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When Friends are Upset on Social Media

Jill knows that Ringo — her fluffy spotted puppy — can understand her. Whenever she’s on her phone, Ringo sits politely at her feet and stares at her with round, brown eyes. Today, Jill read her social media posts to him. “Look,” she said, “Zazza is mad at Sam because he got into the school band and she didn’t”.

Jill continued. “Zazza said Sam got in because he gave the teacher a flower before auditions. They’re both my friends and I don’t know what to say.”

Ringo cocked his head and sniffed at the phone.

Jill sighed. “I know what you mean, Ringo. They’re both my friends. If I post something that makes Zazza feel good, it will make Sam mad. If I post something that makes Sam happy, Zazza will be upset. What should I do?”

Ringo flattened on the floor and covered his ears with his fuzzy white paws.

Jill crossed her arms.  “You really think I should just stay out of it?”

Ringo sat up and panted.

“You’re right. Zazza is hurt right now, but she does so much, she’ll forget about it in a few days. Maybe I should wait ‘til I see her in person and tell her I’m sorry she didn’t get on the band.”

Ringo’s tail started sweeping the floor.

“You like that idea? That way, Zazza will l know I care and I won’t make Sam mad. After all, he’s my friend, too.”

Ringo let his long tongue flop out of the side of his mouth. Then he gave a deep, strong, “Woof.”

Jill nodded. “You’re smart. If I post something online, it will look like I’m taking sides between two people I like. If I talk to them in person, I’ll be a real friend instead of just someone who on comments online.”

Ringo panted happily. He liked people when they talked to each other in person. Being a dog, he knew that real friends share real time in the real world.

Online friends can’t throw sticks for you. They can’t sneak you a pizza crust when parents aren’t looking. Online friends can’t scratch your ears or take you for a walk. They can’t hug you or fill your water bowl. That’s why Ringo knows that what happens online is only part of being a friend. Being a real friend means being supportive in the real world and being kind in the real world.

Jill got off social media and phoned Sam. She congratulated him for getting on the band. Then she called Zazza and invited her over for pizza night.

That’s when Jill’s phone beeped. She looked at the message. “This is your Mom. Didn’t you forget something else in the real world?”

Jill smiled and tossed down her phone. “Hey, Mom,” she yelled into the kitchen. “Is it okay if Zazza comes over for pizza?”

Jill knows that Ringo — her fluffy spotted puppy — can understand her. Whenever she’s on her phone, Ringo sits politely at her feet and stares at her with round, brown eyes. Today, Jill read her social media posts to him. “Look,” she said, “Zazza is mad at Sam because he got into the school band and she didn’t”.

Jill continued. “Zazza said Sam got in because he gave the teacher a flower before auditions. They’re both my friends and I don’t know what to say.”

Ringo cocked his head and sniffed at the phone.

Jill sighed. “I know what you mean, Ringo. They’re both my friends. If I post something that makes Zazza feel good, it will make Sam mad. If I post something that makes Sam happy, Zazza will be upset. What should I do?”

Ringo flattened on the floor and covered his ears with his fuzzy white paws.

Jill crossed her arms.  “You really think I should just stay out of it?”

Ringo sat up and panted.

“You’re right. Zazza is hurt right now, but she does so much, she’ll forget about it in a few days. Maybe I should wait ‘til I see her in person and tell her I’m sorry she didn’t get on the band.”

Ringo’s tail started sweeping the floor.

“You like that idea? That way, Zazza will l know I care and I won’t make Sam mad. After all, he’s my friend, too.”

Ringo let his long tongue flop out of the side of his mouth. Then he gave a deep, strong, “Woof.”

Jill nodded. “You’re smart. If I post something online, it will look like I’m taking sides between two people I like. If I talk to them in person, I’ll be a real friend instead of just someone who on comments online.”

Ringo panted happily. He liked people when they talked to each other in person. Being a dog, he knew that real friends share real time in the real world.

Online friends can’t throw sticks for you. They can’t sneak you a pizza crust when parents aren’t looking. Online friends can’t scratch your ears or take you for a walk. They can’t hug you or fill your water bowl. That’s why Ringo knows that what happens online is only part of being a friend. Being a real friend means being supportive in the real world and being kind in the real world.

Jill got off social media and phoned Sam. She congratulated him for getting on the band. Then she called Zazza and invited her over for pizza night.

That’s when Jill’s phone beeped. She looked at the message. “This is your Mom. Didn’t you forget something else in the real world?”

Jill smiled and tossed down her phone. “Hey, Mom,” she yelled into the kitchen. “Is it okay if Zazza comes over for pizza?”

