This news report gives us an alarming insight into the dangers of how Smartphone pictures pose privacy risks, for all of us, and how they could potentially put your child in grave danger. If you have children, we urge you to please carefully watch this news report. It’s truly frightening to know that with one click of a button all of this information can be retrieved by anyone, anywhere. With one picture posted, your child’s location, bedroom, school, and the neighborhood park they frequent will all be made public. This puts them at great risk of being contacted by online predators, so please pay close attention to what they’re posting online. Are your children a few mouse clicks away from being discovered?
Are you concerned with your kids mobile phone activity? Supervise them with WebWatcher Mobile on BlackBerry— and Android devices. **Coming soon to iPhones and Windows Phone 7.
The Merriam Webster dictionary describes cyberbullying as “the electronic posting of mean-spirited messages about a person (as a student) often done anonymously.” Cyberbullying can lead to depression, anxiety, poor academic performance and in some cases suicide. According to an article from the February issue of Staten Island Parent Magazine, Nzingha West, owner of Urbane Academics states that bullying has “taken on an entirely new facade because we have so much technology and ways to contact people.”
Luckily, for parents and teachers out there, computer monitoring tools such as WebWatcher can monitor and track untoward behavior, as well as control when a child can use the Internet or other computer programs. Parents are also able to track text usage both sent and received with WebWatcher Mobile. These kinds of tools can help parents remain ahead of the game.
Many schools have also begun to implement similar techniques by using InterGuard, the business version of WebWatcher. This software’s web filtering application helps to protect students from surfing the Internet inappropriately or downloading pirated files while on school grounds.
• Cyberbullying includes sending mean messages or threats via any communication portal, spreading rumors, sexts, or sexually suggestive pictures, posting hurtful or threatening messages about others, and pretending to be someone else online to hurt another person.
• The Journal of the American Medical Association recently reported that one-third of U.S. students experience bullying, either as a target or a perpetrator.
• A high level of parents (47%) and teachers (77%) report children victimized by bullies.
• Bullying and violence cause 160,000 fearful children to miss one or more school days each month.
• Only a small percentage of children believe that telling adults will help. Children generally feel that adult intervention is ineffective and will only bring more harassment.
What to look for?
• Start doing some research. Google words like “cyberbullying” and “sexting.”
• Look for signs of withdrawal form normal activities, poor academic results, unusual irritable behavior
• Ask your child if they know someone who has been bullied. This will open the lines of communication and they may open up about others’ pain before admitting their own experiences.
• Establish an appropriate code of conduct both online and offline are key—if they wouldn’t say something to someone’s face, then they shouldn’t text it, IM it, or post it on the Internet.
• Establish consequences for bullying behavior. If your child contributes to degrading and humiliating people, find a way to appropriately revoke privileges.
• Check for formspring in their browsing history. Formspring is a very “popular” forum that allows individuals to freely speak their mind beneath a shroud of anonymity.
• According to Staten Island Parent Magazine, “Bullying can lead to depression and isolation and, in most extreme cases, violence.”
10 Ways to Protect Your Child From Cyberbullies
Brad Miller, CEO of web-monitoring software company Awareness Technologies, offers these tips to knock it out before it starts.
1. Start by talking with your children about their online activities and the dangers of cyberbullying-set their expectations by discussing your views on monitoring their Internet and smartphone use.
2. Set up Google Alerts to monitor mentions of your children’s names on the web.
3. Friend your children on Facebook and monitor their privacy settings so you are able to view their profile and activity.
4. In addition to Facebook, cyberbullies use other social networking sites like Twitter to post hateful messages. Familiarize yourself with these sites and set up an account to enable you to Brad Miller, CEO of web-monitoring software company Awareness Technologies, offers these tips to knock it out before it starts.
a) Start by talking with your children about their online activities and the dangers of cyberbullying-set their expectations by discussing your views on monitoring their Internet and smartphone use.
b) Set up Google Alerts to monitor mentions of your children’s names on the web.
c) Friend your children on Facebook and monitor their privacy settings so you are able to view their profile and activity.
d) In addition to Facebook, cyberbullies use other social networking sites like Twitter to post hateful messages. Familiarize yourself with these sites and set up an account to enable you to routinely search what others are saying about your kids.
e) Inform teachers if you suspect your child is being cyberbullied. Teachers are among the first to notice important changes in children’s behavior, and it’s possible the bully may be a classmate.
f) Consider implementing parental monitoring software on your home computers and children’s smartphones.
g) Many school districts also now use computer monitoring software on all classroom computers. Check with your school principal, PTA or school board to ensure these tools are in use at your child’s school.
h) Prohibit your children from having multiple e-mail addresses, screennames and social networking accounts.
i) Prohibit your children from using geolocation tools and apps on Facebook and smartphones.
j) Always be observant as your children use electronic communications tools. Changes in habits, such as frequency and timing of use, mood swings and other indicators, could be a sign that your child is being bullied or a target of other online mischief.
