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7 Tips To Help Children Develop A Positive Attitude

Developing a Positive Attitude in Kids

Attitude is one important aspect to pay close attention to in child development. As they grow, children should learn to adopt a positive attitude towards life as a whole. A positive attitude will boost their ability to deal with stress. It will also play a big role in their level of perseverance and endurance when life gets tough.

Overall, kids with a positive attitude are better placed to face life’s challenges.  They will grow into people who are not afraid to take risks and always do their best.

Things That Create a Negative Attitude

Many factors can come into play for a child to develop a negative attitude. For instance, their temperament can make them naturally inclined towards negativity. In the traditional categorization of personality traits, melancholic kids tend to exhibit such traits. A child’s environment also plays a major role in the attitude they develop.

If they come from a home that models negativity, they will catch on. Basically, this negativity can be in terms of the parents’ response to life, the words they use around them, or how they treat them in general. Introducing kids to positive role models can have the opposite effect. Knowing this as an educator, you can either make the situation better or vice versa.

Here are some tips you can use to help children develop a positive attitude.

Encourage Them to Take Risks

Give the children tasks above their current abilities. They may get scared at first, but with time they will realize that taking risks is not such a bad thing.

Be Realistic In Your Interactions With Them

Do not offer false praise. If a child messes up or performs below what you expected of them, say it. You will help them learn to take criticism positively and come up with new strategies to work on things. Plus, they will learn to be realistic too.

Offer Constructive Criticism

In line with expressing displeasure, do it wisely. Do not tear down a child just because they messed up. Find ways to give positive feedback and tell them they were wrong without making them feel like they’re a complete mess who can’t ever get anything right. This way they will learn that one mistake does not necessarily ruin everything.

Make Room For Vulnerability

If you allow the children to express their emotions freely, they learn that it is not a weakness. In turn, they grow into people who work through their feelings instead of bottling them up until they explode.

Appreciate Effort

Recognize every effort they make towards progress- as little as it may be. It will foster a desire to keep learning and growing because it is worth something.

Affirmations

You will be surprised at how much difference affirmations can make. Use positive affirmations for kids to help them replace the negative thoughts they have with good ones. Constantly speaking positivity will gradually help them “rewire” their minds.

Instill Responsibility

Give them tasks and quit hovering around to make sure they get things right. When you allow them to take matters on minus your supervision, they understand that they can be trusted. They will then learn to be good stewards of what’s entrusted to them.

To help you on this quest, you can get effective tools and resources such as journals, teaching guides, and printables for children of all ages from Big Life Journal.

Wrapping It Up

Life seems to be getting more complicated by the day. Hence, raising a society of people with a positive attitude will go a long way in making the world a better place.

Attitude is one important aspect to pay close attention to in child development. As they grow, children should learn to adopt a positive attitude towards life as a whole. A positive attitude will boost their ability to deal with stress. It will also play a big role in their level of perseverance and endurance when life gets tough.

Overall, kids with a positive attitude are better placed to face life’s challenges.  They will grow into people who are not afraid to take risks and always do their best.

Things That Create a Negative Attitude

Many factors can come into play for a child to develop a negative attitude. For instance, their temperament can make them naturally inclined towards negativity. In the traditional categorization of personality traits, melancholic kids tend to exhibit such traits. A child’s environment also plays a major role in the attitude they develop.

If they come from a home that models negativity, they will catch on. Basically, this negativity can be in terms of the parents’ response to life, the words they use around them, or how they treat them in general. Introducing kids to positive role models can have the opposite effect. Knowing this as an educator, you can either make the situation better or vice versa.

Here are some tips you can use to help children develop a positive attitude.

Encourage Them to Take Risks

Give the children tasks above their current abilities. They may get scared at first, but with time they will realize that taking risks is not such a bad thing.

Be Realistic In Your Interactions With Them

Do not offer false praise. If a child messes up or performs below what you expected of them, say it. You will help them learn to take criticism positively and come up with new strategies to work on things. Plus, they will learn to be realistic too.

Offer Constructive Criticism

In line with expressing displeasure, do it wisely. Do not tear down a child just because they messed up. Find ways to give positive feedback and tell them they were wrong without making them feel like they’re a complete mess who can’t ever get anything right. This way they will learn that one mistake does not necessarily ruin everything.

Make Room For Vulnerability

If you allow the children to express their emotions freely, they learn that it is not a weakness. In turn, they grow into people who work through their feelings instead of bottling them up until they explode.

Appreciate Effort

Recognize every effort they make towards progress- as little as it may be. It will foster a desire to keep learning and growing because it is worth something.

Affirmations

You will be surprised at how much difference affirmations can make. Use positive affirmations for kids to help them replace the negative thoughts they have with good ones. Constantly speaking positivity will gradually help them “rewire” their minds.

