Little-Known Social Site is Host to Kidnap Victim

The following piece from NBC's Helen A.S.Popkin is a great article on and the recent media storm around it. 

Popular with kids, and — until recently — obscure to many adults, is a Latvia-based social networking site where members interact by inviting others to ask anonymous questions.

Though the site has more than 65 million members who interact in more than 30 languages, it wasn’t until Monday that made headlines in the United States. That’s when kidnapping victim Hannah Anderson, barely 48 hours after her rescue, logged on using the name “Hannahbanana722." Her identity later confirmed by her grandparents, Anderson openly answered personal questions about her ordeal, posted by anonymous strangers. She also posted several smiling selfies — cellphone self-portraits — as well.   

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Teens Flock to Tinder - The Social Hookup App

There are so many ways for teens to communicate today - email, texting, facebook and now Tinder. Tinder is a new dating app that creates a collection of Facebook photos that it shows to other interested parties in the area. One of the best parts of Tinder is the local feature which means all the people who are interested in you are in your area.

Teens love Tinder for a number of reasons. First, is the instant gratification that it gives. How the apps works: a picture of someone pops up and the user has the option of clicking on a green button and if they don't like what they see they hit an X. The average teen is thrilled to find out who thinks they are hot. Tinder only gives the good news. If people see the pictures and hit the X the teen never knows about it. 

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10 Ways to Keep the Kids Safe While Online - From NannyWebsites

online safety

When used in a responsible and safe manner, the Internet can be one of the most powerful research and educational tools at a child's disposal. It can expose him to a wealth of knowledge that would otherwise be difficult to obtain, help him experience other cultures and ways of life and encourage him to learn about the world around him. When used irresponsibly by children that have not been adequately taught about the potential dangers, however, the Internet can also be one of the most powerful tools at a predator's disposal. These ten tips can help you keep your kids safe without depriving them of the vaulable knowledga available.

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10 Common Internet Scams Your Child Might Fall For

The world wide web can be a big, scary place for your kids.The most efficient way to monitor your child's online activity is through a parental intelligence system that will monitor and analyze their actions. Scams come a dime a dozen, but it's worse when they specifically target your children. You need to know what to watch out for.  Here are the 10 most common Internet scams your child might fall for:
1. Knockoffs

Kids love clothes, especially teenagers. They want to be trendy and have all the latest designer styles when they know they can't afford it. So scammers create ads for all these "discount" online stores

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Fun and Interesting Ways To Teach Your Child About Internet Safety

The internet has afforded children, some as young as preschool-aged, new and exciting ways to learn and to discover. It has also shown itself to be a platform through which online predators can slink undetected. The internet can be as dangerous as it is useful. For this reason, many parents enforce strict guidelines in terms of search time, websites and appropriate chat rooms.

This may not be the best approach. Restriction ultimately leads to rebellion. The objective here is to make internet safety training as interactive as possible, so that your child understands the risks associated with irresponsible behavior, has fun while learning, and makes the decision to reinforce those caveats in themselves while surfing with limited supervision.

Here are some fun ways to teach your children internet safety.


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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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Digital Parenting: The Next Generation of Children's Television

In the realm of parenting, television has gotten a bad rap. Many parents picture television as a mind-numbing device that will do nothing but capture their kids' interests with flashy images and crude jokes. From trashy reality TV, featuring the not-so-real — and certainly not kid-appropriate — lives of fake celebrities to mindless TV programs — like Nickelodeon's enduring favorite "Sponge Bob Square Pants," there certainly is plenty on TV that parents may not want their little ones watching. If you're a parent, bothered by the lack of quality for children programming and contemplating tossing your TV out the nearest window, hold on a minute.

The Online Streaming Option

If you want to entertain your tot, but don't want to flip on the TV, you do have other options. Thanks to the proliferation of online streaming, you can now better tailor your child's viewing experience through the selection of streaming options. Is your child struggling in science because he isn't interested? No problem, flip on "Wild Kratts" on Hulu, which follows the irresistibly exciting adventures of the science-loving Kratts brothers. Does he need to learn how to count? Try a LeapFrog program that focuses on numbers, easily located on the streaming system Netflix. Because streaming TV allows you to pull up what you want, when you want, it makes programs of this time more accessible and effective as educational tools.

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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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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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Online Predators -- Are They Still a Threat?

A few years ago there was an extremely disturbing reality TV show called “To Catch A Predator.” The show was all about luring and then capturing men, who thought that they were meeting underage children for the purpose of sex. The show was taken off the air in 2008, but sent a chilling message to parents.  The sexual predator has evolved and is no longer wandering around playgrounds with a bag of candy.  They have become highly sophisticated internet experts, hanging-out online and infiltrating the sites where your children go.  But is the online predator a threat?


  • A recent survey that was carried out about internet predators, and asked over 1000 children aged between 10 and 17 concluded that:

  • A figure of one in thirty three children had been asked to meet someone secretly.

  • Just under a quarter of all child targets were aged 10 to 13.

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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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"Catfishing" -- The Latest Danger in Digital Parenting

We’ve all come across people who exaggerate their physical attributes online.  Usually, this is harmless e.g., when someone uses a profile photo from five years ago when they were much slimmer or pretends to be a couple inches taller than they really are.  However, the scenario changes when someone makes up a completely fake identity and interacts with people online using that identity, a deception which is called “catfishing.”

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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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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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