How to Develop Good Password Management Habits

Teaching kids about passwords

Selecting an easy to remember password seems like a simple enough thing to do. But when it comes to protecting your online accounts, there are a few important things to consider before you lock in that special password that is all your own and unique to you.

Is your password secure enough? Are you using the same password across multiple accounts? What if someone hacks into a database and learns your password and email address?

Whether it be on social media, cloud backup or a password to your bank account, keeping track of passwords is a hassle. Still, passwords remain to be out first defense against an invasion of privacy that can affect our safety both on and offline. Until fingerprint technology or facial recognition becomes the norm, we all need to learn and develop good password management habits.

Learning Password Management at School

Password management can be an excellent point of discussion that is catered to students of any age that are already choosing their own passwords for their various social media accounts. Here are a few guidelines and tips that can also be used for parents at home, who in many cases are already helping their kids choose passwords for transparency at home and for online protection.

1. The importance of forming a strong password comes before anything else

Make sure your password contains capital letters, numbers, as well as special symbols. Also, do your best to make sure passwords are at least a certain length. These types of passwords may be difficult to remember immediately, so write them down and keep it on a piece of paper at home. Many online accounts save the password on your computer or smart phone app and it may be a while before you have to enter it in again.

If you fail to memorize your password and you didn’t write it down, you can create a new by clicking “forget password”, which will send a password resent link to your email.

2. The dangers of entering one’s password on a public computer

The problem with public computers is that you never know what might be lurking in the shadows. Unless you happen to be the administrator, which you probably aren’t. There might be all sorts of malware hidden in there, including the one that can spy on keystrokes.

Even assuming the computer is clean, there’s always a danger. After all, humans are on the forgetful side of the scale. In other words, your can easily forget to log out of your account and grant full control to the next random person who comes by. Not an ideal situation. Plus, you never know who’s standing behind your back when you enter your password in public.

When using your own phone or computer in a public place, be wary of logging into an account when connected to a public Wi-Fi that does not require users to identity themselves.

3. The problem of trading security for convenience and the reasons why it’s discouraged

Too many people fall into the convenience trap. They start reusing the same password across different websites for the sake of keeping things easy to remember. An additional way to increase security is to learn more about the importance of using a password manager. Thanks to its functionality, users keep the convenience of not having to remember too much. They enable creating different passwords for each account while only having to memorize the master password to access the rest.

Learning Password Management at Home

Often, kids can be more tech-savvy than their parents. But even as a parent you can take the initiative to protect your family with security basics, and beyond, that are often overlooked by those who feel they are already up-to-date on the latest in online safety.

Let’s also not forget that technology is always evolving. Hackers are continually coming up with new ways to gain unlawful access to private databases and accounts. What was good practice for protecting privacy two years ago may not be the best way to go about it today.

1. Remote data wiping technology

Even if you do everything right cybersecurity-wise, what’s stopping you from misplacing or losing your device? Many people tend to be forgetful. So, if you’re not sure where your phone is (especially if you suspect someone has snatched it right out of your pocket), deleting your data before it gets into the wrong hands is a wise course of action. Remote data wiping technology is an insurance policy in this regard.

If you have important information you want to save, you’ll want to set up some sort of online back-up to a cloud account. This way you can easily restore your device if you wipe it clean. Of course, make sure your online back-up account also has a strong password.

2. Two-factor authentication

Malware programs can steal your passwords right from under your nose. With two-factor authentication you can greatly increase protection of your accounts. Two-factor authentication asks anyone logging in to perform an extra step (like entering a PIN from a confirmation SMS) before granting access an account. It can restrict access in case of a data breach or stolen password.

3. Password variations that use the same core are a terrible idea

Never underestimate the creative mind of a hacker. If they can get close to guessing your second password based on another, it won’t take long before they succeed. Randomly generated passwords are a much better idea than different variations of the same password.

4. Personally identifiable information is a no-no

Let’s put it this way. The street where you live, as well as your birthday, are all facts that can be available to anyone. Anyone willing to go to great lengths to get them, that is. Therefore, you should avoid constructing passwords around publicly identifiable information.

5. The importance of changing your passwords often

Changing your passwords regularly is a good cybersecurity practice. But it also tends to be forgotten, especially when many accounts do not require changing your password regularly. Again, with a password manager, having to remember a whole new batch of passwords becomes a non-issue.

No matter your age or expertise, the creation of a good strong password is often taken for granted. Whether it’s a social media account, a website for online shopping, your online banking access – or an app on your phone, each one of your accounts is an online profile of you that’s worth protecting in as many ways that are available.

