Friday, December 31, 2010

Opt-Out of Your Unwanted Emails

It is time to unsubscribe and clean up your digital mailbox aka inbox.

Yes, all the hype and the stress as well as the pressure to get the right gifts - and get them on sale, is over.
Many signed up for generated newletters, store-ads for sales, and more.  If your email isn't full already, it will be over-flowing with after holiday sales.

Whether you are were at a cashier and they asked you for your email, or when you ordered online, your email is now out there.  There is also that high possibility it was passed on without your permission to other marketers (that small print can be tricky).  With that, your inbox and most likely your junkmail will be starting to pile up with tons of that mail you used to see in your old fashioned mailbox.

We will still see the postmaster delivering some flyers, but that doesn't put your computer at risk.  This is not saying all junk mail is bad or dangerous, but who want so to chance opening a link that may not be legit?
Keep your systems safe - keep your teens safe, as many of them have probably signed up for their favorite stores online sales.  Maybe pick 2 or 3 you definitely shop, but after that, take the time to unsubscribe.

Remember, unsubscribing doesn't mean you can't go directly to the website to see the sales or even sign up again if you really want to.  But it is time to clean out your emails and get rid of those annoying pop-ups - once and for all!

Unsubscribe today.

How to unsubscribe from most email advertisers:
  • Open the email (as long as you are familiar with the vendor).
  • Usually you scroll to the bottom and in small print you will see an active hyperlink labled - unsubscribe.
  • Click on it and follow it until it states your email is now unsubscribed. 
  • They may ask you to type your email in a box, be sure you type the email address you are receiving these ads on.
In some instances you will recieve a confirmation of you leaving that specific email, always click you are sure.  Again, remember, you can sign up again at anytime.

Keep in mind, less is more, and the less you have these emails coming into your computer system, the more likely you are to deter viruses into your system.  Safety first - get your ads later.  Talk to your teens about cleaning out their computers too - it will keep you all on a safer path digitally.

Read more.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Tornado Warning: A Memoir of Teen Dating Violence and Its Effect On A Woman's Life

Coming Soon! Pre-order today.

Tornado Warning
By Elin Stebbins Waldal

Parents, teens, and survivors are lucky that Elin Stebbins Waldal has the courage to share her own harrowing experience with teen dating violence. At 17 she unwittingly fell in love with an abusive man. Tornado Warning is the true, honest portrait of how he whittled her down--with words, hands, and weapons--from a confident teen to the shadow of a woman.

But Stebbins Waldal offers more. Interwoven with her real-life journal, she reflects on how this relationship has affected her since, and how she is working to protect her teenagers from succumbing to a similar experience. Provocative and healing, Tornado Warning is a must-read for parents, women, and anyone who has suffered at the hands of a loved one.

About the author:

Elin Stebbins Waldal is a writer, speaker, and founder of girls kNOw more, an organization whose mission is to help build confidence in middle-school-age girls. Elin is the Love Is Not Abuse Coalition State Action Leader for California, which advocates for legislation that will require teen dating abuse curriculum in all middle schools, high schools, and colleges. She is a frequent guest on the radio show. She is also a regular presenter for Laura's House, an Orange County resource for victims of domestic violence. She was recognized with an Honorable Mention Award in the World of Difference Category by The San Diego County Office of Education for speaking and educating high school students. Additionally, she is a California-state-certified domestic violence advocate. She has contributed to The Courage Network, Safe World for Women, and The Women on the Verge on-line periodicals and also serves as a San Diego Examiner reporter on the subject of teen dating violence. Elin lives in Southern California with her husband, three children, and their family dog.

Pre-order  - click here.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Youth360 is part of PACT360: Community Education on Drug Prevention

Youth360 (wreckED) is a community-based program designed to educate youth about substance abuse through an engaging presentation meant to challenge their behavior toward alcohol and other drugs. The program provides the opportunity for teens to fully reflect upon the choices and consequences associated with alcohol and drug abuse and to continually keep themselves and their friends in check.
Q:What are the program assets available to me for the Youth360 program?
A:There are three components to the program that you can use interchangeably:
  • wreckED DVD – a ten-minute video depicting all aspects of today’s drug and alcohol scene, as well as real-life teens talking about their own addiction and recovery
  • wreckED card game – an interactive card game designed to start teens talking about the issues presented in the video, simulating real life choices, behaviors, and consequences
  • wreckED group discussion– the facilitator continues the conversation with the teens to underscore the importance of taking personal responsibility of their own actions
Q:I want Youth360 to come to my community. What can I do?
A:There are two easy ways you can get involved:
  • Become a Facilitator - co-deliver presentations to audiences within your community, help organize the program by arranging logistics, respond to community requests for presentations, and schedule presenters
  • Become a Champion - contact key players, introduce them to the presentation, and lead the process to help make your community healthier and safer
Q:I want to have access to all the materials I need to implement, champion or present this program. What can I do?
A:You can get access to the materials by:
Registering and Downloading all materials to bring this program to your community
Q:I’m a teen who wants to learn more about the effects and consequences of alcohol and substance abuse. Where can I get more information?
A:You can find all the information you need here:
  • Whether you want to check yourself or someone you know, go to Here you can interact with other teens, answer scenarios about what you’ve seen or heard and educate yourself further on the dangers of drugs and alcohol.
Learn more at

