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Friday, March 14th, 2014
Ever worry about what your children are looking at online? Or worry they are spending too much time on the Internet? Of course you do!
There is so much to fear in the digital age, from online predators to cyberbullies to unwelcomed pop-ups and risqué advertising. But as consumers of the World Wide Web, we also know that so much good content is out there for children as well.
A new product just hit the market that may make it easier for parents to control the content as well as the amount of time kids are viewing it online. PowerCloud Systems, in partnership with Common Sense Media, launched a new parental control feature in Skydog (their home networking monitoring system), named webRover. The control is designed for monitoring kids between the ages 2 and 10. Through the Skydog-connected system, parents can set up multiple user accounts that can be controlled across all devices (including mobile and tablets).
“Kids can easily get exposed to age-inappropriate content,” says Caroline Knorr, the Parenting Editor for Common Sense Media. “They can do that by typing something into the Internet that seems like an innocuous search term, and they can arrive at a website that is not age appropriate.”
“Let’s face it, there’s no way that you can prevent your kids from being exposed to age-inappropriate content or content that you don’t approve of, but there are ways to manage their online activities so they are funneled into sites where they have a greater chance of finding age-appropriate, positive, nourishing websites versus what they might find on their own,” she continues.
Each webRover user profile can be customized based on what each parent deems appropriate for each child. For example, parents can schedule designated study hours during the week for school-age children where only approved websites can be accessed during that time. So even though kids may need the Internet to research a homework assignment, you won’t have to worry that they are wasting time playing an online game. For even younger children, parents can allow access-based categories, including learning potential. This is where Common Sense Media comes in.
The organization rates and reviews media across multiple platforms (like movies, TV shows, video games, apps, etc.) and assesses the appropriate age for each product. Multiple factors come into play, including violence, sex, cigarettes and drugs, language, positive role models, and learning capability. So, even though some websites may be kid-friendly, they may not necessarily promote learning. Through webRover, parents can customize the sites they want to allow, like ones with a higher educational rating. For sites that don’t have a ranking (like religious and regional websites), parents can manually enter in their own information and ratings. Parents can even override Common Sense Media’s ratings if they decide their young child can handle websites aimed at older children, or if they find something age-inappropriate based on their own values.
“Often parental controls are blunt instruments that block out too much good stuff,” Knorr says. “That’s been a real downfall with the controls up until this point. So the way Skydog has implemented it…they are saying, ‘You know what, we want to just curate the good stuff for kids.’”
The big key here is that although there are different recommendations about the what, how, and when children can access the Internet, the webRover feature allows ultimate control to be left up to the parents. And that deserves a little sigh of relief!
Download our Internet-use contract so your kids know the rules before they log in online!
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bullies, common sense media, cyberbullying, digital age, digital devices, Internet, online predators, predators, skydog, technology, webrover | Categories:
Entertainment, Home, school
Friday, May 20th, 2011
1 in 25 teens addicted to Internet, study finds
A new study following Connecticut high school students found 1 in 25 students reported irresistible urges to be on the Internet and experienced discomfort and tension when they were not online. The study also found that these students are more likely to use drugs and be depressed and aggressive than students who do not have problematic Internet use. (MSNBC)
Kids of Deployed Parents May Face Mental Health Risks
Researches from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences found that children who have parents deployed have a higher risk of developing psychiatric problems that require hospitalization. Out of the 375,000 children, ages 9-17, there was a 10% increased risk in psychiatric hospitalization among children whose parents were deployed. (Yahoo)
Q&A With a Family Therapist: How Kids Survive Family Secrets
Due to the recent parent infidelity in the media, a professor at the University of California discusses how children respond to family secrets, how secrets affect children compared to teens and what parents can do to minimize secrets harming their child. (Yahoo)
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Tuesday, May 17th, 2011
Your growing child’s cyber safety is important everyday, but take some time today to think more about safeguarding his or her interaction with others online.
Parents must be vigilant in watching what their kids consume online. Make sure your child isn’t stumbling across questionable photos, traumatic news, and any other content that are more suitable for mature audiences. GoGoNews.com is a new site dedicated to providing and sharing kid-friendly news while Net Cetera is a goverment-funded resource (online and print) that can help parents understand the changing internet landscape.
Visit Kidzui.com to download a free web browser designed just for kids that filters out adult content or try out United Parents Protection Service, a free software that will help parents monitor their children’s internet usage.
