Friday, March 10: Managing Social Media

A #MOBILELIVING TWITTER PARTY
mobilelivingWhen: Friday, March 10, 2017
3:00 – 4:00 pm ET
12:00 – 1:00 pm PT

‘Managing Social Media’

Join @blogomomma and the #MobileLiving team at 3 pm ET (12 noon PT) on Friday, March 10 as we chat about Managing Social Media!
Whether for business or pleasure, we all want to know the latest and greatest for sharing on our favorite social media channels. Join us we explore tips, tricks, trends and tools to manage social on-the-go!
RSVP and participate in the chat for a chance to win an Amazon Echo home assistant or a Motorola Powerpack portable charger!

(Click here to learn more about our Twitter chats.)

To RSVP:
  1. Email RSVP@theonlinemom.com (subject line: MobileLiving) and include your Twitter ID.
  2. Spread the word and RT this link on your Twitter feed: http://bit.ly/2m5rYt4
  3. Join us on TweetDeck or HootSuite (#MobileLiving) on Friday, March 10 between 3 – 4 pm ET

Five Easy Ways to Teach Teens Online Safety

By Tracey Dowdy

Today’s teens have grown up with the world in the palm of their hands. Their seamless movement between the real and the virtual worlds and natural tendency to see themselves as invincible can result in a casual attitude toward privacy. That attitude makes teens more vulnerable than they realize. Familiarity breeds comfort, but it also breeds carelessness.

Todd Adamowich, clinical social worker and therapist, whose practice focuses on teens 14-19 says, “I see teens as very uneducated around the dangers of social media. Many have profiles that are open and searchable. There has been a significant increase in childhood porn, sex trafficking, and attacks towards people online based on how they look. “Trolling pics” has become a new problem, (and) people have little control over their photos and where they end up. Many teens have been victim to sexualized photos being sent around social media to their entire schools and open for the entire internet. Teens do not seem to be aware of how significant it can be to send an explicit image, text, or message to someone.”

Often, the problem isn’t what teens are doing online but how they are doing it.

In a 2015 survey of internet users in the U.S. and U.K., cyber security provider Telesign found 40 percent of consumers had their personal information compromised, their account hacked, or their password stolen. Yet, only 70 percent of those individuals changed their passwords in response.

These simple changes take little time or effort but provide a significantly increased level of online safety and security.

  • Keep software up to date. Each update provides security patches that close loopholes or weaknesses in the software. Keeping up to date ensures users stay one step ahead of hackers.
  • Be careful when using public Wi-Fi. Using free Wi-Fi comes at a high cost if used carelessly. Remind teens to “forget” the network once they’re finished and, for an added level of protection, change the password on sites that have been visited while using public Wi-Fi. Go one step further and enable Two-Factor Authentication – a password plus a second piece of information like an access code that is sent via text.
  • Create strong passwords. Telesign’s study found only 61 percent of users had password-only account protection and more than 54 percent of consumers use five or fewer passwords for their entire online presence. Twenty-two percent use just three or fewer. A good password is unique, includes numbers and/or symbols and is different for every account. NEVER use birthdays, anniversaries or phone numbers. Password managers like Dashlane will track passwords and provide a secure login across devices and websites.
  • Recognize phishing sites. Clickbait has become the scourge of the Internet by putting users at risk of malware and identity theft. It can leave devices vulnerable to attack from hackers or viruses. Look for sites with “https” (instead of http) in the URL or use Google’s Safe Browsing Site Status to see if the site is legitimate.
  • Know when and what software to download. Not only is downloading pirated versions of software and media both unethical and illegal, doing so puts individuals at risk of malware, spyware and viruses. In fact, just visiting one of these sites can pose a risk. Encourage teens to use legitimate sites like Spotify, Netflix or Pandora instead.

Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.

How To Determine the Legitimacy of a Website

By Tracey Dowdy

While researching this article, I came across a website that claimed to vet suspicious sites, yet the site itself is actually designed for black hat SEO purposes. That’s confusing. How are users supposed to determine who the good guys are if the bad guys hide in plain sight?

Of course, there are a number of red flags that should immediately make visitors suspicious. Look for misspelled or copycat domain names, (think Amaz0n.com, Reebock.com), or multiple dashes and periods in the URL. Sites that end with .biz or .info are more likely to be unsafe.

To reduce the risk of landing on a phishing or other unsafe website, add these tips to your tool kit.