According to an October 2010 Nielsen study, 94 percent of teen mobile subscribers self-identify as advanced data users, turning to their cellphones for messaging, Internet, multimedia, gaming, and other activities like downloads. No surprise here especially with the recent news that Smartphone sales have surpassed those of PCs. As parents, we all know cell phones and the conveniences that come along with them, can benefit our lives greatly – namely always being able to get in touch with our kids and knowing that they can always call if they need to. Unfortunately, with the good comes the bad. Not all teens know how to use their cell phone or other technologies appropriately. Whether it’s surfing to inappropriate sites, downloading or pirating illegal files, or cyber bullying their peers teens, the World Wide Web can be a tumultuous place, which makes it all the more important to protect our loved ones with 21st-century tactics. To help address these potential problems, WebWatcher Mobile has recently been upgraded and now allows you to see every email as well as every text message that is sent and received from a cell phone simply by logging into the WebWatcher secure website.
Did you know?
• A typical teenager texts every 10 minutes during waking hours! – NY Times article
• High-risk behaviors are more common among teens who engage in extreme texting – a Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, study
• Teens are more likely to text their friends than they are to communicate with them face-to-face – Pew Research Center
• Half of teens send 50 or more text messages a day, or 1,500 texts a month, and one in three send more than 100 texts a day, or more than 3,000 texts a month- Pew Research Center
• According to a recent study by the creators of an app called textPlus, 43% of teenagers use their cell phones to text during class.
• Of the 75% of teens (who) have a cell phone, 54% text daily and 27% use their phone to go online – WILLIAM J. BENNETT: ‘Sextortion,’ Cyberbullying, Texting
• Teens who send more than 120 texts a day are more likely to have had sex or used alcohol or illegal drugs than peers who text less- a Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, study
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website, approximately one in four teens report verbal, physical, emotional, or sexual violence by a dating partner each year. With teens constantly texting, instant messaging, and using social networking sites, teen dating violence is spreading rapidly online. Nineteen percent of teens in relationships say their partner has used a cellular device or the internet to spread rumors about them (Liz Claiborne, Inc/Teen Research Unlimited). While these online and mobile communications can serve as outlets for emotional aggression, they’re traceable with parental monitoring software. Parents can gain important insights into their teens’ lives by communicating with them about this important topic and better monitoring their web, email and mobile phone activity. In honor of National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month, Awareness Technologies has provided the following tips for parents:
• Start by talking with your teen about dating habits and promote positive online relationships – discuss what makes a healthy relationship and encourage your child to surround him or herself with likeminded peers.
• Educate your teen on the permanence of information on the Internet and the ramifications of negative posts and photos that could follow a lifetime.
• Know the signs of dating violence for both the victim and abuser, which can include changes in mood, school work, sleeping habits and social life.
• Inform your child of the potential dangers of allowing other peers and individuals access to their devices. Set up passwords on all smartphones and laptops in case they land in the wrong hands.
• Notify teachers if you suspect your teen is in a violent relationship. Teachers are among the first to notice important changes in behavior, and it’s possible their partner may be another student.
• Stay in tune with your teen’s online and mobile phone activity. Consider implementing parental monitoring software on all home computers and teens’ smartphones to check for inappropriate activity.
Since 2006, February has been observed as an important time to raise awareness about the seriousness of dating violence among teenagers nationwide. In order to break the cycle of abuse, this month serves as a time to educate young people about dating violence, warning signs of abuse, and defining what healthy and unhealthy relationships are. In 2008, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved S. Res. 710 declaring the first week of February as “National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Week,” and on January 25, 2010, the Senate expanded the observance by declaring the entire month of February as “National Teen Dating Violence Awareness & Prevention Month.”
What is Teen Dating Violence? According to BreaktheCycle.org “Dating violence is a pattern of abusive behaviors used to exert power and control over a dating partner.” Teen dating violence occurs when one partner tries to take control over the other through: physical, sexual, verbal and/or emotional abuse. Teen dating violence affects both females and males. Teens however, are more often affected by technological abuse i.e. they receive threats by text messages, email or social media sites this also known as cyber bullying.
Warning signs that your partner is abusive:
• Extreme jealousy
• Constantly putting you down or calling you hurtful names
• Isolating you from friends and family
• Demanding sex or affection
• Demanding to know where you are and who you are with all the time
• Controlling behavior
• Unpredictable mood swings
• Threatens violence
• Physically hurting you in any way
• Checking your cell phone, email, or social media without permission
• Has an explosive temper
How Common is Teen Dating Violence? The Center of Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Physical Dating Violence Among High School Students – United States, 2003, states that nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year. And, according to “Intimate Partner Violence in the U.S., 1993-2004” (2006), those most at risk are teen and young women, aged 16 to 24. This group experiences the highest rate of intimate partner violence, almost 3 times the average for women as a whole. According to a survey from the Connecticut Department of Health, “10 percent of teens were involved in a physically abusive relationship in the past year, while 17 percent were in an emotionally or verbally abusive relationship.”