Also, keeping an eye on your kids may help you spot any potential signs of cyberbullying, a growing trend of online bullying. My Mobile Watchdog is an app that can help prevent cyberbullying from escalating.
Other resources from Parents.com to protect your kids:
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Monday, February 7th, 2011
As cyberbullying and internet safety continues to be a big concern among parents, Trend Micro is sponsoring its second annual Internet Safety for Kids contest with partners such as Facebook, ConnectSafely, Common Sense Media, and Web Wise Kids.
“What’s Your Story?” is a user-generated video contest about educating on “how to stay safe when engaging in online activities, including texting, instant messaging, or social networking.” Anyone over the age of 13 (including parents!) can enter the contest.
The contest will launch on February 8 and will have three categories: Being a Good Online Citizen, Using a Mobile Phone Wisely, and Maintaining Online Privacy. Individual and school entries will be awarded with prizes, but just one grand prize winner will receive $10,000.
Visit “What’s Your Story?” for more information about the contest and watch videos from last year’s winners. You can also watch the video of the 2010 grand prize winner below.
More About Internet Safety on Parents.com
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contest, contests, cyberbullying, Internet, internet awareness, internet safety, kids, video, video contest, videos | Categories:
GoodyBlog, Health & Safety, Your Child
Tuesday, November 9th, 2010
Parents no longer have to be concerned about kids accidentally stumbling across inappropriate content on the web. Kidzui, the leading developer of award-winning Internet browsers for kids ages 3 to 12, is launching an upgraded browser: Kidzui K2. Like the original Kidzui browser, K2 will provide kids a fun, educational, and secure way to surf the web, but it will be easier to download and navigate, have a faster load response time, be updated for PCs and Macs, and have no membership regulations.
All the web content and websites that are part of the K2 browser experience will be pre-approved by teachers and parents to increase search functionality and improve learning. According to a representative at Kidzui, more new websites will be approved and added to K2 every month to “keep content fresh, engaging, and always safe for kids.” K2 will also provide access to ZuiGames.com and ZuiTube.com, games and video sites developed by Kidzui. Plus, parents can choose to monitor their children’s web activity by using parental controls and registering for weekly email reports.
So start hovering by your child whenever he’s on the computer and give yourself some peace of mind.
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Monday, October 25th, 2010
British kids log on and learn math- in Punjab:
Three state schools in London outsource part of their teaching to India via the Internet through new online-based company BrightSpark. Students can now have a one on one tutoring experience at half the price that a British tutor would charge. [New York Times]
Kids’ docs urged to screen new moms for depression: The Pediatrics Academy says that over 400,000 babies are born to depressed mothers each year, and that their conditions can affect their babies as well. Research shows developmental and social delays occur often in babies with depressed moms. [MSNBC]
Raisinets recalled over peanut risk: Nestle has recalled has recalled 10 oz. “fun size” bags sold to Target, Shoprite, and Don Quixote stores because they may contain peanuts. Nestle says the recall only applies to candy with the 02015748 production code and UPC number of 2800010255. [MSNBC]
40,000 drop-side cribs recalled for safety risk: The recalled Ethan Allen, Angel Line, and Victory Land Heritage Collection 3-in-1 cribs have drop-sides that can detach due to faulty hardware or wear and tear, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. This can create a gap where young children can be trapped or suffocated. In the past five years more than 9 million drop-side cribs have been recalled and caused at least 32 infant deaths since 2000. [CBS News]
First four months critical to new babies sleep habits: A new study in the journal Pediatrics finds that most babies will sleep five to eight hours per night by their fourth month of life. Many babies will sleep while the rest of the family is sleeping–50 percent of babies at age five months. [Paging Dr. Gupta/CNN]
Celery recall plant awaits results from FDA: The FDA linked four deaths to contaminated celery from a Texas plant. The state health department traced six of 10 known cases of listeriosis during an eight-month period to celery processed at the SanGar plant. On Wednesday the agency shut down the plant and ordered the company to recall all the produce that has passed through the plant since January. [MSNBC]
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Angel Line, baby sleeping habits, BrightSpark, celery, Consumer Product Safety Commision, depression, Don Quixote, drop-side cribs, Ethan Allen, FDA, food recall, India, Internet, London, product recalls, Punjab, Raisinets, SanGar, Shoprite, students, Target, Texas, Victory Land Heritage Collection | Categories:
GoodyBlog, Health & Safety, News, school, Your Child