Instill Responsibility

Give them tasks and quit hovering around to make sure they get things right. When you allow them to take matters on minus your supervision, they understand that they can be trusted. They will then learn to be good stewards of what’s entrusted to them.

To help you on this quest, you can get effective tools and resources such as journals, teaching guides, and printables for children of all ages from Big Life Journal.

Wrapping It Up

Life seems to be getting more complicated by the day. Hence, raising a society of people with a positive attitude will go a long way in making the world a better place.

Top 13 Benefits of Learning Music

Benefits of Learning Music

Why is music important? Music is amongst the few universal and eternal pleasures of life. Playing a musical instrument or singing is a delightful, meditative, and rejuvenating experience. Apart from the sheer joy of it, there is a great importance of music training in other aspects of life.

Here are the top 13 significant benefits of learning music, no matter your age or level of musical  proficiency.

  1. Improves Intellect & Memory Power

You need to recognize different lyrics, tones, and sounds. Thus, in the process of learning music, you enhance your reasoning skills, phonetics, and knowledge of the language. Learning all this new information and remembering them naturally sharpens your memory and intellect.

  1. Enhances Problem-solving & Mathematics

There is an intelligence called spatial intelligence, which is responsible for the recognition and arrangement of stuff. During music training, you need to arrange various elements together. The tune, lyrics, and musical notes all need to align with each other. You can choose to learn music to sharpen your math skills.

  1. Makes You Result-oriented

When you sign up for the music training, you commit yourself to focus, organizing, and memorizing the technicalities to perfection. The cluster of these qualities and some other qualities are known as executive functions. It becomes your second nature by the end of your training.

  1. Helps in Achieving Academic Success

Contrary to the popular belief that learning music will distract students from their academics, various studies proved that it improves their test marks. Parents should be aware of music benefits for students that help them improve in school and colleges. It will encourage more parents to let their kids peruse music.

  1. Increases Confidence & Self-worth

Both learning and performing music are meditative and enlightening experiences. You get the opportunity to express yourself in front of other people. It increases your confidence. Being proficient in music gives you a feeling of self-worth. You value yourself more as a learned musician who is different from the crowd.

  1. Boosts Emotional Intelligenceem

Performing arts like music gives an opportunity to see life from other people’s points of view. When you learn music, you become more empathetic, understanding, and sensitive towards others.

  1. Develops Creativity & Imagination Power

Every art form compels you to create with your imagination. The same is the case with music. You develop your ability to think beyond the realities in front of you. Your problem-solving techniques become more innovative and experimental.

  1. Teaches the Value of Discipline

Increased discipline & persistence is one of the major benefits of music learning, especially for kids. They become more aware of the importance of attending lessons and practicing. It takes time to master the art of music. When you patiently wait to grasp the correct note and tune, it leads to increase in your persistence.

  1. Trains You in Team Work

Musicians and singers need to sync in to create a performance. When you are training for music, you develop the skills of coordination, communication, and comprehension. It is perfect for kids if they get this kind of exposure from an early age.

  1. Expands Your Knowledge about Different Cultures

Music crosses the boundaries of cities, countries, continents, and cultures. A kid or adult interested in music becomes aware of different cultural norms around the globe. They get to know everything, from the Bagpipes of Scotland to the Tabla of India.

  1. Sharpens Listening Skills

One of the underrated benefits of music training is it improves your auditory attention. You can differentiate amongst various sounds. And can choose to concentrate on whatever sound is essential for you to listen to.

  1. Provides Stress Relief

Many studies proved the relaxing and soothing effect of music. Learning music can give you a nice getaway from other stressful parts of your daily life. It can be your daily vacation for a few hours away from your studies or professional engagements.

  1. Enhances Social Skills

The importance of learning music is not limited to the art form only. It teaches you social skills. In a class, you need to interact with other students. Especially kids play and learn in the same group. Their improved social skills enable them to thrive in social situations instead of getting social anxiety.

Author Bio
Reema Krishnan is a content creator at Acharyanet platform for Carnatic music learners where they can learn music from gurus through 400+ video lessons. Being a music enthusiast and a history buff herself, she is able to provide value for her readers and her content is well-received by musicians, music lovers, and music learners of all ages and at all stages. She loves to volunteer with music therapy groups and bakes up a storm in her free time.

Why is music important? Music is amongst the few universal and eternal pleasures of life. Playing a musical instrument or singing is a delightful, meditative, and rejuvenating experience. Apart from the sheer joy of it, there is a great importance of music training in other aspects of life.

Here are the top 13 significant benefits of learning music, no matter your age or level of musical  proficiency.

  1. Improves Intellect & Memory Power

You need to recognize different lyrics, tones, and sounds. Thus, in the process of learning music, you enhance your reasoning skills, phonetics, and knowledge of the language. Learning all this new information and remembering them naturally sharpens your memory and intellect.