What You Can Do? Try talking to your teenagers: Always keep the lines of communication open, and be honest with them. Discuss dating violence with your teen and explain what it is and what it means to be in an healthy relationship verse an unhealthy one. Ask how things are going. Ask what their friends’ dating relationships are like. Ask if your teen has seen any type of abusive behavior between other dating couples. Encourage them to seek help if they or someone they know is in an abusive relationship.
Questions to help spark conversation with your teen: • How are things going?
• What are your friends’ dating relationships like?
• Have you ever seen any kind of abusive behavior between other couples?
• Why do you think someone would abuse someone they were dating?
• Why might a person stay in an abusive relationship?
• What makes a relationship healthy?
Hubbard House: domestic violence center serving Duval and Baker counties – 24-Hour Domestic Violence Hotline (904) 354-3114 or (800) 500-1119, www.hubbardhouse.org
Rape Crisis Hotline: (904) 244-RAPE
Love is Respect http://www.loveisrespect.org/
National Teen Dating Hotline: (866) 331-9474, www.loveisrespect.org (has live chat)
Teen Internet Dating Info: www.loveisnotabuse.com
Break The Cycle: The only national non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to ending dating abuse. www.breakthecycle.org, www.thesafespace.org
Children are in the news more and more these days because of some kind of social networking issue, cyberbullying report or simply for being careless of their online reputation. This is a result of spending more and more time online—both at home, in schools and at a friend’s. Most young adults haven’t developed the necessary acumen or ability to fully grasp the ramifications of some of their activity and conduct on the Internet. They don’t quite realize that what they post or tweet is indelible once it is up on the World Wide Web. The content they place here is permanent and available to anyone and everyone these days. More and more reports are circulated in the news due to carelessness and naivety. Sadly, most parents don’t feel confident in themselves, nor do they feel they possess the necessary skills to fully inform their children of the dangers of unsafe Internet behavior. According to a new study from research firm Harris Interactive, roughly “a third of parents said they don’t feel confident about teaching kids how to use the Internet safely and responsibly.” However, today, parents are able to choose computer monitoring software, keyloggers or other parental software control tools to ensure their child’s online safety and maintain a less impactful, digital footprint. These tools will help both parents and children maintain a safe experience and a clean reputation. According to CIC, “High school kids spend as much as 5.1 hours a day online when they’re out of school, middle school children spend 4.9 hours daily and elementary school children spend 3.8 hours a day. Experts say kids can be particularly vulnerable to predators when divulging personal information on blogs, social networks or to marketers.”
Here are some recommended steps to follow in protecting your child and helping them to protect themselves against potential harm from unsafe web-surfing.
Tips For Elementary School Children: 5-10 •Monitor their use and set a standard of appropriate online websites by viewing with them.
•Explain the basics of appropriate online behavior. Teach your children that lying, telling secrets, and being mean is still hurt just as much online as offline.
•Explain that passwords are meant to be private and should only be shared with their parents.
Tips For Middle School Children: 11-13 •Monitor their use. See what they’re posting, check their mobile messages, and let them know you’re keeping an eye on their activities.
•Set up privacy settings for their social networking sites immediately.
•Explain to your kids what harassment is, and what to do if they’re harassed. Stress that they shouldn’t respond or retaliate, they should block bullies immediately, and they should tell you or an adult immediately. Advise them not to delete the messages because in persistent cases, the content should be reported to a cell or Internet Service Provider, and if it escalates to the proper authorities.
•If your child is doing the bullying, establish strict consequences and stick to them. That goes for cruel or sexual comments about teachers, friends, and relatives, etc.
•Remind them that all private information online can be made public. Posts on friends’ walls, private IMs, private photos, etc., can all be cut, pasted, and sent around to anyone and everyone on the Internet. If they don’t want everyone to see then they’d better not post or send it.
•Chat in online games and virtual worlds need to be monitored also to make sure that they’re behaving appropriately.
Tips For High School Children: 14-18 •Tell them to think before they post. At this age, young adults experiment with all sorts of activities, many of which should not be made public. Remind your teens that anything they post can be misused.
•Remind them that they’re never too old to ask for your help.
you only install its software on computers that you own or have
permission to monitor and that you inform all users of those computers
that they are being monitored. Failure to do so may result in breaking
of Federal and State laws. Awareness Technologies will cooperate with
authorities in investigation of any allegations of misuse. Consult
legal counsel if you have questions regarding your specific