Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Parents, Is Your Child Asking For A Cell Phone?

Parental Monitoring And Cellular Phones

If you are a parent concerned about what your child is doing with their mobile phone– whether or not they’re talking to strangers, for example– you may want to keep reading. This topic was spawned by a question from such a parent.

And if you’re the kind of person who’s easily agitated about technology and the erosion of privacy, a Luddite, a Big Brother Conspiracy Theorist, or anyone else who hasn’t quite come to terms with the modern age we’re living in– you might want to stop reading here.
You’ve been warned. I will not respond to your angry e-mail.shhh

Regular readers (and tech-savvy people in general) know that your computer use at work is monitored. And you’ve probably heard of “spyware” and “keyloggers” that record what you type (my readers have, and that’s fersher). And you know that GPS devices can pinpoint your location.

And you know that modern phones allow text messaging, the sending of photos and movies, and surfing the Internet. (They are becoming more like little laptops everyday.)

And you know that the Internet can be a dangerous place. Especially for kids.
(read Monitoring Your Teenager’s Internet Usage – Should You?)

And thus a parent’s dilemma. If you have a child, odds are good the day will come when they want a phone. I think that happens around the ages of 7-9, these days.
And being kids, they won’t want just any old phone, but they will want a “kewl” phone; one with all the bell’s and whistles.

“But Mom, everybody’s got one!”

The answer, for you, may be to give your child a phone that allows you to see what they text and IM, control who their “contacts” are, and, maybe, even record their calls. It’s called “parental monitoring”, and the extent to which you use it is up to you.
[note: if reading that made your blood pressure go up a notch, refer now to the second paragraph.]

You don’t need to buy a special phone.. or even a new phone, to monitor your child’s activity.
* There is commercial software that can be installed on every type of phone– such as RADAR and MobileSpy. These can notify you in “real time” if a parameter you set is being broken. iPhone users can look at safe eyes.
[note: did your employer give you your cellphone? Think, people. Think. Let’s add two and two here.]

click me

* There are USB dongles that read a phone’s SIM chip –even if your child’s erased their messages– for $50.

So, if you’re a concerned parent, you have several options that will allow you to find some middle ground. And if you’re a Big Brother Conspiracy Theorist.. well, friend, it’s twice as bad as you dare to realize and it’s only going to get worse.

Today’s free link(s): Concerned parents who have a child reaching the driving age (and Big Brother Conspiracy Theorists) might read my article “What Your Car Is Saying About You.
Or you can give them a Guardian Angel cell phone which reports their location and speed..

Orig post: 10/21/08

Copyright 2007-2010 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved. jaanix post to jaanix.


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June 3, 2010 Posted by | advice, cellular, computers, how to, Internet, kids and the Internet, mobile, privacy, security, tech | , , , , , , | 16 Comments

GMA — Let’s Talk About Sexting

Good Morning America tackled an important topic — of particular concern to parents. I am posting this video in case you missed it.. or would like to forward it to your friends.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Good Morning America on ABC News – AB…“, posted with vodpod

[note: if the player doesn’t work, please click here.]

Today’s free link:Parental Monitoring And Cellular Phones If your child has a cell phone, this article provides you with some tools and information.

Today’s free download: K9 Web Protection is a  free Internet filtering and control solution for the home. K9 puts YOU in control of the Internet so you can protect your kids.

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

April 15, 2009 Posted by | advice, cellular, computers, Digital Images, Internet, iPhone, kids and the Internet, privacy, security, tech, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Parental Monitoring And Cellular Phones

If you are a parent concerned about what your child is doing with their mobile phone– whether or not they’re talking to strangers, for example– you may want to keep reading. This topic was spawned by a question from such a parent.

And if you’re the kind of person who’s easily agitated about technology and the erosion of privacy, a Luddite, a Big Brother Conspiracy Theorist, or anyone else who hasn’t quite come to terms with the modern age we’re living in– you might want to stop reading here.
You’ve been warned. I will not respond to your e-mail.

Regular readers (and tech-savvy people in general) know that your computer use at work is monitored. And you’ve probably heard of “spyware” and “keyloggers” that record what you type (my readers have, and that’s fer sher). And you know that GPS devices can pinpoint your location.shhh

And you know that cameras (usually hidden) are being installed everywhere– as a crime and terrorism preventative, and to stop red-light runners. Cities compete to have the highest percentage of camera coverage.

And you know that modern phones allow text messaging, the sending of photos and movies, and surfing the Internet. (They are becoming more like little laptops everyday.)