  1. Enhances Problem-solving & Mathematics

There is an intelligence called spatial intelligence, which is responsible for the recognition and arrangement of stuff. During music training, you need to arrange various elements together. The tune, lyrics, and musical notes all need to align with each other. You can choose to learn music to sharpen your math skills.

  1. Makes You Result-oriented

When you sign up for the music training, you commit yourself to focus, organizing, and memorizing the technicalities to perfection. The cluster of these qualities and some other qualities are known as executive functions. It becomes your second nature by the end of your training.

  1. Helps in Achieving Academic Success

Contrary to the popular belief that learning music will distract students from their academics, various studies proved that it improves their test marks. Parents should be aware of music benefits for students that help them improve in school and colleges. It will encourage more parents to let their kids peruse music.

  1. Increases Confidence & Self-worth

Both learning and performing music are meditative and enlightening experiences. You get the opportunity to express yourself in front of other people. It increases your confidence. Being proficient in music gives you a feeling of self-worth. You value yourself more as a learned musician who is different from the crowd.

  1. Boosts Emotional Intelligenceem

Performing arts like music gives an opportunity to see life from other people’s points of view. When you learn music, you become more empathetic, understanding, and sensitive towards others.

  1. Develops Creativity & Imagination Power

Every art form compels you to create with your imagination. The same is the case with music. You develop your ability to think beyond the realities in front of you. Your problem-solving techniques become more innovative and experimental.

  1. Teaches the Value of Discipline

Increased discipline & persistence is one of the major benefits of music learning, especially for kids. They become more aware of the importance of attending lessons and practicing. It takes time to master the art of music. When you patiently wait to grasp the correct note and tune, it leads to increase in your persistence.

  1. Trains You in Team Work

Musicians and singers need to sync in to create a performance. When you are training for music, you develop the skills of coordination, communication, and comprehension. It is perfect for kids if they get this kind of exposure from an early age.

  1. Expands Your Knowledge about Different Cultures

Music crosses the boundaries of cities, countries, continents, and cultures. A kid or adult interested in music becomes aware of different cultural norms around the globe. They get to know everything, from the Bagpipes of Scotland to the Tabla of India.

  1. Sharpens Listening Skills

One of the underrated benefits of music training is it improves your auditory attention. You can differentiate amongst various sounds. And can choose to concentrate on whatever sound is essential for you to listen to.

  1. Provides Stress Relief

Many studies proved the relaxing and soothing effect of music. Learning music can give you a nice getaway from other stressful parts of your daily life. It can be your daily vacation for a few hours away from your studies or professional engagements.

  1. Enhances Social Skills

The importance of learning music is not limited to the art form only. It teaches you social skills. In a class, you need to interact with other students. Especially kids play and learn in the same group. Their improved social skills enable them to thrive in social situations instead of getting social anxiety.

Author Bio
Reema Krishnan is a content creator at Acharyanet platform for Carnatic music learners where they can learn music from gurus through 400+ video lessons. Being a music enthusiast and a history buff herself, she is able to provide value for her readers and her content is well-received by musicians, music lovers, and music learners of all ages and at all stages. She loves to volunteer with music therapy groups and bakes up a storm in her free time.

How to Activate Free Parental Controls

Free Parental Control Software Apps Guide

When seeking parental controls to keep your family save online, there is a lot of consider. We’ll start with a checklist of all the devices your child may be using that is connected to the Internet.   Then, we’ll explore free parental control software and app solutions to help you cover all the bases.  Many of these options parental control settings built in.

Lets first define the areas we are dealing with, which are contained in our free parental control guide.

Types of Parental Controls

  1. Installable software for computers and lap tops; PC’s with Windows, Mac desktops and lap tops.
  2. Downloadable Apps for mobile devices; iPhones, Andriods, iPads, Kindle Fire, tablets or any device that has an app store.
  3. Parental controls on game consoles or on Internet based video games, either directly online or via software.
  4. Free factory built-in parental controls that may be limited by still usually available on a particular device or a software program or app on that device.  These include Internet browsers, a social media account or app, YouTube.
  5. Parental controls that are controls by an account with a parental log in and password. (Microsoft, Google or Apple Account).

A typical family is facing these challenges:  One child may have a tablet and an iPhone.  Another child may be working on the family computer and use an Andriod.  You may have a Kindle Fire that all the kids share.  Teens will be playing video games, as well as have a lap top and an iPhone or Android phone. These are just the devices.

Places Kids Need Protection

  1. In their bedroom.
  2. At school.
  3. On the playground.
  4. At a friends house.
  5. On the school bus.

Whether at home on a desktop, or in multiple locations on a smart phone, parents need to individually look at each of device their kids are using and be aware of what they are doing on those devices. And whenever you kids leave your home with a lap top, tablet or mobile phone, the internet goes with them.  This greatly increases the need for parental controls

Kids Internet Activity:  Key Points to Consider.

