Are Your Kids Safe Online?

Online is where everyone’s at! We live in a world where information travels fast and we can get all that we want just with the click of a button. In this digital age, one thing that often scares parents is the safety of their children online. What if the virtual world tightens its dark claw around your little one? Scary thought, isn’t it?

Here are some ways for you to make sure that your kids are safe on the internet:

Get Tech Savvy:

It is our duty to make sure our kids understand what online safety really means and to follow some ground rules about sharing information on the internet. But to do that, you have to be an informed parent first. We can not ask our kids to use Snapchat carefully if we do not even know what Snapchat is! Getting a little tech savvy does no harm, it will only keep you updated with the world.

Talk to them:

Nothing beats communication. Tell your kids about the dangers of the internet and what can happen if they are not careful enough. Just have a fair conversation with them, keeping your prejudices aside. Let your children know that you will be there for them if they ever face anything that makes them uncomfortable.

Run virus scans:

An anti-virus is an important component of internet safety that most of us tend to ignore. Run routine scans for viruses and malware to make sure your safety is never compromised. If you go online, make sure you only stay on safe and trusted sites. Whether you want to shop or play bingo online, look up for the security certificates before you put in your financial details.

Online safety is a huge concern and should be treated so. Use these tips and remember to stay safe!

The Value of a Photograph?

Family photographs were once something to be put into family albums, to be shared with friends and relatives, and to be pulled out at embarrassing times once your children are grown up and dating. (You know exactly what I’m talking about – the naked ones on the change mat!!!). But these days were are less likely to print out our photographs, and are growing more and more wary of sharing them online. Do we now value our family photographs less than we did in the past?

We can share our photographs so much easier these days, Instagram is hugely popular, as is Snapchat, and Facebook still has the capacity for us to create album after album. Yet, In order to take a closer look at how we now value photographs and to find out how much we worry about their reach in the online world, www.cartridgesave.co.uk asked 1040 people aged over 18: “Are you happy sharing photos of your children online?”

With #jakelivermore and #marcwilson @wba #footie #football #wba #grassroots #premiership #premierleague

A post shared by Emma Iannarilli (@fashionmommywm) on

I share some family photographs on my Instagram feed.

The results were surprising. Despite living in times when oversharing seems to be the norm, and life doesn’t seem to be happening unless it has an online footprint, the results found that 83% of parents who responded to the survey were wary of sharing photos of their children online, while just 17% were fine with it.  There are worries about photographs being stolen and used for insavoury purposes. Even photo storing and secure accounts have been hacked, with high profile stars like Jennifer Lawrence falling victim. It’s no wonder that although we seem to want to share, we are wary and uneasy about possible consequences. (You can read more about the survey here.)

Speaking about the study, Ian Cowley, Managing Director of Cartridge Save said:

“Our lives are now lived online; it’s a culture to take tens, if not hundreds of photos a day and share them with friends, family and strangers – what we’re doing, what we’re eating, where we are. It seems that photographs, now that they are no longer limited by cost, are rarely printed and kept safe so have lost their value and become worthless to us – they can always be deleted and replaced with another, better, selfie or snap of your meal.”

He continued with a warning:

“Despite assurances of online safety, once photographs are shared online, their reach is no longer in your hands. Even if they are deleted from a social site shortly after being uploaded, or even if you upload them to an account that it set to be private, the photos will already be backed up in servers around the world that may be vulnerable to hacking.”

 

Despite all this, I still can’t see us going back to a time of photo albums. I love flicking through old photographs, but have you actually tried to buy a nice album recently? They are getting harder and harder to find, and more and more expensive. The answer may be that we have albums on our laptops, smart phones and ipads that we keep all to ourselves, only sharing impersonal snaps on our online outlets.

What do you think?

The Secret App That Makes Parenting a Breeze

Anyone who has raised children (or seen parents raising children) knows this as a fact.

One of the keys to doing it right, is being able to roll with the punches and draw from past experience – experience you have, that your kid doesn’t.

The problem is, parenting has changed. Now, technology has entered the script, and it’s thrown off that whole ‘experience’ dynamic. Kids are what we call digital natives, while us parents are simply trying to keep up.

There’s a knowledge gap, and it can cause a lot of tension.

Banning tech altogether is not only not a smart parent move, but it also isn’t really possible. They’re in classrooms, waiting rooms, and – let’s face it – an inevitable part of our kids futures.

So, how can parents deal? How can they close the gap, and know that when they hand over a device, they aren’t surrendering their parenting rights at the same time? How can you end arguments about ‘a few more minutes’ of Minecraft, when dinner’s getting cold on the table?

The answer is simple. OurPact.

image005

OurPact is the ultimate parental control app. It’s a tool that parents can sign up for (for FREE!), and then use to manage their children’s access to internet and apps – at any time, and from anywhere.

Once parents have signed up and paired their kids devices (a simple, 3-minute process), you take the opportunity to sit down with your kids, discuss the need for healthy screen time limits, and set some guidelines and rules together. (PSSTTT… They even have a family screen time contract you can sign together!)

Then, OurPact allows you to keep device use in check through automated schedules (periods of time the device will automatically go into a blocked state, such as bedtime), or at-a-touch blocking (blocking of devices for a select period of time – whether 15 minutes or 4 hours – with a touch).

Some other perks:

  • OurPact works on Wi-Fi and cellular connections – which means you can manage your child whether you’re on 3G at Starbucks, or a high-speed connection at home, and your kids can still be blocked after they leave home.
  • The application is available for free!
  • Parents can manage the same child devices from their own personal iOS phones (as long as they are OK with sharing account information!).
  • OurPact has a web app, which parents who don’t have iOS devices can use to manage access from.

Screen time is a challenge, and while parenting is never a total breeze, OurPact makes it a lot breezier.

And parents these days need all the breeze they can get.