Tech – for Everyone

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

A Quick Reco For Parents (and a bonus)

If you are a parent, or teacher, you may want to know about a “video tutorial” resource. This is not something you ask your kids to watch – it’s for you.

CyberSafe with Steve Dotto

“The new videos focus on social media and provide teachers and parents with a better understanding of what to look for and how to protect children in the digital age.

They are short and concise and help adults quickly understand the dangers and how to avoid them.”

I highly recommend you take a look at the intro video, and then explore..! Check it out, here.

Also (aka “the ‘bonus’): Launch of Google’s Emergency Public Alert Service

Today’s post is an important one that ultimately and literally could be a lifesaver. Google, in conjunction with their mapping technology, has launched a platform service called Google Public Alerts that is designed to help you find critical emergency information during a crisis.Read more..

Today’s quote:History shows that there is nothing so easy to enslave and nothing so hard to emancipate as ignorance, hence it becomes the double enemy of civilization. By its servility it is the prey of tyranny, and by its credulity it is the foe of enlightenment.” ~ Lemuel K. Washburn

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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January 28, 2012 Posted by | advice, Google, how to, Internet, kids and the Internet, News, security | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

How To Out-savvy Your Child

And Make Parental Controls ‘Stick’

One of the services I provide for clients, as a computer technician, is a category of tech commonly referred to as “Parental Controls”. These controls limit what the child can do on the computer – what kind of websites they can look at (no XXX, for example), what hours the Internet is available, etc.. (Yes. You can turn off the Internet after 10pm.)

These restrictions can be adjusted and modified to be appropriate for the child… loosened as the child matures, maybe. Windows comes with Parental Controls built in, or you can acquire special programs. Let’s face it, there’s a lot on the Internet children maybe shouldn’t see at their age (maybe.. ever).

In my years in business, I have been asked to enable (or install) parental controls exactly three times. When I – specifically – remind a parent of these controls, and – specifically – ask if they would like me to go ahead and turn some on.. you know, ’cause I am right there? You know what I hear? (I bet you do.)

No. Thanks. My kid is pretty smart. They’ll just find a way to turn them off.”

Sometimes I hear, “No. Thanks. My kid is pretty smart. WAY smarter than me when it comes to computers.They’ll just find a way around them.

It would be nice if I had a dollar for every time I heard that..

What percentage of parents think their 10 year old is savvier with computers than they are? Just shy of 99, I’ve come to believe.

A lot of time, I think, the parent just doesn’t want the hassle of having to stop what they’re doing and come and install each update, or new program for the child, and come and type their password so the kid can see that website. Seemingly, each and every website.. all day.. everyday.
But I digress.

I came across an article for parents: Typical Trickery of Teen Hackers

“Tech-savvy teens have figured out ways to get past parental controls, reset passwords, and install software and other activities frustrating to parents.

Fortunately, these situations are solvable. Here are some typical questions parents have about how teens are able to get around parental controls, and some practical advice on how to prevent it in the first place.”

This will tell you how to stay in control, and keep your restrictions in place. Because YOU are the parent. And if you don’t know.. maybe you ought to learn? Reading the article is a great first step.

To read my other parenting-and-tech articles, click here. Also, I have a Page you might want to look at: Safety, Kids, and the Internet. (It is in the upper right.)

Bonus: You have already seen the ads. “Black Friday” sales are everywhere. I want to remind you that this is the cyber-criminal’s favorite, and most active, time of year. It is the time to redouble your “paranoid common sense” and triple your vigilance for scams, e-mails links, making sure the payment portal is https://, etc..

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

As if being a parent isn’t hard enough…

The Internet has made your job a whole lot tougher. As soon as your child is old enough to get online, you have to safely guide him through a whole new world: the virtual one. How can you encourage your child to explore wonderful new places that stimulate creativity and learning while ensuring he or she doesn’t wander into dangerous territory?

Get FREE continuous protection against malware and inappropriate Web sites. Download K9 Web Protection now.