  • Are they searching the Internet through a browser?
  • Are they searching the Internet through a browser app?
  • Are they interacting on social media on a desktop or via an app?
  • Are they playing videos comes online through an Internet browser or software download?
  • Are they playing video games on a gaming console. Is that gaming console connect to the Internet and interacting with other kids?
  • Are they watching YouTube through their main website or via the new YouTube kids app?

Safe Search Kids has prepared a free parental control guide that covers all of your devices, as well as the various platforms your kids are using to access the internet.

Internet Filtering

Probably the most urgent parental control concern to address is Internet search.  How do you kids search the web?  Which browsers are they using?  Simplify things by guiding them to use only one browser so you only have to set up parental controls for that browser.  A safe search engine like Safe Search Kids is a resource that enhances Google’s filtering but you should still have the basic parental controls enabled for when kids may to go search Google.com.

Our free parental control guide goes through these various options.   Keep in mind that the browser on their lap top will have different settings than the browser app on a mobile device.  It’s also important to note that filtering options on a browser are very limited.

Social Media Monitoring

Without software or a parental control app, parents must monitor a child’s social media manually.  However, there is away to restrict app downloads within the app store.  Our guide reviews these options to that kids can’t download apps you do not approve of.  This option doesn’t not work with all devices.  Beyond that, get to know the apps your kids are using.  What social media programs are they using.  SnapchatTikTok?  Facebook?  Discuss which platforms you will allow according to their age.

Privacy Settings

Look at all your devices, apps and accounts your kids are using and ensure all privacy settings are set accordingly.  While parental controls are all about keeping your kids from accessing harmful material online, let’s not forget about protecting them from those who will want to reach them.  This will also help protect your kids from online predators,  as well as malware, viruses and online scams.

Video Games Consoles

If you decide to use a parental control software program or an app that fully monitors your kids activity online, you’re still somewhat on your own when it comes to gaming.  Software solutions will help if the video game is online, but this is not usually the case for gamers in your family that use consoles such as PlayStation and xBox. This issue includes hand held devices like Nintendo Switch.  Fortunately, our free guide includes parental control instructions for 20 different gaming consoles.  These protections come with each game from the factory.

Free Parental Controls vs Paid Subscription Models

Setting up parental controls on each device and each individual website platform or application on that device can be a daunting task.  It takes research and time.  Our parental control guide reveals these free ways to do it without fully automated parental control software, according to each area of concern.  In some cases, such as with privacy settings, setting things manually do the job.  In other cases, such as internet filtering and app usage, you will only achieve the basic levels of protection provided from pre-existing limits that come with the browser.

For social media monitoring and internet blocking of the darkest places on the web, you may want to consider paid parental control options.  These also including monitoring of suspicious texts, Internet searches and geo tracking for when kids are away from home.  If in doubt, start with free options.  This is the reason we created our free parental control guide. At the very least, every parents should have the available basic protection settings in place.  This is a process you can include your kids in, so they are aware of their boundaries when free parental controls are not enough.

Download our Free Guide to setting up Free Parental Controls on your various devices. We will also show you free software and free parental control app downloads to help you explore more automated solutions.

When seeking parental controls to keep your family save online, there is a lot of consider. We’ll start with a checklist of all the devices your child may be using that is connected to the Internet.   Then, we’ll explore free parental control software and app solutions to help you cover all the bases.  Many of these options parental control settings built in.

Lets first define the areas we are dealing with, which are contained in our free parental control guide.

Types of Parental Controls

  1. Installable software for computers and lap tops; PC’s with Windows, Mac desktops and lap tops.
  2. Downloadable Apps for mobile devices; iPhones, Andriods, iPads, Kindle Fire, tablets or any device that has an app store.
  3. Parental controls on game consoles or on Internet based video games, either directly online or via software.
  4. Free factory built-in parental controls that may be limited by still usually available on a particular device or a software program or app on that device.  These include Internet browsers, a social media account or app, YouTube.
  5. Parental controls that are controls by an account with a parental log in and password. (Microsoft, Google or Apple Account).

A typical family is facing these challenges:  One child may have a tablet and an iPhone.  Another child may be working on the family computer and use an Andriod.  You may have a Kindle Fire that all the kids share.  Teens will be playing video games, as well as have a lap top and an iPhone or Android phone. These are just the devices.

Places Kids Need Protection

  1. In their bedroom.
  2. At school.
  3. On the playground.
  4. At a friends house.
  5. On the school bus.

Whether at home on a desktop, or in multiple locations on a smart phone, parents need to individually look at each of device their kids are using and be aware of what they are doing on those devices. And whenever you kids leave your home with a lap top, tablet or mobile phone, the internet goes with them.  This greatly increases the need for parental controls

Kids Internet Activity:  Key Points to Consider.