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Social Santa: Sign up today!

Internet safety has become a top concern for parents with kids online today.  Between cyberbullying, stalkers, and Internet predators, parents need to be on top of their game when it comes to allowing their kids to surf online.

As the holidays are here, more kids will find social networking sites and meet vitual friends, or are they digital strangers?  Start your holidays off right by signing them up for an exciting social networking experience with lots of interesting topics, games and peers that make safety their number one priority.

Yoursphere is here and it is FREE.

It's your sphere and make it your own!

School is out, free time is building and many kids are at home looking for things to do.  Get them involved in constuctive fun and learning about new people and cultures - join Yoursphere today.  Meet friends, chat and play with new friends.

Yoursphere prides themselves on carefully verifying all new members and their parents.  They have added new games, contests and even have sphere designs for your child's unique interests.  Is there a particular sport your child loves?  Find others with the same passion.  Check out all the great choices - click here.  There is something for everyone!

With Yoursphere your child can even earn cool prizes while having fun.

Finally - a space 'in space' that you can feel good about your children surfing in!

Learn more about Yoursphere.  Sign your child up today to begin their Holiday Season with friends and fun!
Hey parents, don't forget to bookmark Yoursphere for Parents!  It will keep you up-to-date with today's ever changing digital world!  Click here.

Watch the video of the dedicated founder, Mary Kay Hoal, of Yoursphere, and learn more about online safety.

Be an educated parent, you will have safer children!

Read more.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Teen Driving: Is Your Teen Ready?

Many teens will count the days until they take their first step into adulthood -- driving!  However it is a parent's responsibility to determine if their teen is mature enough to take on this major responsibility.

Each state has their own laws on the age your teen can start driving.  In Florida, at age 15, teens can apply for a learner’s license. The teen must have completed a Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Course; pass the written, vision and hearing tests; and have a signed parent consent form.

With a learner’s license, teens may only drive with a licensed driver age 21 or older supervising and sitting in the front seat. For the first three months, teens may only practice during daylight hours; then, teens may practice no later than 10 p.m. Teens are required to practice driving for at least 50 hours, including 10 hours at night, with a parent or a legal guardian, before they’re allowed an intermediate permit.

DMV Practice Questions - Take this sample test to determine if you’re ready to take the state driving test.

When teens turn 16, have had a learner’s license for at least 1 year without any traffic violations and have completed 50 hours of practice driving, 10 of which must be at night, they can apply for the intermediate license. They also must pass a behind-the-wheel driving test, complete a vision test and provide proof of practice driving time. Legal guardians must accompany their teens to the DMV to sign the application form, or their signature must be notarized on the form.

At the intermediate stage, driving privileges are based on age. For a 16-year old, driving is allowed between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. For a 17-year old, driving is allowed between 5 a.m. and 1 a.m. Outside of these time frames, teen drivers must be accompanied by a licensed driver at least 21 years old in the front passenger seat, or must be traveling to or from work.

At age 18, teens are eligible for a full unrestricted license. The state does not place night or passenger limits on those with unrestricted licenses.

All first time drivers in Florida must take a Traffic Law and Substance Abuse course and a written exam to receive a learner’s license. The tests below are approved by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and are offered online through AAA:
Source:  AAA
Be an educated parent, you will have safer teens.

Read more.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Teen Drinking: Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving

It the holidays. Parties, celebrating and simply having fun.  All of this is fantastic, but you have to remember that being safe is a priorityDrunk or impaired driving killed nearly 12,000 people in 2008.  That's one person every 45 minutes. That makes it everyone's problem.

Buzzed driving is drunk driving. Getting behind the wheel after even just one too many drinks can lead to disaster.

Show your support to end buzzed driving by pledging to make good decisions by not driving under the influence of alcohol.

Take the time to share the pledge with others and with your help, we can end buzzed driving.

