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Back To School Tech Safety 2017: Part III

With school back in session the pressure on our kids will increase.  Not just to get good grades and make the parents happy, but also the pressure to fit in with the social group.

When we were kids, social pressures tapered off when class started. We really only had to face the social group, for good or bad, between classes or during lunch or recess.  Basically, social pressure was “in the Hallway”.  We could get away from it in the classroom, or when we got home.

Unfortunately, our kids live in a “virtual hallway” that is ever present.  This creates a far more stressful culture than we experienced in our youth.  Therefore, parents need to deal with the social aspects of technology, including social media, cyber-bullying, and more.  One of the key strategies is to control what apps can be installed on the phone!

Let’s take a gander at ways to do this.

Continue reading Back To School Tech Safety 2017: Part III

Back-To-School Tech Safety 2017: Part II

It’s the first day of school and all the parents are celebrating!

Teachers? Well, maybe a little.

The kids?  Not so much…

The new school year brings a lot of new gadgets into play and parents need to understand that the new capabilities these devices bring also include new dangers.

Let’s take a look at Part II of our look at Back-To-School Tech Safety 2017!

Continue reading Back-To-School Tech Safety 2017: Part II

Child Grooming & Kidnapping: A Father’s True Story!

It is amazing, and horrifying, the degree of psychological control that an online predator can wield over a young person.  The process of implementing this control is called “grooming”, and I have found no better example of what it does to a child, and a family, than the article below.

The article was originally published at williamhenryprince.com by William Henry Prince, a Welsh blogger, who knew the family involved.  All names have been changed to protect the children.  It is reproduced in it’s entirety (including images) with full permission from the blogger and the Father in the article.

Since the authors/writers are from Great Britain I have defined certain colloquial words/phrases that are used in Wales but not in the USA.  These definitions are in RED. The same is done for “Net-speak”.  While some words may appear misspelled they are, indeed, correctly spelled in accordance with “The Queen’s English”.

It is important that parents of 21st Century children read this….

Continue reading Child Grooming & Kidnapping: A Father’s True Story!

Back-To-School Tech Safety 2017: Part I

YEA!  Summer’s over and the School Year is about to begin!  It’s time to hit those sales, pay those band bills, and cart the kids to pre-season practices!

It’s also a good time to get the household ready, technology-wise, to be a safer and more secure environment for our families.  There are a lots of new computers and other gadgets being bought this time of year so a little thought and a little preparation can make a HUGE difference!

First off, let’s talk about what parents need to do, at a minimum, for desktop and laptop computers.  There are FOUR VULNERABILITIES we need to take a quick look at:

  • Inappropriate content (porn sites, hate sites, etc.)
  • Viruses and malware
  • Computers just needing tune-ups.
  • Losing your data!

Let’s look at options to help you protect both your systems and your family.  Given the Recession and its effect on the family budget I will look at some of the free or lower-cost solutions!

Continue reading Back-To-School Tech Safety 2017: Part I

WARNING: The Blue Whale Game!

There is a dangerous game being widely reported on the Internet that parents need to be aware of:  The Blue Whale Game.

The Blue Whale Game is a sick suicide challenge that appears to goad vulnerable teens into killing themselves.  This game, allegedly invented by Russian Phillip Budeikin, 22, came to the attention of the English-speaking world earlier this year after originating on the Russian VK (VKontakte) social media network.  In the game the player makes contact with an “administrator” and accepts the “challenge” to complete 50 assignments in 50 days.  The last challenge requires the player to commit suicide.

There are many questions about this terrible game, but law enforcement, schools, and the media are talking about it, so we will, too!

Continue reading WARNING: The Blue Whale Game!

When Children Play With (Electronic) Fire….