And you know that the Internet can be a dangerous place. Especially for kids.
(read Monitoring Your Teenager’s Internet Usage – Should You?)

And thus the parent’s dilemma. If you have a child, the day will come when they want a phone. I think that happens around the ages of 7-9, these days.
And being kids, they won’t want just any old phone, but they will want a “kewl” phone; one with all the bell’s and whistles. (Your hands are kind of tied on this.. nobody makes a “plain old cellphone” anymore. Haven’t for years.)

“But Mom, everybody’s got one!”

The answer, for you, may be to give your child a phone that allows you to see what they text and IM, control who their “contacts” are, and, maybe, even record their calls. It’s called “parental monitoring”, and the extent to which you use it is up to you.
[note: if reading that made your blood pressure go up a notch, refer now to the second paragraph.]

You don’t need to buy a special phone.. or even a new phone, to monitor your child’s activity.
* There is commercial software that can be installed on every type of phone– such as RADAR and MobileSpy. These can notify you in “real time” if a parameter you set is being broken. iPhone users can look at safe eyes.
[note: did your employer give you your cellphone? Think, people. Think. Let’s add two and two here.]

* There are USB dongles that read a phone’s SIM chip –even if your child’s erased their messages– for $50.

So, if you’re a concerned parent, you have several options that will allow you to find some middle ground. And if you’re a Big Brother Conspiracy Theorist.. well, friend, it’s twice as bad as you dare to realize and it’s only going to get worse.

Today’s free link(s): Concerned parents who have a child reaching the driving age (and Big Brother Conspiracy Theorists) might read my article “What Your Car Is Saying About You.
Or you can give them a Guardian Angel cell phone which reports their location and speed..

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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October 21, 2008 Posted by | advice, cellular, gadgets, hardware, how to, IM, Internet, iPhone, kids and the Internet, privacy, security, software, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Truth, and the Internet*

  • Teach your kids that not everything they read or see online is true. Encourage them to ask you if they’re not sure.

I came across this bullet-point on a security vendor’s* helpful tips & advice page. I was looking at Internet Safety tips for parents sites, as part of my relentless pursuit of bringing you, Dear Reader, the best gosh-durn information possible. (‘Cause that’s the kinda guy I am.) That particular point was #10 on a 10 Things Parents Should Do list.
It’s a good bullet-point. Agreed?

Not to get too far off the topic here, but how are parents supposed to do that when they themselves haven’t learned it? People believe what they see in print.. and what the CBS Evening News tells them.

Okay.. I’m not talking about you. I’m talking about people. Them. All those other cars on the freeway. They believe it because they read it in their local paper, or saw it on TV. Or.. CNN.  Or they “Googled it”.
And those things never lie.
Right?

[The media are businesses. Businesses need to make profits. Headlines sell papers. Fear makes headlines. Add it all up and you get– The Media is in the business of profiting from your fears.]

How many lies, distortions, or “misreporting’s” have you found in print or seen on TV as you’ve traveled down life’s path? One? Two? Each and every day?

Here’s the Truth: The Internet is the worst possible source of information because any-old nutcase with a computer can publish there (like I am doing right now) AND it is the best possible source of information because any-old nutcase with a computer can publish — without government interference, unmotivated by profit, and “say it as he sees it” (like I am doing right now).
A confusing dichotomy.

A confusing dichotomy I urge you to always remember.. and to tell your kids about… that should make for an interesting conversation!

Tip of the day: Don’t be ignorant of the dangers of the Internet. Educate yourself and your friends and your kids about online predators, identity-stealing spyware, and phishing e-mails, and take steps to get protected. (A good way to do that is to become one of this site’s regular readers. To make it easy, click on the orange “feed” icon, or “Bookmark” me.)

* The advice page referred to is at Webroot’s (SpySweeper) Website. Their advice page is here. It has four main categories: Internet Dangers, Online Activities, Threats, and Resources.
Of course, modestly sprinkled in with all the free advice is urgings to buy their product (which is OK, SpySweeper is consistently in the Top 3) which you are free to ignore. There is some really good information there, and it’s bullet-point easy to read. It is Today’s free link.

If you have a computer in your home, and you have a child in your home, you might also want to take a look at my other Internet+Kids related articles. Clicking this link will produce a page with all my past articles that are ‘tagged’ with those keywords. My special page on safety advice is here.

Did you miss my Top 10 list? Click here for my Top 10 Things You Should Do To Your Computer.

TGIF!

*Original posting 3/26/08

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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July 25, 2008 Posted by | advice, computers, Internet, kids and the Internet, tech | , , , , , , | 4 Comments