Thursday, March 20, 2014

Identity Theft and Your Security

Identity theft has become an increasing problem as our world shifts to being more online and mobile. Many people feel like there is no way to keep their information safe should someone want to steal it.

Is this the case, or are there things that you can do to make your information harder to steal?

These 18 blog entries touch on what you can do to protect your identity online, at work and when you are out and about living your life.

The press is doing an admirable job of bringing scams to light so that the public can be better informed and thus better able to protect sensitive information.


To learn what you need to know to keep your personal information safe, keep reading.

Online
With more and more people shopping and banking online, keeping your information safe from thieves becomes both more important and more difficult. Avoid common or easy to guess passwords, as many times you are making the thief’s job easier. For more online safety tips, take a look at these six blog posts.
At Work
While your employer likely has their own security measures in place, you still need to make sure that you are keeping your personal information safe from hackers or other co-workers. When you go to a meeting make sure that your desk and computer are locked. Don’t get your personal e-mail on your work computer, as that information can stay in that computer, even if you delete it. To learn more important safeguards, read these six blog articles.
Out and About
If you pay for your gas and other snacks with a credit card that you can tap and go, you may want to stop using it. While it’s a convenient way to pay for things, it’s also an easy way for a thief to pick up the credit card number at the same time. When you are out for dinner and you pay the bill by sending your credit card with the waiter, you may want to keep an eye on him. Specialized equipment designed to steal credit card numbers in a hurry have been found in various restaurants. Check out these six blog articles and learn more about identity theft scams going on today and how to avoid becoming a victim.
Source: Nanny Website

Thursday, February 20, 2014

It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens

By danah boyd

What is new about how teenagers communicate through services such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? Do social media affect the quality of teens’ lives? In this eye-opening book, youth culture and technology expert danah boyd uncovers some of the major myths regarding teens' use of social media. She explores tropes about identity, privacy, safety, danger, and bullying. Ultimately, boyd argues that society fails young people when paternalism and protectionism hinder teenagers’ ability to become informed, thoughtful, and engaged citizens through their online interactions. Yet despite an environment of rampant fear-mongering, boyd finds that teens often find ways to engage and to develop a sense of identity.

Boyd’s conclusions are essential reading not only for parents, teachers, and others who work with teens but also for anyone interested in the impact of emerging technologies on society, culture, and commerce in years to come. Offering insights gleaned from more than a decade of original fieldwork interviewing teenagers across the United States, boyd concludes reassuringly that the kids are all right. At the same time, she acknowledges that coming to terms with life in a networked era is not easy or obvious. In a technologically mediated world, life is bound to be complicated.

Order on Amazon today!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Teaching Our Kids to Be Upstanders


Bullying and cyberbullying is a topic that everyone is concerned about.

With over 1 million teens that were harassed on Facebook last year, another study showed that 90% of teens have witnessed their peers bullying other kids and have done nothing about it.

This is why it is imperative we educate our kids to become upstanders.

10 Tips from School Climate:


  1. Learn more about mean, cruel, and bullying behavior. Educate yourself and your community with the resources on BullyBust.org. For example: Why do kids bully? Where does bullying take place most often in your school? What are the effects of bullying? How can we prevent it? Understanding this information will help you if you are bullied, and will help you to stand up to bullies if a friend or classmate is being bullied.
  2. Help others who are being bullied. Be a friend, even if this person is not yet your friend. Go over to them. Let them know how you think they are feeling. Walk with them. Help them to talk to an adult about what just happened. (Just think for a moment about how great this would be if someone did this for you when you were being picked on or hurt!)
  3. Stop untrue or harmful messages from spreading online or in person. If someone sends a message or tells you a rumor that you know is untrue, stand up and let the person know it is wrong. Think about how you would feel if someone spread an untrue rumor about you. Don’t laugh, send the message on to friends, or add to the story. Make it clear that you do not think that kind of behavior is cool or funny.
  4. Get friends involved. Share this site (and other related sites) with friends. Let people know that you are an upstander and encourage them to be one too. Sign the Stand Up Pledge, and make it an everyday commitment for you and your friends.
  5. Make friends outside of your circle. Eat lunch with someone who is alone. Show support for a person who is upset at school, by asking them what is wrong or bringing them to an adult who can help.
  6. Be aware of the bullying and upstander policies at your school and keep it in mind when you witness bullying. What are the school’s bully prevention policies? Are there also policies that “catch” kids “being good”? How can you support school rules and codes of conduct support students and adults doing the right thing? If there isn’t a policy, get involved or ask teachers or front office staff to speak about how you can reduce bullying.
  7. Welcome new students. If someone is new at your school, make an effort to introduce them around and make them comfortable. Imagine how you would feel leaving your friends and coming to a new school.
  8. Refuse to be a “bystander” and be a role model to others instead! If you see friends or classmates laughing along with the bully, tell them that they are contributing to the problem. Let them know that kind of behavior is not okay in your school.
  9. Respect others' differences and help others to respect differences. It’s cool for people to be different—that’s what makes all of us unique. Join a diversity club at school to help promote tolerance in your school.
  10. Develop an Upstander/ Prevention program or project with a teacher or principal’s support that will help reduce bullying and promote socially responsible behavior in school. Bring together a team of students, parents and teachers who are committed to preventing bullying, and create a community-wide project to raise awareness, share stories and develop helpful supports. Learn more about how to start an Upstander Alliance at www.bullybust.org/upstander and access free support to sustain your team.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Girl Talk: Honest Chat with Your Daughters

Let's face it, raising girls today is not easy. 

Combine it with puberty, technology and peer pressure and we can quickly loose our mind!

Recently launched by author  and tween expert, Sarah Burningham, Girl to Girl: Honest Talk About GROWING UP and Your CHANGING BODY is a guide to help parents and girls understand and open lines of communication to what is going on in their lives!