  • Are they searching the Internet through a browser?
  • Are they searching the Internet through a browser app?
  • Are they interacting on social media on a desktop or via an app?
  • Are they playing videos comes online through an Internet browser or software download?
  • Are they playing video games on a gaming console. Is that gaming console connect to the Internet and interacting with other kids?
  • Are they watching YouTube through their main website or via the new YouTube kids app?

Safe Search Kids has prepared a free parental control guide that covers all of your devices, as well as the various platforms your kids are using to access the internet.

Internet Filtering

Probably the most urgent parental control concern to address is Internet search.  How do you kids search the web?  Which browsers are they using?  Simplify things by guiding them to use only one browser so you only have to set up parental controls for that browser.  A safe search engine like Safe Search Kids is a resource that enhances Google’s filtering but you should still have the basic parental controls enabled for when kids may to go search Google.com.

Our free parental control guide goes through these various options.   Keep in mind that the browser on their lap top will have different settings than the browser app on a mobile device.  It’s also important to note that filtering options on a browser are very limited.

Social Media Monitoring

Without software or a parental control app, parents must monitor a child’s social media manually.  However, there is away to restrict app downloads within the app store.  Our guide reviews these options to that kids can’t download apps you do not approve of.  This option doesn’t not work with all devices.  Beyond that, get to know the apps your kids are using.  What social media programs are they using.  SnapchatTikTok?  Facebook?  Discuss which platforms you will allow according to their age.

Privacy Settings

Look at all your devices, apps and accounts your kids are using and ensure all privacy settings are set accordingly.  While parental controls are all about keeping your kids from accessing harmful material online, let’s not forget about protecting them from those who will want to reach them.  This will also help protect your kids from online predators,  as well as malware, viruses and online scams.

Video Games Consoles

If you decide to use a parental control software program or an app that fully monitors your kids activity online, you’re still somewhat on your own when it comes to gaming.  Software solutions will help if the video game is online, but this is not usually the case for gamers in your family that use consoles such as PlayStation and xBox. This issue includes hand held devices like Nintendo Switch.  Fortunately, our free guide includes parental control instructions for 20 different gaming consoles.  These protections come with each game from the factory.

Free Parental Controls vs Paid Subscription Models

Setting up parental controls on each device and each individual website platform or application on that device can be a daunting task.  It takes research and time.  Our parental control guide reveals these free ways to do it without fully automated parental control software, according to each area of concern.  In some cases, such as with privacy settings, setting things manually do the job.  In other cases, such as internet filtering and app usage, you will only achieve the basic levels of protection provided from pre-existing limits that come with the browser.

For social media monitoring and internet blocking of the darkest places on the web, you may want to consider paid parental control options.  These also including monitoring of suspicious texts, Internet searches and geo tracking for when kids are away from home.  If in doubt, start with free options.  This is the reason we created our free parental control guide. At the very least, every parents should have the available basic protection settings in place.  This is a process you can include your kids in, so they are aware of their boundaries when free parental controls are not enough.

Download our Free Guide to setting up Free Parental Controls on your various devices. We will also show you free software and free parental control app downloads to help you explore more automated solutions.

VPN Explained for Dummies | Is a VPN Necessary?

Should You Have a VPN

Ok, you’re not a dummy.  This is simply an article that explains VPNs in simple terms.  VPN services are not well known to the average person. For those who are aware of what they do, VPN services are often given a bad rap. We’ll explore and answer questions and concerns. We’ll also define what a VPN does and look at the online safety benefits.

VPN is short for Virtual Private Network.  It’s main security function is privacy protection. The privacy obtained through this private network is one of the reasons VPN’s get a bad name. However, when it comes to cyber security, personal privacy protection is a cornerstone of Internet safety. The need for effective solutions is growing.

How Does a VPN Protect your Privacy?

A VPN hides your location and makes it look like you are located somewhere other than your actual location.  You can choose the country and available locations within that country that you want it to appear you are accessing the Internet from.  One of the most practical places you would want to hide you location is when surfing public WiFi.  There are security risks regarding your personal information when logging on to public WiFi.  Firstly, never log on to a public WiFi unless there is an official verification of you as a user.   For example, when logging on to WiFi, such as an airport’s official free WiFi service, it will ask you to agree to certain terms.  This identifies yourself to the airport WiFi providers as well.  It also identifies others using the service.

This still won’t stop hackers from being able to anonymously spy on your lap top of phone.  Using a VPN will hide you from potential hackers who may be sitting just a few feet away from you.  The same is true for public Wifi in libraries and hotels. Most hotels require a password, which make it a little more secure but it’s still no match for a hacker who wants to hijack your laptop or mobile device.  If you are using public WiFi without a VPN, you should restrict your internet usage to activity that does not involve logging into personal accounts, such as banking.

