Cyber Safety Tips from Boys & Girls Clubs of America

Disclosure: I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Boys & Girls Clubs of America. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

With my older daughter now officially a middle schooler (be still my heart), I’m facing more and more new parenting issues as her peers get their own smart phones and social media accounts. We’re a digital family, with me being a blogger and a social media strategist for a digital marketing agency, and my husband owning his own tech company. How do we help our daughters make wise choices when it comes to cyber safety?

My 11-year-old has friends with Facebook AND Instagram accounts and she and her younger sister share a smart phone. As much as we embrace technology at our house, we have thus far not allowed her to open her own accounts. I was surprised to learn that 5 million of Facebook’s users are 10 and younger. From cyber bullying to learning safe ways to share information online, there are so many new things kids are faced with daily. I want to make sure we’re teaching our daughters smart ways to use technology.

Facebook Cyber Safety Tips from Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Being a responsible parent today means teaching your kids how to practice safe cyber useage. Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) has always focused on child safety and is committed to ensuring the safe futures of youth, including providing tips and tools to safely navigate an ever-expanding online world. They’ve partnered with Sprint to educate young people and parents on important media safety issues and arming parents and guardians with resources needed to have an open dialogue on tough safety topics. It’s the goal of Boys & Girls Clubs of America for every young person to have a cyber safe future.

Check out their great website, Cyber Safe Futures, where you can take an eye-opening quiz that will help you determine whether or not you’re a cyber safe parent and find fantastic cyber safety tips.

Need help talking to your kids about #cybersafety issues like bullying? Don’t know where to start? The new Cyber Safe Futures website features great videos (like the one above), as well as parenting tips and discussion points to help you and your kids navigate the new technology that’s literally at their fingertips.

I love these tips for cell phone use from the Cyber Safe Futures website, especially the technology free times and zones.

Four Tips for Parents on Cell Phone and Mobile Technology Use

  • Talk with your child about proper cell phone etiquette. Talk about places where it is appropriate to use cell phones. If she has a smart phone or game device that has Internet access, remind her that the Internet safety rules in your family apply to her mobile device as well.
  • Model good cell phone behaviors for your child. Your child watches you while you use the phone.
  • Establish technology free times and zones. For example, set a rule that cell phones and mobile technology are not used at the family dining table or during homework time. And then make sure you follow the rules yourself!
  • Establish with your child that you will periodically check his cell phone.
  • Check the monthly statement for unusual charges or activity. Talk with your child if anything in the bill raises questions.

How do you talk to your kids about #cybersafety? What issues are facing them?

 

Stop Madware In Its Track with the Free Norton Spot App

I’ve had an Android phone for more than two years now and my girls, who are 7 and 10, LOVE to download apps to it, primarily games. Although they are fairly savvy when it comes to technology, thanks to having a blogger for a mom and a tech entrepreneur for a dad, you never know when a seemingly harmless game download can become madware. They’re into downloading games that look fun and engaging, not worried about what potential threat may lie behind it for mom’s phone!

I’ve got enough on my plate as a busy working mom so anything that makes my life easier is wonderful. Norton created a free Android App called Norton Spot to identify potentially threatening madware before it becomes a full-fledged problem. Available in the Google Play app store, Norton Spot took just seconds to download to my phone and immediately identified apps that display ads, collect location coordianates, and mobile network info. I was surprised that not all these apps were ones my kids had downloaded. In fact, several were free apps that I’d chosen and downloaded, such as Words With Friends and The Weather Channel!

 Screen Shot Norton Madware App Stop Madware In Its Track with the Free Norton Spot App

Madware can link itself to popular apps such as Angry Birds (and who doesn’t have Angry Birds on their phone?) and Flashlight and gains access to your personal information, location, settings, and frequently delivers advertising inappropriately. These are not only annoying but slow your phone down.

Here’s an interesting infographic from Norton illustrating some eye-opening (and alarming) statistics about madware. In the past nine months, apps that include madware grew by 210%. 210%!! That’s a pretty incredible statistic! Norton Spot evaluates the madware risks of all your apps and tells you which ones can harm your phone. You then decide whether or not to delete them or not. And remember, madware only affects Android phones.

Norton Spot Madware Infographic Stop Madware In Its Track with the Free Norton Spot App

 

Have you ever been the victim of madware on your Android phone?

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Norton. I received a promotional item as a thank-you for participating.

 

Get Up And Dance For Wii Review

Get Up And Dance Wii 1024x1024 Get Up And Dance For Wii Review

My girls love to dance and they love active games on the Wii.

Get Up and Dance is a fun game (rated T for Teen) that’s perfect for sleepovers or parties or just burning off energy when the weather is bad.

The game has several modes including Party Mode, Group Mode, and Shape Up Mode, that encourage players to team up with or compete against friends to perfect their favorite, specially choreographed routines.

Here’s my almost 7-year-old dancing to Get Up And Dance and having a blast! (Yes the game is rated Teen…there are some songs like Salt ‘N Pepa “Push It,” remember that one, that probably are not ideal for younger kids but most of the songs are fine in my opinion. This game is definitely well-suited for 12 and up.)

If you’re looking for a fun, reasonably priced active game for the Wii, Get Up And Dance is a hit!

Disclosure: Affiliate link used.

 

BlondeMomShops (formerly known as Savvy Housewife) is a shopping blog featuring product reviews, great giveaways, and fabulous finds. Be sure to visit my main mom blog, BlondeMomBlog.com, for more great content from this 42-year-old Nashville working mom.