Selecting an easy to remember password seems like a simple enough thing to do. But when it comes to protecting your online accounts, there are a few important things to consider before you lock in that special password that is all your own and unique to you.

Is your password secure enough? Are you using the same password across multiple accounts? What if someone hacks into a database and learns your password and email address?

Whether it be on social media, cloud backup or a password to your bank account, keeping track of passwords is a hassle. Still, passwords remain to be out first defense against an invasion of privacy that can affect our safety both on and offline. Until fingerprint technology or facial recognition becomes the norm, we all need to learn and develop good password management habits.

Learning Password Management at School

Password management can be an excellent point of discussion that is catered to students of any age that are already choosing their own passwords for their various social media accounts. Here are a few guidelines and tips that can also be used for parents at home, who in many cases are already helping their kids choose passwords for transparency at home and for online protection.

1. The importance of forming a strong password comes before anything else

Make sure your password contains capital letters, numbers, as well as special symbols. Also, do your best to make sure passwords are at least a certain length. These types of passwords may be difficult to remember immediately, so write them down and keep it on a piece of paper at home. Many online accounts save the password on your computer or smart phone app and it may be a while before you have to enter it in again.

If you fail to memorize your password and you didn’t write it down, you can create a new by clicking “forget password”, which will send a password resent link to your email.

2. The dangers of entering one’s password on a public computer

The problem with public computers is that you never know what might be lurking in the shadows. Unless you happen to be the administrator, which you probably aren’t. There might be all sorts of malware hidden in there, including the one that can spy on keystrokes.

Even assuming the computer is clean, there’s always a danger. After all, humans are on the forgetful side of the scale. In other words, your can easily forget to log out of your account and grant full control to the next random person who comes by. Not an ideal situation. Plus, you never know who’s standing behind your back when you enter your password in public.

When using your own phone or computer in a public place, be wary of logging into an account when connected to a public Wi-Fi that does not require users to identity themselves.

3. The problem of trading security for convenience and the reasons why it’s discouraged

Too many people fall into the convenience trap. They start reusing the same password across different websites for the sake of keeping things easy to remember. An additional way to increase security is to learn more about the importance of using a password manager. Thanks to its functionality, users keep the convenience of not having to remember too much. They enable creating different passwords for each account while only having to memorize the master password to access the rest.

Learning Password Management at Home

Often, kids can be more tech-savvy than their parents. But even as a parent you can take the initiative to protect your family with security basics, and beyond, that are often overlooked by those who feel they are already up-to-date on the latest in online safety.

Let’s also not forget that technology is always evolving. Hackers are continually coming up with new ways to gain unlawful access to private databases and accounts. What was good practice for protecting privacy two years ago may not be the best way to go about it today.

1. Remote data wiping technology

Even if you do everything right cybersecurity-wise, what’s stopping you from misplacing or losing your device? Many people tend to be forgetful. So, if you’re not sure where your phone is (especially if you suspect someone has snatched it right out of your pocket), deleting your data before it gets into the wrong hands is a wise course of action. Remote data wiping technology is an insurance policy in this regard.

If you have important information you want to save, you’ll want to set up some sort of online back-up to a cloud account. This way you can easily restore your device if you wipe it clean. Of course, make sure your online back-up account also has a strong password.

2. Two-factor authentication

Malware programs can steal your passwords right from under your nose. With two-factor authentication you can greatly increase protection of your accounts. Two-factor authentication asks anyone logging in to perform an extra step (like entering a PIN from a confirmation SMS) before granting access an account. It can restrict access in case of a data breach or stolen password.

3. Password variations that use the same core are a terrible idea

Never underestimate the creative mind of a hacker. If they can get close to guessing your second password based on another, it won’t take long before they succeed. Randomly generated passwords are a much better idea than different variations of the same password.

4. Personally identifiable information is a no-no

Let’s put it this way. The street where you live, as well as your birthday, are all facts that can be available to anyone. Anyone willing to go to great lengths to get them, that is. Therefore, you should avoid constructing passwords around publicly identifiable information.

5. The importance of changing your passwords often

Changing your passwords regularly is a good cybersecurity practice. But it also tends to be forgotten, especially when many accounts do not require changing your password regularly. Again, with a password manager, having to remember a whole new batch of passwords becomes a non-issue.

No matter your age or expertise, the creation of a good strong password is often taken for granted. Whether it’s a social media account, a website for online shopping, your online banking access – or an app on your phone, each one of your accounts is an online profile of you that’s worth protecting in as many ways that are available.

