Sunday, October 19, 2014

Social Media's Ugly Side

If your child has his own cell phone, you might want to consider placing some mobile safeguards on it.  We attended an eye-opening workshop yesterday for our foster care continuing hours.

The first part of the workshop consisted of discussing social media sites, identifying those that allow for anonymous user names.  I will include those sites as well as the mobile safeguards.  Now that kids have their own cell phones, the world is at their fingertips.  Predators and inappropriate sites/apps abound.  Know your kids' passwords! They are NOT responsible enough to have complete privacy.

Take your child's phone from them at bedtime.  Return it in the morning.

The second part of the workshop presented issues with video games.  Educational ones are great.  PC online games, consoles, and mobile gaming can be extremely disturbing.  Because many people have their own cell phones or tablets these days, mobile gaming is on the rise.  In fact, the number of women over 50 has surpassed the number of teenage boys who play mobile games! (Of course they don't play the SAME games as teenage boys.)

Tips for connecting online

Social Media Sites to Watch For

Social Media Sites that allow anonymous user names
Whisper App

Mobile Safeguards for your child's phone

MamaBear (Android, iOS) - FREE
All-in-one mobile parental controll app that allows you to locate a child through a smartphone, keep tabs on social media activity, and find out when your kid has been driving over the speed limit.  Location tracking can tell you where your child is, as well as provide arrival and departure alerts from locations such as school or home.  The social media monitor can be set to notify you when your child adds new contacts, uses restricted words or uploads photos or tags.

Norton Family (Android, iOS) - FREE trial
A parental controls app that allows parents to moinitor their children's online activity.  The app monitors internet use, allowing parents to see which websites kids are attempting to visit.  The app also automatically blocks access to inappropriate sites (with optional email notifications to parents). A premium paid tier unlocks more features.

Kids Place (Android) - FREE
Sometimes, you just want to lend your device to your younger children without putting your apps, data, and settings at risk.  Kids Place is a custom app launcher that creates a customized sandbox environment for your kids to play in, filled with the apps of your choice. In addition to allowing you to filter accessible apps, Kids Place also prevents installations of new apps and blocks both in-app purchases and Google Play access. A timer feature lets you limit use, with the app locking after a set time. Multiple profile support lets parents create custom environments for different users. Exiting Kids Place (as well as changing settings) is blocked with a PIN.

McGruff Safeguard (iOS) - FREE

mSpy Parental Control (iOS) - $49 and up
Blocks calls, tracks call history, track GPS location, record surroundings, read SMS and instant messages, blocks websites and apps, get access to photos & videos

My Mobile Watchguard (Andriod, iOS) - $4.95/month
Offers users with a series of powerful parental controls that allow mom and dad to see phone call logs, read text messages on their childrens' phones, set web blocking and time blocking, remotely block and grant access to apps, as well as find out where your child is through GPS. No stealth mode, so your kid is aware that they are being watched.

Net Nanny (Android) - $19.99/year
A simple control app for your child's Android device, letting you be as conservative or liberal with your content blocking as you like.

McAfee Family Protection - $19.99/year
Choose from four age profiles that each block websites in up to 35 categories.

eBlaster Mobile - $69.95
This stealthily monitors everything your child does on his device.  From a remote Web administrative console you can see who your child texts or calls, and you can see his browsing history, too. Parents can also define a "virtual fence" and if your child steps out of these boundaries, you'll receive an alert.

WebWatcher  (Android, iOS) - $99.95

iKeyMonitor (iOS, Android) - FREE trial
iKeyMonitor Spy App is featured as 100% undetectable iPhone Spy App and Android phone Spy App. It is an Key Logger for iPhone/iPad/iPod/Android that logs SMS, keystrokes, passwords, websites, screenshots and delivers logs to you by email or FTP.

AVG Family Safety (iOS) - FREE

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