Being a girl isn't always easy, and growing up is far from a walk in the park. This time of transition is particularly confusing without a confidante to help.

Sarah O'Leary Burningham is like a real-life big sister here to coach preteens through all of life's big moments, from first bras to first periods.

Filled with letters and testimonials from real girls—as well as confidence-boosting advice and myth-busting sidebars—this fun, accessible, and highly visual book is a must-have for every girl navigating her way through the preteen years.

Order on Amazon.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Twitter: Bad Habits Your Kids May Be Learning From this Social Bird

Social networking and etiquette.

Years ago raising our children never included teaching them social media manners. Today, however, your social networking etiquette could determine whether you get into your college of choice and land the job you have been dreaming of.

Social media forums have some real up sides, we can’t deny that. When it comes to staying in touch with far-flung friends and family and being up to speed with all the latest and greatest in news and gossip, it’s been a real blessing to have social networking sites like Twitter.

We just wish that some kids/teens didn’t suffer from some side-effects of overuse.

Here are 7 bad habits that kids pick up from Twitter:
  1. Poor Grammar – We’ve seen this from chat room usage, text messaging, and IM’s; so it’s nothing that’s really new. The 140-character limit and Twitter’s wildly popular platform just seem to exacerbate the problem to a far greater degree.
  2. Time Management – Let’s be frank, this isn’t just a problem for kids, but it poses a greater threat to them, since they haven’t yet learned to balance their time between work and leisure to the extent they will need to as adults.
  3. Following Celebrities – On the surface, and with proper balance, there’s nothing inherently wrong with corresponding with celebrities. In fact it’s one of the great things about Twitter. The danger is in placing more emphasis on the posts of the famous, re-tweeting every little blurb as though it were sage wisdom, all just because of the person’s celebrity status.
  4. Public Venting – It’s good to have outlets for our anger and frustration, so long as they are safe and private. The trend these days apparently is to go to your profile and launch into a thoughtless tirade when the mood swings. Not a wise or healthy habit and one that can end up backfiring on you.
  5. Loss of Originality – This isn’t a widespread thing, but it’s something we are seeing more and more often. Re-tweets are another form of showing approval, like a thumbs-up or a like. Used in that way, they’re vaguely useful and certainly harmless enough. The difference is that re-tweets at times almost seem like recitations, with RT’ers supplanting original thought in favor of aping whatever post happens to be popular at the time.
  6. Auto-Following – In this context, it’s more or less seen as a polite reciprocation of a friendly gesture. It can be done automatically with an app, or manually on a tit-for-tat basis. The thing is, following someone should be based on individual merit, as determined by the follower, on a case-by-case basis. Kids need to establish these parameters and values in their lives now, and not toss them aside in a social networking environment.
  7. Blurring the Lines – This is a virtually universal issue, in that it affects people of various ages, backgrounds and occupations. There seems to be little if any distinction for so many of us, between our personal and professional lives, as we embrace these social media sites.


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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Teens and Volunteering

Especially at the holidays, it is a great time to encourage your teens to get involved with volunteerism. 

Community service hours are usually required for high school graduation, but more important than that is the giving back to others and the self-esteem it can bring to your teenager.

Here are some ideas to give to your teen:
  • Informal volunteering. Your teen watches a neighbor’s kids or joins a group of students who are cleaning up a park.
These activities are the easiest to find. They don’t require a long-term commitment. They may whet your teen’s interest to get more involved.
  •  Formal volunteering. Many teens have a regular volunteer job. They help at a food bank. They tutor a younger student.
These activities teach responsibility—teens have to show up when they say they will. They often help teens decide whether they want a career in this field.
  • In-school clubs. From foreign language clubs to yearbook, sports to music, there are clubs for every interest.
Many schools have clubs that are organized to provide service. Groups like Key Club and student government can help students help others.
  • Community organizations. Many out-of-school clubs offer teens a chance to learn and grow. Most religious organizations offer activities for youth. Teens might also think about Girl and Boy Scouts, 4-H, DeMolay and community sports organizations.
Source © 2013 Parent Institute

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Words Wound: Delete Cyberbullying and Make Kindness Go Viral


Order today!
"Everyone is looking for an answer to the bullying and cyberbullying problem. We know where it can be found: in teens themselves. We’ve met so many who are coming up with creative ideas, and running with them. They are spearheading movements and making a real, measurable difference. And here are some of their stories. Join them, and join us. Words wound, but words can also heal and help. We know it, and you know it - and so let's stop standing on the sidelines. Let's get in there and do something about it."

Justin and Sameer, creators of Words Wound 

Cyberbullying happens every day. Harsh words and damaging photos exchanged through texts, email, or social media can result in humiliation, broken friendships, punishment at school, and even legal prosecution.

In some cases, online harassment has contributed to teen suicide. Faced with this frightening problem, parents, educators, and teens are looking for information and advice. Many books have been written for adults about what cyberbullying is and what to do about it, but nothing has been written specifically for teens to help them to protect themselves and their peers.

Written by the foremost experts in cyberbullying prevention and reviewed by teens, this book provides practical strategies for those who are being cyberbullied, seeing cyberbullying, or who just want to do something to help make their schools a safer and more respectful place. The book includes dozens of real-life stories from those who have experienced cyberbullying, including many who have risen above it to make a positive difference in their schools.

In short, "Words Wound" helps students to be the primary agents of change to "delete cyberbullying and make kindness go viral." Are you ready to join the movement?

Order on Amazon today!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Dazed and Confused: Trends in Mental Disability

Nearly 2 million teens, or 8 percent of the adolescent population, experienced a major depressive episode in the past year. Trends in Mental Disability
Source: BestMastersinCounseling.com