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The Online Mom provides internet technology advice and information to help parents protect their kids, encourage responsible behavior and safely harness the power of technology in the new digital world. Social networking, photo sharing, video games, IM & texting, internet security, cyberbullying, educational resources, the latest on tech hardware, gadgets and software for kids 3-8, tweens and teens, and more.
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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 23, 2014

5 Ways to Improve Your Online Profile



Whether we are applying to college, looking for a job, or just reaching out to an old friend, it’s more important than ever to establish an engaging online profile. While in the past we may have been able to rely on face-to-face charm and personality to make a good impression, we no longer have that luxury. The Internet is now the official starting point for most new relationships, and if we don’t clear that hurdle then we rarely get a second chance.

But what do admissions officers and recruiters look for in an online profile? Of course, academic achievements and business experience are important, but a good online profile should be much more than a simple résumé. Your online profile needs to tell a story about who you are; your likes (but not necessarily your dislikes); and what kind of person you would be to work with. Here are 5 tips for getting your online profile in shape:



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How To Avoid Spyware



Although it sounds like it might be straight out of a James Bond movie, the term “spyware” refers to something far less exotic. In its broadest sense, spyware describes any program that’s installed on a computer to track the activity of that computer’s owner or users. More narrowly, it refers to small applications or “cookies” that track web sites visited and actions taken when individuals surf the Internet.

Spyware is usually installed on a computer without the knowledge of the user, hence the spy reference. Although it may not involve clandestine organizations or foreign powers, spyware can still be very intrusive and annoying. It can allow unauthorized parties to gather detailed information about a user’s likes and preferences and it can have a severely negative impact on a computer’s overall performance.



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7 Apps for Learning a Language



One of the best things about our mobile devices is that we can use them for on-the-go education, and nowhere is that more true than when it comes to leaning a language. Whether we are walking the dog, working out at the gym, or enjoying a little quiet time at home, the ability to grab a smartphone and a pair of headphones and work on our linguistic skills is truly one of the great benefits of the digital age.

Some apps – like the Rosetta Stone series – mostly take a traditional approach to learning a language. Others – like Duolingo – take advantage of all that the Web and mobile content have to offer and utilize those tools in interesting and often compelling ways. Whatever your preferred approach, there is sure to be an app that will suit your learning style. Here are 7 of our favorites:



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Helping Prospective College Students Clean Up Their Acts Online



By Stacey Ross

Do you have or know a student who is applying for college in the near future? Well my, how times have changed! Findings from a Kaplan Test Prep survey that came out in 2013 indicate that a quarter of college admissions officers now include Google or Facebook reviews as part of the applicant evaluation process.

One eye-opening statistic from the survey: 35 percent reported discovering information that "negatively impacted  prospective students’ admissions chances," a three-fold increase from the prior year! Topics that were unfavorable to the prospective students included essay plagiarism, vulgarities in blogs, alcohol consumption in photos, illegal activities, and things that made the admission officers “wonder” (hmmm….).



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7 Apps for a Greener Lifestyle



Next Tuesday is Earth Day, a time for everyone to reflect on the fragile nature of our planet and how we can better protect the environment and provide a healthier future for our children.

While major issues such as climate change and deforestation have to be addressed by corporations and governments, there are lots of areas where individuals and small communities can also make a difference. Whether it’s energy conservation, recycling, or more informed food choices, we can all take small steps that lead to a greener lifestyle.

And if we are talking about a lifestyle change, then our mobile devices can surely help! There are dozens of apps that can contribute to environmental awareness and put us on the right road to a greener planet. Here are just a few of our favorites:



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PlayStation 4 vs. Xbox One: Parental Controls
Which of the new gaming consoles offers better parental supervision? [read on]
How To Make the Most of Those Daily Deals
Take a closer look at those daily deals to make sure you're getting a bargain!
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Watch Out! Your Wristband Is Tracking You…
New ways to monitor two of the most important elements that factor into our overall health: exercise and sleep [read on]
How To Beat Spam with Disposable E-Mail Addresses
There's an alternative to giving out your online information (or turning into a digital recluse): the disposable e-mail!
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Managing Your Online Reputation
There are some simple steps we can take to safeguard our online reputations [read on]
7 Apps for Finding Stuff Online
Loking to buy and sell online? Your smartphone can help!
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How to Manage Your Cell Phone Bill
Don't be overwhelmed by that cell phone bill. We offer 7 tips that can help [read on]
7 Social Networking Tips for Graduates
About to graduate? It's time to clean up those social networking accounts!
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The Best Apps for Staying in Shape
10 great apps for turning your smartphone or tablet into your workout buddy! [read on]
7 Steps to Smartphone Safety
Buying that first smartphone for your child? Make safety a top priority!
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10 Essential Apps for the Busy Mom
Turn your smartphone into your very own personal assistant! [read on]
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