Why Do VPN’s Get a Bad Rap?

If a VPN hides your location, then the assumption is that you are going to do something illegal.  True, VPN’s may be used by criminals who do not want authorities to see what they are doing online.  There are other activities that VPN’s are used for that are not necessarily illegal or have drastic legal ramifications, but many deem them as unethical.  These include streaming services such as NetFlix, Disney Plus, and Amazon Prime.  Streaming services only have the rights to show certain movies and TV shows in particular countries according to agreements with the copyright owners of that material.  If you pretend to be from a different country, would would gain access to entertainment that normally is not allowed in your country.

Additional Uses of a VPN

There are other legitimate reasons people want to sign up for a VPN on their computer, lap top or mobile phone.  We mentioned protection while using public WiFi already.  Here are a few more.

VPN Protection in Countries that Limit Personal Freedoms

If you live in a fully democratic country, you will be enjoying freedom to speak your mind or write about thoughts and ideas without suppression or persecution from your government.  There are countries that limit this in different ways.  These include; totalitarian regimes and communist countries that are highly restrictive, failed states and countries of great political unrest, as well as seudo democracies that suppress political opposition and limit access to information to control it’s citizens.

These countries also block legitimate websites to keep people from reading ‘fact based’ news, as opposed to state propaganda. They censor information online and there can be great consequences for journalists and bloggers who seek to expose government injustice and stand up a free and open society.  Even a regular citizen in a restrictive country can go to jail for posting a protest message on social media.  For these reasons, a VPN can protect individuals from being located and charged with doing something that is illegal in their own country, but is highly regarded as noble and just in a democratic country.

VPN’s Prevent Swatting for Gamers

This is a scary one.  Swatting is when a fellow gamer online reports your to local police in your area and commits a most horrendous prank.  Or they may do it to get back at you for beating them at a game or just to be mean.  They will call the SWAT team to your home claiming there is hostage taking or that someone has a gun and threatening people.  The unbeknownst gamer in your family and anyone else at home is shocked when SWAT (Special Weapons And Tactics) shows up and hauls everyone out of your home in handcuffs.  Sometimes the outcomes of a swatting call are much worse.

The FBI reports that there are over 400 cases of swatting in the USA every year.  New technology has evolved that has expanded swatting from the home to public areas.  A VPN protects gamers at home and anyone out in public.  Video game players with a VPN turned on can rest easy.  If they get on the bad side of another gamer half way around the world, those bad eggs won’t be able to detect where you live.

VPN Protection from ISP Tracking

Your internet service provider (ISP) collects your data and can often sell your personal information for advertising purposes.  This is legal but many protest that this is an invasion of privacy.  Most people are not concerned about it because internet service providers are not out to hurt you.  Though the threat does not appear imminent, your private information is still exposed to third parties.  Opening a new private window in your browser, also known as incognito mode, is not as secure as you think.  It does not hide your personal information from your IPS.  It merely blocks cookies from being saved and prevents websites from collecting your data as a user.  This can help you save money while shopping (more about that in our next point) but it does not provide full privacy.

Using VPN’s for Online Shopping Freedom

As alluded to in the previous paragraph, you can activate privacy mode in your browser to ensure you are not overpaying for products. This is especially true for airlines.  They want air travelers to pay the highest price possible for a plane ticket.  They will increase prices for customers they think will pay more and also reduce prices for those who are only willing to pay less.  Hiding your location and private information results keeps these websites in the dark about browsing history and buying habits.  For this reason, using a VPN for online shopping does a much better job of protecting you from over paying for products and services.

It also allows you to shop more easily while away from home.  Let’s say you are in another country and want to buy a product to be shipped to you by the time you return home.  Setting your location to your home country will allow you to shop as if you were there and not be subjected to different prices or shipping restrictions because the website thinks you are a foreigner.

Protection from Hackers

Apart from the legal and seemingly innocent tracking that websites and internet service providers do while you are surfing the web, we can’t forget about the risk of being hacked.  Every home should have a proper firewall set up and every computer should be running proper Internet security.  Regardless of these protections however, hacking of your computer and the stealing of your private information can still occur at home.  A VPN hides your location so a hacker can’t find you.

Protection Against Cyberbullying:

We would not say that getting a VPN is a primary solution if a child is being cyberbullied. If you are having a serious problem and threats are involved, call your local police.  In extreme cases, having a VPN even for a short time can prevent bullies from finding out where you live until bullying issues are resolved.  The same is true for online predators.  Proper guidance and parental controls go a long way to protect kids online, but if you are dealing with a situation where a predictor may be attempting to stalk your child at home or at school, a VPN will stop that.