Adults frequently allow their children to play with fire.  Not the real, combustible kind, but the world-ranging, never-dying fire that is the Internet.  They give children the latest gadgets, even when it is not the wisest thing to do. (Tell me…WHY does a 6-year old need a $600 smart phone with full access to the entire planet?)  Then they turn them loose without supervision, controls, or “training”.  Few boundaries are given.  If they are, it is often only when the technology is first provided with no “booster shots” as time goes by.
If you talk to military leaders they will tell you that technology is a “force multiplier”. It increases the power and lethality of weapons used against an enemy.
 
Unfortunately, technology also increases the power and deadliness of children’s actions and words.  The power and influence that technology puts into our children’s hands is totally disproportionate to their maturity and can be very harmful, even deadly. We all read about examples such as:
  • Children gang up on others with social media
  • Revenge is taken by sharing inappropriate pictures among peers, or online with the entire world
  • Reputations are destroyed
  • Kids do something “cool” and are arrested for felonies
  • Pranks and similar acts cause pain and suffering far beyond what is intended or expected

This last one came to national attention in March 2017 when 11-year old Tysen Benze of Marquette, Michigan, killed himself within 2 hours of his girlfriend faking her own suicide via social media.  It all happened so quickly!  Now the young lady, who is (hopefully) grief stricken over this senseless event, is also facing the prospect of criminal charges.  Some of her friends may also face charges.

Continue reading When Children Play With (Electronic) Fire….

Blogging The Knights’ Quest: Top Articles of 2016!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

I hope you had a great 2016!  It looks like 2017 will be full of new things, and that includes new hazards with technology!

For the 2nd year in a row our readership topped 40,000!  Thank you!  This year the target is: 50,000! Share some of our articles and help us get there!

THANK YOU!!!

TECH SAFE SERIES TRANSSo here are the Top 10 most read articles for 2016!

Continue reading Blogging The Knights’ Quest: Top Articles of 2016!

Black Friday, Christmas, and Tech 2016:
What Parents Need To Know – Part II

consolesPart II of a multi-post series. You can find Part I HERE.

One thing that is certain about Christmas:  A ton of video games are destined for Santa’s gift sack!

The game industry knows this and plans the release of games, game systems, and accessories with an eye to the end of the year.  That’s why we just saw Sony release the Playstation Pro, and why Microsoft released their new XBOX ONE S machines a couple of months ago.

So, parents, what dangers to your kids lurk in this part of the electronics industry?  What do you need to consider before getting that new game, or game system?

Let’s take a look!

Continue reading Black Friday, Christmas, and Tech 2016:
What Parents Need To Know – Part II

Black Friday, Christmas, and Tech 2016:
What Parents Need To Know – Part I

shutterstock_154413884WOW! Halloween is past and the early Black Friday sales are in play! Time to start planning!

As parents are shopping they have to consider how they will keep their kids safe from inappropriate materials and media, and from predators. What should parents be aware of, and what actions are needed to protect kids from inappropriate material…and more?

In this 4-part series we will look at what parents need to know about protecting kids who use:

– Phones
– Tablets
– Game Consoles
– Video Games
– Streaming TV
– Parental Controls
– and more!

Let’s get started!

Continue reading Black Friday, Christmas, and Tech 2016:
What Parents Need To Know – Part I

Pokemon Go!!! – What Parents Need To Know

Pokemon Go IconIf you have been in the civilized world (and  connected to the Internet) in the past week you have probably heard about all of the ruckus that Nintendo’s new game, POKÉMON GO!, is creating!  In just the first few days, POKÉMON GO! has thrown CANDY CRUSH off the top of the app pile, and (as of July 13, 2016) had over 21-MILLION peak users in the United States, alone!  The frenzy also hit Wall Street and, in the first week of release, Nintendo’s stock price jumped, adding $7.5-BILLION to the firm’s market value.

POKÉMON GO! has produced millions of happy Pokémon fans who have long awaited the fun it brings, but there are also a number of unintended consequences, risks, and outright dangers that parents need to know about.

So, let’s dive in!

Continue reading Pokemon Go!!! – What Parents Need To Know