Social Media Safety Considerations for Parents

sharanting-kids-permisson-post-pics

There are many blogs, posts and studies about the impact of social media on teenagers and young children. It’s been proven time and time again that social media use among children can be harmful to their emotional and mental health.

However, these posts often ignore another social media phenomenon that can be harmful: sharenting, or the practice of parents sharing their children’s information, photos and videos online.

Sharenting specifically refers to parents of school-aged children, who share photos or videos of their children on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. Though it can be tempting to share fun photos of your kids, there are many safety considerations to think about before hitting send.

Risks of Sharenting

Many kids have a social media presence before they are old enough to be aware of social media at all. Before deciding to post their child on social media, parents should consider the potential risks that come with doing so.

1.     Safety

The Internet is a big — and sometimes dangerous — place. Even when parents have privacy settings or safety measures in place, there isn’t always a guarantee that photos and data are truly private. Posting a child’s photo can pose a potential risk to their privacy and safety, and create a cyber footprint for the child before they are old enough to have an online presence.

2.     Bullying

School can be a hard place for kids, who may at some point experience bullying. Posting photos or videos of children online, especially ones that are potentially embarrassing, can feed these bullies in school or in the community. Posting a child’s image online opens them up to judgement from strangers and friends alike.

3.     Embarrassment

Everyone knows the embarrassment of being tagged in a photo they don’t like — the same philosophy applies to posting photos or videos of children. Though you might think your child looks cute with food all over their face or doing a silly dance, they might be embarrassed to see that content online. It’s a best practice to ask your child whether they consent to having the image posted before uploading it.

In a recent survey conducted by Bestow, however, the majority of Americans didn’t think it was necessary to ask children for permission before posting their photo. In reality, asking permission before posting is a good practice to ensure the child feels supported and avoids feelings of embarrassment or shame.

4.     Permanence

The old adage that nothing posted on the Internet is ever fully deleted rings true. Though bath time photos or silly pictures of food-splattered faces may be cute in the moment, it’s worth considering that these images could potentially follow your child throughout their life.

Best Practices for Parents Online

Of course, parents will sometimes want to post pictures of their children to brag or celebrate. There are certain ways to do so safely.

5.     Avoid Posting Location or Other Private Details

If you’re posting a photo of your child — especially on public platforms — it’s best to avoid including private details that could possibly lead strangers or predators to your location. Don’t include geotags or identifying buildings, street signs or landmarks that could identify where you live.

6.     Ask Your Child What They Think

If you’re unsure whether your child will approve of a photo or video you want to post of them, just ask! Avoid potentially embarrassing or upsetting your child by getting their permission to post them on your social media. This will make your child feel more supported and independent while also helping them curate their own online footprint.

7.     Consider the Future

Before hitting send, remember that you’re posting something that could potentially follow your child throughout their lives. Avoid posting nude, inappropriate or embarrassing content that your child may be embarrassed about when they grow up.

There are many blogs, posts and studies about the impact of social media on teenagers and young children. It’s been proven time and time again that social media use among children can be harmful to their emotional and mental health.

However, these posts often ignore another social media phenomenon that can be harmful: sharenting, or the practice of parents sharing their children’s information, photos and videos online.

Sharenting specifically refers to parents of school-aged children, who share photos or videos of their children on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. Though it can be tempting to share fun photos of your kids, there are many safety considerations to think about before hitting send.

Risks of Sharenting

Many kids have a social media presence before they are old enough to be aware of social media at all. Before deciding to post their child on social media, parents should consider the potential risks that come with doing so.

1.     Safety

The Internet is a big — and sometimes dangerous — place. Even when parents have privacy settings or safety measures in place, there isn’t always a guarantee that photos and data are truly private. Posting a child’s photo can pose a potential risk to their privacy and safety, and create a cyber footprint for the child before they are old enough to have an online presence.

2.     Bullying

School can be a hard place for kids, who may at some point experience bullying. Posting photos or videos of children online, especially ones that are potentially embarrassing, can feed these bullies in school or in the community. Posting a child’s image online opens them up to judgement from strangers and friends alike.

3.     Embarrassment

Everyone knows the embarrassment of being tagged in a photo they don’t like — the same philosophy applies to posting photos or videos of children. Though you might think your child looks cute with food all over their face or doing a silly dance, they might be embarrassed to see that content online. It’s a best practice to ask your child whether they consent to having the image posted before uploading it.

In a recent survey conducted by Bestow, however, the majority of Americans didn’t think it was necessary to ask children for permission before posting their photo. In reality, asking permission before posting is a good practice to ensure the child feels supported and avoids feelings of embarrassment or shame.