Business Protection

Most businesses do not have a lot of extra dollars to hire full time IT personal to protect their data.  A monthly subscription to a VPN is relatively affordable and manageable within a companies budget.  Businesses big and small will have 24/7 privacy protection that anti-virus and malware programs can’t provide.  Hackers need an IP address to hack any home or office.  This is cludes hacking Microsoft 365 accounts.  Also, consider all your employees traveling the world and putting company data a risk.  Another benefit while traveling is the ability to access company files in countries where the internet is restricted.  Businesses can connect their VPN to the good router where all employees can use the service with only one account.

Is a VPN Necessary?

Unfortunately, even though human rights have grown in democratic countries in many ways, a lack of privacy seems to be diminishing.  Or at least we are just become more are of the need to deal with these privacy issues since it has been in the news a lot lately.  The fight is on in developed nations to push back against the invasion of privacy that Internet companies, various websites and even social media platforms use to influence users and increase profits.  Laws need to be strengthened to make protection universal.

What is discouraging however, is the increased restrictions in old regimes.  While social media networks have been accused lately of neglecting the privacy of it’s users, no one can deny what a great tool it has been for people in corrupt countries to band together and oppose their governments for freedom that many of us take for granted.  This was first seen with the Arab Spring.  Today, oppressive countries are clamping down even harder to restrict their citizens from the having the freedom of ideas and communication that the growing power the Internet brings.

Even with proper laws in place for privacy protection, the world will always need Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) as long as there are hackers, predators and corrupt governments in power. Software companies and computer hardware manufactures will continue to improve security to make your personal data more secure.  Using an SSL proxy is another solution, but it is much more complicated to implement.  Subscribing to a VPN that hides your location is the best user friendly option to complete protection from everything we’ve mentioned in this article.

Is a VPN is right for you?  Explore Download Options for Your Device.

Ok, you’re not a dummy.  This is simply an article that explains VPNs in simple terms.  VPN services are not well known to the average person. For those who are aware of what they do, VPN services are often given a bad rap. We’ll explore and answer questions and concerns. We’ll also define what a VPN does and look at the online safety benefits.

VPN is short for Virtual Private Network.  It’s main security function is privacy protection. The privacy obtained through this private network is one of the reasons VPN’s get a bad name. However, when it comes to cyber security, personal privacy protection is a cornerstone of Internet safety. The need for effective solutions is growing.

How Does a VPN Protect your Privacy?

A VPN hides your location and makes it look like you are located somewhere other than your actual location.  You can choose the country and available locations within that country that you want it to appear you are accessing the Internet from.  One of the most practical places you would want to hide you location is when surfing public WiFi.  There are security risks regarding your personal information when logging on to public WiFi.  Firstly, never log on to a public WiFi unless there is an official verification of you as a user.   For example, when logging on to WiFi, such as an airport’s official free WiFi service, it will ask you to agree to certain terms.  This identifies yourself to the airport WiFi providers as well.  It also identifies others using the service.

This still won’t stop hackers from being able to anonymously spy on your lap top of phone.  Using a VPN will hide you from potential hackers who may be sitting just a few feet away from you.  The same is true for public Wifi in libraries and hotels. Most hotels require a password, which make it a little more secure but it’s still no match for a hacker who wants to hijack your laptop or mobile device.  If you are using public WiFi without a VPN, you should restrict your internet usage to activity that does not involve logging into personal accounts, such as banking.

Why Do VPN’s Get a Bad Rap?

If a VPN hides your location, then the assumption is that you are going to do something illegal.  True, VPN’s may be used by criminals who do not want authorities to see what they are doing online.  There are other activities that VPN’s are used for that are not necessarily illegal or have drastic legal ramifications, but many deem them as unethical.  These include streaming services such as NetFlix, Disney Plus, and Amazon Prime.  Streaming services only have the rights to show certain movies and TV shows in particular countries according to agreements with the copyright owners of that material.  If you pretend to be from a different country, would would gain access to entertainment that normally is not allowed in your country.

Additional Uses of a VPN

There are other legitimate reasons people want to sign up for a VPN on their computer, lap top or mobile phone.  We mentioned protection while using public WiFi already.  Here are a few more.

VPN Protection in Countries that Limit Personal Freedoms

If you live in a fully democratic country, you will be enjoying freedom to speak your mind or write about thoughts and ideas without suppression or persecution from your government.  There are countries that limit this in different ways.  These include; totalitarian regimes and communist countries that are highly restrictive, failed states and countries of great political unrest, as well as seudo democracies that suppress political opposition and limit access to information to control it’s citizens.

These countries also block legitimate websites to keep people from reading ‘fact based’ news, as opposed to state propaganda. They censor information online and there can be great consequences for journalists and bloggers who seek to expose government injustice and stand up a free and open society.  Even a regular citizen in a restrictive country can go to jail for posting a protest message on social media.  For these reasons, a VPN can protect individuals from being located and charged with doing something that is illegal in their own country, but is highly regarded as noble and just in a democratic country.

