any Internet device.

All of that is perfectly legal. Parents are within their rights to monitor their minor children on any device they use, notes Tatiana Melnik, a data privacy and security attorney in Tampa, Fla. Practically speaking, however, it’s not as simple as it sounds, especially as your little darlings morph into surly adolescents. Do it badly, and it can backfire on you in a big way.

Whether you choose to use tech to monitor your kids is something is only you can decide. But if you do, here are a few simple rules.

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Instagram: Scoping Out Whether Predators Are Looking In

Deciding whether your child is ready for Instagram has to be determined on how much knowledge you give them in navigating Instagram's security. When someone posts pictures on Instagram, security features are there, but they can be misleading in how many ways a predator can work around them. Take a look at some of the methods predators can use to look in on your child's photos and how you may have to take individual action to make sure this doesn't happen.

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The Benefits of Living Unplugged (Even If Just For a Day)!

When you close your eyes at night, what do you see? Is it a scrolling bar that ends up sounding like the ramblings of a crazy person? "Sarah Smith likes Diet Coke. Anthony Jones likes K-Mart. Pink slingbacks are now trending on Twitter!" In a modern household, spending a great deal of time on the internet is a foregone conclusion. In the working world, it's even worse. You're expected to be connected at all times for an email, a text, or a phone call. The obsession with connectivity has led to busier lives both in and out of the office, and new advances in technology aren't doing anything to lessen the problems. With this in mind, it has become increasingly important to take some time to disconnect everything, even if it is just for a brief 24 hours.

Reducing Connectivity Produces Connections

How often do you see an advertisement where a family sits around a table and has an actual conversation that doesn't include incognito texting or tweeting under the dinner table? The landscape for family dinners has changed so drastically with the introduction of smartphones and tablets that family dinner has become a family plus Facebook dinner, where the virtual guests are invited to ogle your meal via Instagram, and find the recipe through suggested banner advertisements. 

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This Family is Living Like it's 1986

This article was originally published in the Huffington Post by Amanda Sherker. 

If you want to get in touch with a member of the McMillan family, you can't call them on their cell phones, you can't reach them on Facebook and you certainly can't ping them on Gmail. This Ontario family isn't Amish; they've simply instituted a ban on all technology invented after 1986, according to an interview in the Toronto Sun.

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Your Kids and Their “Internet Posse”

Parents may not get it. Actually, I didn’t get “it” until I was forced to evaluate child-directed websites as a part of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) compliance, as newly required by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). 

Starting July 1, 2013, the FTC requires that sites and applications directed primarily to children, effectively allow parents to review where their child’s information is shared, and delete that internet footprint, or record of sharing.  This sharing of child information through ad networks, cookies, clear gifs, beacons, etc. is what one can consider your child’s “Internet Posse”.  They are a Posse as they are not there just for the initial sharing of internet activity, but in behavioral advertising networks; they can follow your child’s internet activities outside of the child website that they visited.

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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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You Need To Add Location Monitoring To Your Child's Phone Right Now

The Numbers

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, over 800,000 people under the age of 18 go missing on an annual basis. Some of these are simple incidents of the child getting lost and reappearing later, surprised that everyone was so concerned. However, approximately 258,000 of these cares are outright abductions in some shape or form.

Put into perspective, ChildStats.gov notes that for the year the study used by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children was conducted, there were roughly 71.9 million children in the United States. By these numbers, over a full percent of them would go missing each year. Looking at it another way, the average elementary school (476 students) would probably see one and a half of those students actually abducted sometime during the year, and several more simply not show up for reasons other than skipping.

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Top 25 Family Safety Articles of the Week

It seems like our friends at SafeSoundFamily do a great job of rounding up the best safety articles of the week, and we especially like the "Online and Data Security" section.  Check these articles out that included everything from a seatbelt designed for a pregnant woman to the most prolific Craig's list scams. 