* Norton Online Family is a free service that has won recognition for excellence, and ease of use. (To see more awards, click here: Reviews & Awards.)

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


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November 22, 2010 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, Internet, kids and the Internet, PC, permissions, security, tech | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Parents Guide For Video Games

I came across a resource for parents that I think you should know about.. if your kids like to play video games, that is.

logo

Fellow tech blogger Jason, at 404techsupport.com, wrote an interesting review – which is how I came to learn of it (thanks, Jason!).

“If you’re a parent concerned about the video games that your kids are playing and would like some help making sure they’re playing appropriate games, be sure to check out the What They Play website.

What They Play is a site with the intent to make parents a little less clueless about the video games their kids are playing or are begging to play. Utilizing but going well beyond the ESRB ratings that you may already be familiar with, What They Play is a great resource for parents that explains without demeaning them.”

I not only agree with his statement, I think you will enjoy his whole article, so I am providing the direct link: What They Play – A Site Explaining Video Games to Parents.

I encourage parents to read it. And then click the link he provides and visit this website.I give them both two thumbs up!

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


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November 5, 2010 Posted by | computers | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Norton’s Free Safety Tool For Parents

Think you know what your kids are doing online?

I am not a parent. So you don’t need to write to me and tell me cruel and totalitarian and Neanderthal I am for recommending this…

NOF

Because I already know that. I’m heartless. And mean. Grrrrrrrr. See?

As a security-aware techie, I advise parents (when asked) to talk with their children about online dangers – yes. And monitor and limit their childrens’ Internet access. I am not “knocking” the importance of communication nor education, but I do believe in “trust, but verify”.
The Internet is not Rated G. Ha!

Norton Online Family is a free service that has won recognition for excellence, and ease of use. (To see more awards, click here: Reviews & Awards.)

pcm_badge “PCMag featured Norton Online Family in their roundup of Free Security Software Tools and celebrated it as one of the Best Tech Products of 2009.” -Neil Rubenking 

(Click here to read Neil’s full review.)

ip_badge “Unlike many parental control products, Norton Online Family aims to create dialog between parents and kids, not assert draconian control. There’s no surreptitious spying here – it warns the child during the login process that his or her activity may be monitored.”
FC_logo “OnlineFamily.Norton.com Block sites, set a time allowance or make hours off-limits with this free service. Monitor Web searches and IMs from your computer. For an older teen who wants privacy, you can set it to alert you only if he engages in questionable activity, like checking out porn sites.”

From author:

See your kids’ online activities at a glance –

Easy-to-read activity reports give you the inside scoop on what your kids do online. In just minutes, you can find out what sites your kids visit, what they search for, who they chat with*, and what social networking sites they spend time at. You’ll get to know your kids better and gain a deeper understanding of their online interests, so you can protect and guide them.”

The benefits of using Norton™ Online Family include

  • Simple, one-time set up
    Create your Norton™ Online Family account, add and customize your family member accounts, and then easily install the Norton Safety Minder onto all the computers used in your household.
  • Easy to use and access
    Check your child’s activity or modify your child’s profile and preferences anytime and anywhere using any computer.
  • Always stay informed about those you care most about
    Know where your children visit, who they talk to, and what they’re doing while they’re online. Parents can also set and manage time limits, permitted sites, online chat* and social networking preferences for each family member.
  • Engage and communicate with each other
    Take advantage of built-in notification and messaging, providing open discussion with your child about their online activities and better understanding about their intent with visiting specific sites or wanting to spend more time online.
  • Never miss a thing
    Send alerts via email or text message to help you address urgent events. You’ll immediately know if your child has reached their time limits, visited a blocked site, or tried to add an unknown stranger as a chat buddy* wherever you are.

ParentAlert

I would say that a few more know how than admitted it in that survey…

Did I mention this was free? The folks at Symantec get a big tip of my geek hat for this one!

* (chat monitoring) Not available in all regions and for Mac OS.

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


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October 1, 2010 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, Internet, kids and the Internet, security, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 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