Tag: internet safety

Tech trick: How to hide app purchases so your kids can’t download through Family Sharing.

I’m grateful to my daughter who (much to the chagrin of tweens and teens everywhere, I’m sure) tipped me off to a trick I wasn’t aware of: Kids can easily download new apps to their devices without your knowledge, if you have Apple Family Sharing in use. Now my kids do need my approval to download any new apps, because of the Ask to Buy feature I have enabled. And I love Apple Family Sharing, because it means I’m not paying three times when we all want to play Alto’s Adventure. (Don’t judge.) Related: A new study about kids’ online behavior might surprise...

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New study about kids’ online behavior might surprise you, parents. And not in a good way.

A recent survey of more than 1600 U.K. kids revealed some fascinating results when it comes to kids’ online behavior, leading the UK’s National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) to make some pretty strong recommendations for parents. Remember that tech talk we’ve spoken about on a frequent basis here on Cool Mom Tech? They want parents to be having it with their kids every two weeks. But really, parents should be talking to their kids about their digital lives every single day. Related: 8 shocking statistics about kids’ online behavior that parents need to know...

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Parents, your screen time could be affecting your kid’s behavior.

Just when you thought you needed to worry about your kid’s screen time, it turns out that the amount of time you spend on your phone could be affecting your child’s behavior. According to a new study conducted at the University of Michigan with 170 two-parent homes, about half of moms and dads (48%) admitted that tech interrupted their parenting time at least three times a day. Related: New study says your toddler’s screen time could be affecting their sleep Based on these findings, the study authors suggest that parents who spend excessive time on their own screens are more likely...

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The deadly Blue Whale online suicide game targeting teens: Is it a hoax? What parents should know.

We all issued a collective gasp around here this week, reading about the online game called Blue Whale, A.K.A. The Suicide Game. And of course right away I was hoping it was a big hoax. When I checked out the details, I was kind of hoping it was some awful teen-focused version of Grand Theft Auto — but that would be a step up. In fact, it’s a more like a real life version of a Black Mirror episode. What is Blue Whale? Reportedly, teen users are asked to download the game, then perform a new task as instructed for 50 days....

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Is Unroll.me safe to use?

In a recent New York Times article, one of our favorite organizational apps Unroll.me was mentioned as selling user data (specifically emails with Lyft receipts) to Uber, and not surprisingly people are worried, including us. We’ve been using this app for years now, and have been recommending it since we first discovered it, so you can imagine we were surprised to hear the accusations. So, we decided to take a closer look at the Unroll.me Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, as well as speak to someone on their team to get clarification about what exactly is happening and...

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New research: snooping on teens doesn’t work. Oops.

If you think spying and snooping on your kids’ social media behavior will help keep them safer, a new study in the Journal of Adolescence actually suggests otherwise, this recent post on Well Family discusses. In a survey of 455 adolescents, researchers found that teens who believed their parents were snooping on them shared less information that teens who felt their parents were respecting their space and boundaries. Related: Internet safety tips for families you can start using right now And this supports previous research that suggests snooping behavior from parents can negatively affect the home environment for families with teens. So...

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Beware of this fake Netflix phishing email scam! It looks incredibly real.

Phishing cons are getting increasingly sophisticated, as even my tech-savvy boyfriend and I did a double take at this Netflix phishing email — before realizing it was complete crap. The goal, as with most phishing emails: To get you to provide your personal info, password, and ideally your credit card numbers to “reinstate” your account. Here’s how to figure out if your Netflix email is real or not. Now, many phishing emails are as hilariously identifiable as frauds, like this one we received this week directly from “Marc Zucenberg,” via an email domain @server194.web-hosting.com. Because “Marc Zucenberg” doesn’t use Facebook email — and...

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3 simple questions to ask before you purchase a WIFI-connected smart toy for your kids

With the recent CloudPets hack, and others like it (remember Hello Barbie?), it’s becoming clearer that smart toys, particularly the stuffed animal kind, could pose a privacy risk that parents should know about. Don’t get us wrong, we love smart toys and have featured many here on Cool Mom Tech, like the new Toymail Talkies for example, and we think that they can be a cool addition to your kid’s toy box. And given their popularity, we’re pretty sure you’ll be seeing more and more of them hit the shelves in the coming months. But, before you fork over the...

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8 smart ways parents can manage screen time and not lose their minds

We’ve found that managing screen time is one of the most common across-the-board challenges parents in this digital age face. And hey, with six kids between us, we understand how difficult it can be, especially when just going gadget-free is not a feasible option. Over the years, we’ve tried all sorts of different approaches to screen time management with our own kids, from screen time manager apps to creating simple reward systems, even turning it into family time, all eight of which we’re sharing with you. Whatever you choose, we hope these ideas help you help your kids make better...

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Web Coolness: The new NASA travel poster, a hot Instagram feature, and why people are leaving Snapchat

Here are some of our favorite tech links from around the web. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did.   We’re loving this gorgeous new, free NASA travel poster. (via Laughing Squid) This device lets dads feel the fetus kicking in utero! Whoa. Ooh, wearable tech that’s actually chic and not gimmicky. Here’s how social media might be creating unrealistic parenting standards. Coming soon? Charging devices might be as simple as connecting to WIFI. Here’s everything you need to know about the hot new Instagram feature. 13 email etiquette rules from around the world. Randi Zuckerberg...

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Ultimate Birthday Party Gift Guide

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