  • Google it. This is both the simplest and the best safety tip around. A simple Google search will bring up all results related to the search terms entered. User reviews are usually aggregated at the top but be sure reviews and feedback come from contributors not affiliated with the site or paid sponsors.
  • While reading those reviews, pay attention to grammar and the language being used. Be wary of sites with misspellings, poor grammar and syntax or explicit language. Look to see if content is repeated or poorly formatted, for example, the text is cut off or missing.
  • Do a Google Transparency Report. Go to the Transparency Report home page, type in the name of the site and Google will automatically generate a report detailing its safety rating. More than simple data, Google provides context by listing why the site received the rating. For example, Reddit receives a “Not dangerous” rating but warns “Some pages on this website send visitors to the following dangerous websites: github-cloud.s3.amazonaws.coms382701517.online.de, and gildor.org.”
  • Check the security certificate. Search engines like Safari and Google Chrome require sites to use security certificates from trusted organizations. Follow this link for what to look for from Google and here for what to look for on Safari.
  • ADS! ADS! ADS! If you land on a page that is more ad-based than content-based, odds are it’s a scam or phishing site. If ads are explicit or constantly pop-up, the site requires users to complete a survey, provide personal information in order to continue, or re-directs to another page, there is a good chance it may be unsafe.

There are always exceptions to the rules, but by implementing these tools, users can safeguard against attack.

Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.

Friday, March 3: Food & Health

A #MOBILELIVING TWITTER PARTY
mobilelivingWhen: TODAY, Friday, March 3, 2017
3:00 – 4:00 pm ET
12:00 – 1:00 pm PT

‘Food & Health

Join @RobynsWorld and the #MobileLiving team at 3 pm ET (12 noon PT) on Friday, March 3 as we chat about Food & Health!
We all want to make better food choices and live a healthier lifestyle but how do we find the time or motivation to get on track? Join us as we look at how a few simple changes to our daily routines can make a big difference to our health and wellness – and how mobile technology is there to lend a helping hand!
RSVP and participate in the chat for a chance to win a Nike+ SportsWatch or a Motorola battery booster!

(Click here to learn more about our Twitter chats.)

To RSVP:
  1. Email RSVP@theonlinemom.com (subject line: MobileLiving) and include your Twitter ID.
  2. Spread the word and RT this link on your Twitter feed: http://bit.ly/2m1Fgsj
  3. Join us on TweetDeck or HootSuite (#MobileLiving) on Friday, March 3 between 3 – 4 pm ET

Talking to Kids About Scary Movies

By Tracey Dowdy

When my daughter Ceilidh was eleven, we went to see Bridge to Terebithia. After we watched the scene where one of the main characters dies, she turned to me and asked, “This is a kid’s movie?” We had read the book but somehow seeing the storyline played out on-screen made Leslie’s death that much more tangible.

Few children’s movies are as heart-wrenching as Bridge to Terebithia but death is not an uncommon theme, especially the death of a parent – Finding Nemo, The Lion King, Cinderella – the list goes on and on. And don’t even get me started on Up.

A 2014 study by The British Medical Journal found that main characters are 2.5 times more likely to die in a children’s animated movie than in a movie made for adults. They’re also three times more likely to be murdered. It’s not just themes of death that are frightening to children. Think of Ursula transforming into a Sea Witch, the flying monkeys in The Wizard of Oz, or the what-the-heck-was-that-all-about boat ride in Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

If your child is upset by onscreen violence or intense movie scenes, here are some tips for getting things back on an even keel:

  • Stay calm. I realize you’re not likely to be scared of Ursula’s transformation but by remaining calm and engaging with your child one on one, you can use the technique recommended by counselor Danielle Maxon, that of “mirroring your child.” Your child will feel validated and learn healthy responses to stressful situations.
  • Validate. This plays off the concept of mirroring but be sure to respond to their emotions with statements like, “I can understand why that was really scary for you.”
  • Observe their actions and body language during intense or emotional parts of the movie. If you sense things are getting to be overwhelming, reach for their hand, ask if they’re okay, r leave the room or theater if necessary.
  • Ask if they have any questions about what they just saw. Don’t say, “Were you scared of the flying monkeys?” or “Are you sad because Elsa’s mom and dad died?” Well, now they are. Let them tell you what upset them by asking open ended questions like, “Tell me how you’re feeling” or, “What made you sad?”
  •  Be honest, but give age-appropriate information or detail. Your four-year old who is sad because Simba’s parents died doesn’t need to know that parents die in the real world too. Instead, offer simple explanations that will be meaningful to your child.
  •  Redirect. Turn it off, leave the theater and go read a book, draw or play a game. Often something as simple as a change of scenery is enough to remind your little one what they watched wasn’t real and helps calm them down.
  •  Spoiler alert: Most kids don’t care about spoilers. Do your homework before you sit down to watch and if you know something is going to pop up and startle your child, give them a heads up. Think about how many times you’ve watched Frozen. Kids aren’t watching movies for the plot twist at the end. One of the easiest ways is to take advantage of sites like Common Sense Media. They have a library of more than 25,000 reviews you can sort by age, entertainment type, learning rating, and genre.
  •  Don’t beat yourself up. I felt terrible for how Bridge to Terebithia upset my daughter. But it gave us the opportunity for some really good conversation over lunch. Make it a teachable moment for both of you and maybe go get ice cream. Scratch that. Definitely go get ice cream!

Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.