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How To Spy on Our Kids: 3 Steps for Parental Monitoring

The title might turn you off, but don't be offended.  Spying on your kids is not always a negative and can be thought of as something that needs to be done to ensure their health and well-being. Spy the proper way by following the steps outlined below.  

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Location Monitoring: It's Nothing Like The Good Old Days

Once upon a time, children would go out and play until dark.  Parents would go to their back porches and call their names and a few minutes later, the kids would ride their bikes in the driveway and come inside for the night. Location monitoring was never a concern because the parents all looked out for each other's children.  

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4 Reasons You Have To Get Your Teen a Smart Phone

There's no end to the functionality of a smart phone. It's easy to dismiss your child's requests (or desperate pleas) for a smart phone without really thinking about it. But here are 4 really worthwhile uses for a smart phone that every parent can appreciate.

  1. GPS. Kids get lost, and GPS isn't just for cars. Wherever they are, GPS helps them find their way home. And there are services you can subscribe to that will leverage the GPS

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4 Things You Need to Know About FourSquare and Keeping Your Kids Safe

Many tweens and teens love FourSquare, a free application available for GPS-enabled smartphones.

Here are 4 vital things you need to know about FourSquare to keep your kids safe when they're using the location-based social networking app.

1. It's not just a game:

On FourSquare, your child earns points for “checking in” at certain locations and earns badges (checkins at 20 different pizza places, for example.) If she frequently checks in at the same place, she could become “mayor” of that location.

But even though it sort of feels like a game, FourSquare is actually a social network where people can

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Using FourSquare as a Location Parental Monitoring Tool

Everyone these days belongs to some kind of social network - teens in  particular are enamored with social media and facebook for kids. They love having the ability to know everything that their friends are doing at all times, all the time. One of those social networks is called FourSquare, and many of you know what it is, or at least heard it mentioned.

For those of you who don't know what FourSquare is; its a social network, most commonly used through an "App" on a mobile phone. Users are encouraged to "Check-in" when they arrive at any number of locations. Restaurants, bars, schools, offices and even homes and apartments have the ability to create a location where any user can "Check-in" and receive points for doing so. Companies most often use the service to promote deals and encourage visitors, but kids and teens most often use the social network as a game to see who can get the most points.

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iZup App Prevents Texting While Driving to Keep Kids Safe

Aside from modeling good behavior by never using your own phone while driving, or having frequent conversations with your kids about the dangers of texting and driving, you can also use a mobile app like iZup to curb the temptation for your teen to text and drive and keep your kids safe.

The name iZup literally means “eyes up,” meaning that it keeps your teens from looking down at their phones when their focus needs to be on the road. iZup is compatible with Blackberry and Android, and it works using the phone's GPS.

 Once the phone reaches 5 MPH (or another speed you select when you set up your account,) the app will automatically hold all incoming texts and calls. No outgoing texts or calls can be made, either, except for 911 or other numbers you authorize when you set up your account. It's a great app to enable parental controls in the car and help keep your kids safer

 Currently, iZup is available for a subscription of $2.95 per month or $19.95 per year. You can put iZup on up to 5 phones with a family monthly subscription of $5.95 per month ($59.95 per year.)

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Impact of Online Gaming on Teen Sleep and Kids Safety

Like most things teens might do to fill their time, online gaming has its pros and cons. Gaming improves hand-eye coordination, encourages problem solving, and can foster teamwork and social skills (in multi-player games.) On the other hand, too much of a good thing can be, well, bad and can affect teen kids safety. Several studies have followed the effects of gaming in teens, including the latest released by the American Psychiatric Association revealing a correlation between too little sleep and Internet gaming.

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For your Kids Safety: Disable Geotagging on Their Smartphones

Did you know that people can tell where you were when you took a particular photo? Sound like a kids safety risk to you? We're not just talking about identifying landmarks in the background, we're talking about geotagging.

Geotagging happens when you snap a picture on any device with a GPS chip: it embeds detailed information about where, when, and how the photo was taken, including latitude and longitude coordinates that generally pinpoint the location to within 15 feet.

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