VPN’s Prevent Swatting for Gamers

This is a scary one.  Swatting is when a fellow gamer online reports your to local police in your area and commits a most horrendous prank.  Or they may do it to get back at you for beating them at a game or just to be mean.  They will call the SWAT team to your home claiming there is hostage taking or that someone has a gun and threatening people.  The unbeknownst gamer in your family and anyone else at home is shocked when SWAT (Special Weapons And Tactics) shows up and hauls everyone out of your home in handcuffs.  Sometimes the outcomes of a swatting call are much worse.

The FBI reports that there are over 400 cases of swatting in the USA every year.  New technology has evolved that has expanded swatting from the home to public areas.  A VPN protects gamers at home and anyone out in public.  Video game players with a VPN turned on can rest easy.  If they get on the bad side of another gamer half way around the world, those bad eggs won’t be able to detect where you live.

VPN Protection from ISP Tracking

Your internet service provider (ISP) collects your data and can often sell your personal information for advertising purposes.  This is legal but many protest that this is an invasion of privacy.  Most people are not concerned about it because internet service providers are not out to hurt you.  Though the threat does not appear imminent, your private information is still exposed to third parties.  Opening a new private window in your browser, also known as incognito mode, is not as secure as you think.  It does not hide your personal information from your IPS.  It merely blocks cookies from being saved and prevents websites from collecting your data as a user.  This can help you save money while shopping (more about that in our next point) but it does not provide full privacy.

Using VPN’s for Online Shopping Freedom

As alluded to in the previous paragraph, you can activate privacy mode in your browser to ensure you are not overpaying for products. This is especially true for airlines.  They want air travelers to pay the highest price possible for a plane ticket.  They will increase prices for customers they think will pay more and also reduce prices for those who are only willing to pay less.  Hiding your location and private information results keeps these websites in the dark about browsing history and buying habits.  For this reason, using a VPN for online shopping does a much better job of protecting you from over paying for products and services.

It also allows you to shop more easily while away from home.  Let’s say you are in another country and want to buy a product to be shipped to you by the time you return home.  Setting your location to your home country will allow you to shop as if you were there and not be subjected to different prices or shipping restrictions because the website thinks you are a foreigner.

Protection from Hackers

Apart from the legal and seemingly innocent tracking that websites and internet service providers do while you are surfing the web, we can’t forget about the risk of being hacked.  Every home should have a proper firewall set up and every computer should be running proper Internet security.  Regardless of these protections however, hacking of your computer and the stealing of your private information can still occur at home.  A VPN hides your location so a hacker can’t find you.

Protection Against Cyberbullying:

We would not say that getting a VPN is a primary solution if a child is being cyberbullied. If you are having a serious problem and threats are involved, call your local police.  In extreme cases, having a VPN even for a short time can prevent bullies from finding out where you live until bullying issues are resolved.  The same is true for online predators.  Proper guidance and parental controls go a long way to protect kids online, but if you are dealing with a situation where a predictor may be attempting to stalk your child at home or at school, a VPN will stop that.

Business Protection

Most businesses do not have a lot of extra dollars to hire full time IT personal to protect their data.  A monthly subscription to a VPN is relatively affordable and manageable within a companies budget.  Businesses big and small will have 24/7 privacy protection that anti-virus and malware programs can’t provide.  Hackers need an IP address to hack any home or office.  This is cludes hacking Microsoft 365 accounts.  Also, consider all your employees traveling the world and putting company data a risk.  Another benefit while traveling is the ability to access company files in countries where the internet is restricted.  Businesses can connect their VPN to the good router where all employees can use the service with only one account.

Is a VPN Necessary?

Unfortunately, even though human rights have grown in democratic countries in many ways, a lack of privacy seems to be diminishing.  Or at least we are just become more are of the need to deal with these privacy issues since it has been in the news a lot lately.  The fight is on in developed nations to push back against the invasion of privacy that Internet companies, various websites and even social media platforms use to influence users and increase profits.  Laws need to be strengthened to make protection universal.

What is discouraging however, is the increased restrictions in old regimes.  While social media networks have been accused lately of neglecting the privacy of it’s users, no one can deny what a great tool it has been for people in corrupt countries to band together and oppose their governments for freedom that many of us take for granted.  This was first seen with the Arab Spring.  Today, oppressive countries are clamping down even harder to restrict their citizens from the having the freedom of ideas and communication that the growing power the Internet brings.

Even with proper laws in place for privacy protection, the world will always need Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) as long as there are hackers, predators and corrupt governments in power. Software companies and computer hardware manufactures will continue to improve security to make your personal data more secure.  Using an SSL proxy is another solution, but it is much more complicated to implement.  Subscribing to a VPN that hides your location is the best user friendly option to complete protection from everything we’ve mentioned in this article.

Is a VPN is right for you?  Explore Download Options for Your Device.