Underage drinking is a major concern, not only for parents of these teens, but for the risk it puts drivers at.  Parents need to set an example to their teens as well as talk to them about the dangers of drinking and driving.  Even if it is only one or two drinks - driving is a major responsibility and not one to be taken lightly.
This is not about not having fun and celebrating the holidays with friends and family, this is about having a designated driver.

Send a Holiday Buzzed eCard to your friends today!  Help spread the word to stay safe this holiday season.
Zingo Fort Lauderdale, a fully insured designated driving service available in nearly two dozen markets nationwide, recently began offering services for residents and visitors alike across Broward County.
Are you outside of Broward County, visit Drinking and Driving Prevention.

Be an educated parent, you will have safer teens!

Read more.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

2011 Internet Safety Awards Contest Is Now Open For Submissions

Online Safety is a priority for all ages!  From identity theft, to Internet predators, most everyone is using technology to connect with others.  Social Networking is fun, it can be entertaining and a great way to meet new friends, new cultures and new ideas.  With the good comes some of the not so good.  Unfortunately there will always be nuts who prey on vulnerable children or even desperate adults.

Internet Safety should be your number concern, especially during the holiday season when kids have more free time online and parents are cyber shopping.

ISA – Internet Safety Awards is on!

Welcome to the 2011 The Internet Safety Awards presented by Infragard Honolulu Member Alliance, Hawaii State Department of Education, FBI, Department of Justice, Oceanic Time Warner, KGMB9, CyberW0rx.8o8 / Aikea808,True Digital, Torch Entertainment, Maintec Inc., Microsoft, along with other generous sponsors. Yes, before you know it, we’ll be handing out lots of prizes and fabulous awards for the 4th Annual Internet Safety Awards. Start looking here for updates on when submissions will be do and all of the updated information about the ISA. Also, very important.. Put down in your calendar Friday,April 1, 2011 because that’s when the 2011 Internet Safety Awards Gala will take place! Already signed for the show are Hawaii’s funniest man, Frank Delima, and KCCN’s Lina Girl. More celebs on the way!

Learn more:
  • The deadline for this year’s entries will be February 11, 2011.
  • They will then be distributed to the judges for judging.
  • Once completed, the judges tally sheet will be sent to me for final tabulation and the finalists determined.
  • The judges will have about 2 weeks to score the entries.
  • Announcement of the winners will be at the awards gala to be held on April 1, 2011 at Farrington High School Auditorium.
  • Certificates of Participation will be presented to all team members.
  • Top five finalists will have a plaque.
  • Prizes will be awarded to the school of the winning teams.
In the past, these prizes were monetary awards and products/services to be used for the school.  All students who entered as a team member are invited to attend the Gala and ONLY these students are eligible for the random prize giveaways.  These range from backpacks, laptop bags, t-shirts, to XBoxes and iPods.  Last year, I donated 4 iPod nanos, an iPad, and a netbook for the random drawing.  My MicroSoft “partner” have been donating at 4 XBoxes at each of our three past contests.
In addition, there will be entertainment by local musicians and teen dance revue.  We also have celebrity award presenters and opening keynote speakers from city, state and Federal government leaders and educators.
Last year, Howard Schmidt (a personal friend) made a short video thanking our students for their part in cybersecurity.
Unfortunately, our contest is non-profit and everything is pretty much donations  and “aloha“, so I can not offer you a  trip to Hawaii, but if you can attend, we do have contacts in the hotel industry that may be able to get us a very good rate.

Contributed by Chris Duque

Thursday, December 2, 2010

10 year-old Santa in Central Florida: Feeding Abandoned Pets

Zach Wilson of Longwood, Florida is finally 10 years-old.  However he is not your typical 10 year-old, he is a boy that has a dream and is making it happen.

Last year we reported on this 9 year old Santa - this year at 10 years-old, Zach has stepped up his mission and is having his First Annunal Holiday Party to benefit his food pantry for animals.
With many families struggling in today's economy, many pets are being abandoned on a daily basis.  People can't afford to feed and vaccinate their pets. Zach makes it his mission to help as many needy pets and animals as possible.

The Animal Pantry of Central Florida offers several services such as:
  • Pet food distribution to economically challenged, disabled, & elderly
  • Spay and neuter programs
  • Information and referrals about low cost veterinary care
  • Help on finding pet-friendly housing
  • We will continue to add services as funding/donations permit
Can you help build his dream?  Learn more about Central Florida Animal Pantry and if you can help, please donate.  Donations needed are not only monetary, there may be a skill you have or even office supplies!  Check out their list. Central Florida Animal Pantry is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization.  Your donations are tax deductible.

Follow Zach and his mission on Twitter and Facebook!

Read more.