4.     Permanence

The old adage that nothing posted on the Internet is ever fully deleted rings true. Though bath time photos or silly pictures of food-splattered faces may be cute in the moment, it’s worth considering that these images could potentially follow your child throughout their life.

Best Practices for Parents Online

Of course, parents will sometimes want to post pictures of their children to brag or celebrate. There are certain ways to do so safely.

5.     Avoid Posting Location or Other Private Details

If you’re posting a photo of your child — especially on public platforms — it’s best to avoid including private details that could possibly lead strangers or predators to your location. Don’t include geotags or identifying buildings, street signs or landmarks that could identify where you live.

6.     Ask Your Child What They Think

If you’re unsure whether your child will approve of a photo or video you want to post of them, just ask! Avoid potentially embarrassing or upsetting your child by getting their permission to post them on your social media. This will make your child feel more supported and independent while also helping them curate their own online footprint.

7.     Consider the Future

Before hitting send, remember that you’re posting something that could potentially follow your child throughout their lives. Avoid posting nude, inappropriate or embarrassing content that your child may be embarrassed about when they grow up.

How To Teach Your Kids Networking Skills

How to Teach Kids Networking Skills

It’s never too early to start thinking about your child’s future. While the job market will change to accommodate new coming generations, some things will always stay the same – like the importance of networking.

Today, 88% of professionals consider networking to be crucial to a thriving career. Knowing this, you should never underestimate the power of connections. Sometimes, it’s all about the people you know.

However, networking does have the potential to pamper you with benefits to reap far outside the professional realm. Professionally connecting can teach you powerful communication and other soft skills that may cushion your social life comfortably. Now is the time to begin instilling the importance of networking into your child’s growth mentality. This way, they can be comfortable enough to siege various networking opportunities productive for their future once entering college.

For example: by teaching your kids to be social now, they may be interested in non-conventional social activities, such as joining Greek life. Unbeknownst to most, Greek life can be an educationally enriching process for many. Having committees, meetings, and executive boards, members of fraternities and sororities take on many responsibilities and tasks teaching them great business. Outside of this, Greek life organizations also give students the opportunity to improve on how they participate in teamwork, prioritize community service, and communicate. On top of that, students who were members of Greek organizations prove to be happier and more engaged once entering the workforce. In fact, 85% of Fortune 500 Executives are fraternity members.

There are many ways to go about networking: taking your child to attend job and career fairs, introducing them to your colleagues needing interns and shadowers, get them a mentor, or even helping them build a LinkedIn profile once of age. Regardless of your approach, meeting people is a crucial value of higher education – and education overall. Prepare your children for their future of work while they’re still obtaining an education. This way, they’ll be ready for whatever the job market has to throw at them. More information on ways to network below:

College and Remote Networking
Source: Online Schools Center

It’s never too early to start thinking about your child’s future. While the job market will change to accommodate new coming generations, some things will always stay the same – like the importance of networking.

Today, 88% of professionals consider networking to be crucial to a thriving career. Knowing this, you should never underestimate the power of connections. Sometimes, it’s all about the people you know.

However, networking does have the potential to pamper you with benefits to reap far outside the professional realm. Professionally connecting can teach you powerful communication and other soft skills that may cushion your social life comfortably. Now is the time to begin instilling the importance of networking into your child’s growth mentality. This way, they can be comfortable enough to siege various networking opportunities productive for their future once entering college.

For example: by teaching your kids to be social now, they may be interested in non-conventional social activities, such as joining Greek life. Unbeknownst to most, Greek life can be an educationally enriching process for many. Having committees, meetings, and executive boards, members of fraternities and sororities take on many responsibilities and tasks teaching them great business. Outside of this, Greek life organizations also give students the opportunity to improve on how they participate in teamwork, prioritize community service, and communicate. On top of that, students who were members of Greek organizations prove to be happier and more engaged once entering the workforce. In fact, 85% of Fortune 500 Executives are fraternity members.

There are many ways to go about networking: taking your child to attend job and career fairs, introducing them to your colleagues needing interns and shadowers, get them a mentor, or even helping them build a LinkedIn profile once of age. Regardless of your approach, meeting people is a crucial value of higher education – and education overall. Prepare your children for their future of work while they’re still obtaining an education. This way, they’ll be ready for whatever the job market has to throw at them. More information on ways to network below:

College and Remote Networking
Source: Online Schools Center


Direct Links to Our First Page Articles:
Tech Trends That Make The Internet a Safe Place | 5 'New School Year' Resolutions
Setting Up Your Smart TV Safely | Social Media Safety Considerations for Parents