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TheSmartTalk.org Makes a Social & Digital Safety Contract for Families and Gets the Discussion Going

In Family, General, Parenting, Safety, Social Media, Social Networking, Sponsored by Michael Sheehan0 Comments

Having a family conversation about social media and being a digital citizen is incredibly important. TheSmartTalk.org offers a great way to do this!

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Don’t Restrict Your Child’s Smartphone, Instead Discover via Monitoring with AT&T Smart Limits

In Cellular, Family, General, How To, HTD Tech Tip, Mobile, Opinion, Parenting, Safety, Security, Social Media, Social Networking, Software, Sponsored, Technology by Michael Sheehan1 Comment

Instead of restricting children’s smartphone usage, use AT&T Smart Limits to monitor and make discoveries for later discussion. Here’s how.

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Parents Guide to Social Media Apps Used by Kids

In Application, Family, General, HTD Tech Tip, Opinion, Parenting, Safety, Security, Social Media, Social Networking by Michael Sheehan10 Comments

I was recently asked by a reader of my site (Denise) if I could put together a chart that lists out some of the main social media sites used by tweens and teens and if I could provide some commentary on how they are dangerous (or not) for kids – essentially, a Parents Guide to Social Media apps used by kids. As my kids are either in the social media age or quickly entering, I definitely do have some opinions. But, I don’t want to be alarmist. There are a lot of factors that determine whether or not a particular …

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Less “Stranger Danger” – Kik Messenger Updates App Over Privacy Concerns

In Android, Apple, Application, Family, General, iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod, Opinion, Parenting, Safety, Security, Social Media, Social Networking, Software, Tech News by Michael Sheehan2 Comments

Back in mid-2012, I wrote an article about the “dangerous” combination of Kik Messenger and Instagram. The article turned out to be quite popular (and controversial) in a few ways. Parents didn’t know about Kik nor how the “Kik me at” functionality was working with Instagram. Over 2 years later, Kik Messenger has taken a new approach to privacy and how strangers can or cannot interact with users. I received an early briefing on the new version of Kik Messenger and while I haven’t actually had hands-on experience with the app, what has been outlined seems to be potentially a …

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Parents Be Warned! Ask.fm is a Dangerous & Deadly Social Site for Teens & Tweens

In Family, General, How To, HTD Tech Tip, Opinion, Parenting, Safety, Security, Social Media, Social Networking by Michael Sheehan35 Comments

Back in 2012, I wrote about some potential dangers surrounding the Instagram and Kik Messenger combination. By now, hopefully many parents know what to look for and how to combat this social danger. Recently, I started to investigate a new social danger for kids, specifically Ask.fm which actually has a few documented teen suicides attributed to the service. Interestingly, it was my teenager and my wife that introduced me to Ask.fm. My teen wanted to join and my wife said absolutely not! Before I go into this social danger, I do want to point out that I am an avid …

Social Media Policy for Families

In Family, General, Opinion, Parenting, Social Media, Social Networking by Michael Sheehan1 Comment

Quite a few years ago, I came up with some Social Media Guidelines, primarily geared towards businesses. I realized I also seem to write a lot of tips and recommendations for parents on how they can help their kids with social media. That got me thinking. Perhaps, I should come up with a social media policy for families (kids and their parents). Below are some ideas, rules and discussion points that you might want to implement with your children as they embark down the path of social media. Of course, you can and should pick the ones that are the …

5 Reasons Why Social Media Might Actually Be Good for your Child

In Family, General, Opinion, Parenting, Safety, Security, Social Media, Social Networking, Technology by Michael Sheehan13 Comments

WARNING: The repeated use of Social Media can be dangerous to your child’s well-being. Should we have a Surgeon General’s warning label slapped onto each and every social media site out there? What about some sort of age rating system like we have for movies, music and video games? No, of course not. The Internet is all about freedom of speech and expression and is a wealth of knowledge. But we all continue to get the message that social media is dangerous for children. Even I have written a couple of articles to that effect. But as I reflect on …

Why It’s Important to Teach your Kids How to Cook and Use Social Media

In Family, General, Opinion, Parenting, Safety, Security, Social Media, Social Networking by Michael Sheehan0 Comments

A recent post of mine which focused on an informal and potentially dangerous marriage between Instagram and Kik Messenger seems to have gotten quite a bit of attention lately. I’m always excited when I can share my ideas, opinions, insights and personal recommendations when it comes to educating kids about the evolution of social media of many legs. And what excited me even more was the response that came in from readers of all ages, kids and parents alike, each offering different takes on the idea of working with and teaching children about social media. The point of the Instagram/Kik …

10 Tips on How to Avoid Losing your Digital Identity

In Application, Consumer Electronics, Family, Gadgets, General, How To, HTD Tech Tip, Mobile, Opinion, Safety, Security, Social Media, Social Networking, Tech News, Trend Micro by Michael Sheehan1 Comment

Our society is made up of all types of information. And the amount of “stuff” that is known about us is growing as speeds never before seen. Think back 50 or 100 years. What identified a person? Their names, their ancestry, their address and their bank. Eventually phone numbers and a few other bits of personally identifiable information made it into the fold. Now look at what could possibly identify you – it’s almost unfathomable how much data is collected on is each and every second and not only that, how this data is connected to us. We have bank …

Parents Beware: Instagram & Kik Messenger Are A Dangerous Combination & What Social Dangers to Check For

In Family, General, HTD Tech Tip, Opinion, Parenting, Safety, Security, Social Media, Social Networking by Michael Sheehan307 Comments

Over the past few years, I have written about security and safety for the family, especially when it comes to protecting your kids from online predators and social bullies. My wife and I really try to practice what we preach. But as social networks and sharing services evolve, sometimes it is hard to keep up with the latest and greatest cool thing, or social threat. For example, when our oldest daughter got on Facebook, we knew that it was too early to let her just go at it on her own. So we allowed her to use it with some …

5 Reasons Why You Should Repurpose Old Content from your Blog

In Application, General, How To, Opinion, Social Media, Social Networking, Twitter by Michael Sheehan2 Comments

I have often been asked: why the heck do you have those automated tweets of old content coming from your blog? What is the reasoning? They are outdated and might not be topical, could be viewed as out of context and, in my case, might be talking about technology, products or services that are over a year old. Think about it, you pour you heart into every article you write and you want to have the world consume and hopefully enjoy your content. So, you write it and post it and then move on to the next piece of juicy content. …

Have You Had “The Talk” with you Kids? The Online Security Talk, That Is!

In Family, General, Opinion, Parenting, Safety, Security, Social Media, Social Networking, Software, Trend Micro by Michael Sheehan1 Comment

Go to you kids right now and ask them if they know what cyberbullying is. Go on, do it! I’m going to guess that they might be able to tell you at least something. If they did, that is encouraging. Now ask them if they know what sexting is. Heck that word shows up in my spell check as being unknown or misspelled. I will bet you that your older kids know what it is but that your younger ones do not. Have You Had “The Talk” with you Kids? The Online Security Talk, That Is! was last modified: April …