Category: Online Safety for Kids

People Search USA | People Search Engine

People Search USA

There are a number of reasons you may want to search to find someone online and you will need a specialized people search engine. Google isn’t designed to search public records to do a  background check on a person or help you reconnect with a friend from high school. This is where People Search USA comes in handy.

Let’s review the multiple situations that a person may want to search for someone. Some searches are to protect our kids, such as learning more about an individual who spends time around your children or you wonder about a suspect neighbor and would like to do a criminal record check.  Less concerning are those searches for people that are not regarding a safety issue.  You may simply be looking to locate a distant relative.

The People Search Engine

Google is great for research but not for searching Facebook profiles or looking for details of people online because public records are readily accessible.  However, there is a way to access these records by searching names, along with any other information you may have about them.  A search can also include addresses, phone numbers and email address.

People search results can reveal details gathered from millions of public records cross all states, including arrest records, court records, LDS geology, contact records and vital records.

Types of Search (USA)

People Search | Background Check | Search Public Records
Online Phone Book | Find Out Who Called

Searches will scan social media data as well for details that are publicly available and legal to access.  Regular search engines can’t gather these details and even more importantly, the information won’t be organized or cross checked with other data found from many other public sources.

The people search engine TruthFinder scans hundreds of millions of available public records in the United States, social network data, and deep web information to provide you with a detailed report about the person you want to find or check up on.

Background Checks

One of the more popular people search tools is for a background check.  Individuals can learn more about co-workers and acquaintances and whether or not they have secret social media profiles. Search results include birth and death records, associates of a person, details of where they have lived and verified contact information.  There may be information about education history, employment records, property records, divorce records and civil judgements.  A search may also give details about business ownership and finances, including bankruptcies and tax liens.

Criminal Records Checks

Background checks include searching for a criminal past and sex offender status.   There may be a history of abuse, violence, or traffic records exposing tickets or even a DUI charge.  These details are important if you there is someone new in the life of your family that spends time around your children unsupervised.  There is plenty of attention given to protecting your children against online predators, but a criminal records check will also give parents peace of mind about family acquaintances in our local surroundings.

How People Search Protects Kids

No one likes a nosy neighbor, but you can still be a good neighbor to someone and be concerned about your kids’ well being in the neighborhood. There are other issues too.  Do your kids spend time across the street at a friends house? Do they ever go on a sleep over?

We all have life long friends and family members that we trust our kids with.  However, what about those people in your life that you understand to be upstanding citizens that you don’t know much about.  There are parents you just met on your child’s sports team. Others include relatively new acquaintances you met through your local school.

Your children may be car pooling with their friends to sports events.  They may be going to a friends house after school or overnight at a sleep over.  We want to believe the best about people. Still, sometimes you are not sure.  It’s difficult to monitor your child’s online presence, much less where they are when they are not with you at home. Therefore, doing a background check up on any adult that your child spends time with may be the only way to know for sure if you child is not going into a questionable situation.

Finding Family and Friends

Thanks to technology there have been a lot genealogy websites popping up where you can trace your entire family history using your DNA.  However, you may be only looking for a specific person you already know in your past. If this is the case, you probably don’t want to start the process of finding all your ancestors.

Remember that friend you had in high school?  Where does he, she or they live now?  When you don’t keep up on relatives and years later you want to reconnect, how do you track them down?   Or you call someone in your contacts and the number is no longer in service. They must have moved.

The TruthFinder people search engine not only helps you track people down using county, state and federal records.  It can also access LDS geology records.

Look up someone you know to find:

  • Birth and death records
  • Possible relatives and relationships
  • Contact information
  • Social media profiles
  • Deep web details.

Controlling Your Personal Information Online

If someone where to look you up online, what public information would they find about you?  It’s been said, if you don’t have something to hide, why worry?  However, there are privacy issues as well to be concerned about.  As well, you’d be surprised how many people find information about themselves that is not inaccurate.

A public record check of yourself can determine if there is any information about you or someone in your family that needs to be corrected.

Phone Number Look Up to See Who Called You

It finally happened.  Telemarketers have finally figured out that people are cancelling their land lines, or at the very least they are no longer answer them.  Now it’s common to receive multiple calls at day from multiple sources on our cell phones.  Many of these include spoof calls. A spoof call is when a caller masks their call with someone else’s number. Often, these calls are local numbers that look a lot like yours.  There is nothing you can do it about it.  Blocking the call is pointless because the next call like this will be from a different number.

Legitimate telemarketers have permissions to call prospects.  They don’t spoof and usually you can find out who they are.  If you get on the line with a telemarketer you simply need to ask them to remove your from their list.  Legally they have to do it.

Unfortunately, the majority of calls you are getting are not legitimate.  You’ve probably noticed that when you answer, there is no one there. This could be a robocall and very often the purpose of the call is to verify there is a live person who answer.  Your phone number is then verified and can be sold to other scammers.

So, when you eliminate those who are spoofing numbers, there are still many other calls you may want to do a reverse number look up.  There may be real people, whether honorable or shady,  who are consistently calling you from the same number.  It may still be a scammer of some type.  It may be also telemarketers.  The call may be from a collection agency or someone who is harassing you for another purpose.  TruthFinder’s reverse phone look up may be the solution to see who it is.

There is also an online phone book you can search, including cell phone numbers. (Traditional phone book only access land lines)

People Search ReCap

Public Records | Criminal Background Checks | Addresses and Phone Numbers

Whomever you may be looking for, both online and offline, for safety concerns, curiosity or to connect with old friends or relocated family members, there is a search tool to help.

People Search USA

People Search | Background Check | Public Records | Phone Book | Who Called?

Screen Time: Ensuring a Positive Experience for Children Online

Screen Time and Online Safety for Children

In 2021, increased screen time was ranked as one of the top three negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. During this time, the screen time of teenagers more than doubled from the 2019 numbers, increasing from 3.8 hours per day to 7.7 hours per day the following year, not including screen time necessary for activities like schoolwork or listening to music.

Studies also show that a shocking 50% of teens claim to feel addicted to their phones, and an alarming 72% feel the need to immediately check notifications and messages that they may receive.

Social Media and Screen Usage

This increase in social media and screen usage has led to further detrimental experiences among teenagers in the realm of mental health and bullying. It has been reported that adolescents who use social media more than 3 hours per day are at a heightened risk of mental health issues and other negative side effects such as self-esteem issues, diminished body image, or feelings of isolation and loneliness, or even cyberbullying.

Another significant issue with younger people beginning to use social media more often is the accidental exposure to inappropriate content that is unregulated on the internet. On average, children are first exposed to pornography at age 11, while in general, 34% of internet users have experienced unwanted exposure to this type of content while online. This early exposure can be harmful, as it normalizes unsafe behavior and possible violence, as well as opens the door to the dangerous world of child pornography and sexual abuse. In a shocking 77% increase in just one year, one third of reported child sexual abuse material was self-generated, with 80% of that content coming from 11 to 13 year old girls.

Online Safety for Children

Most parents are worried about their child’s safety online, and support the initiative to create an online environment that is more safe for them and their families. 40% of accidental exposure to inappropriate sexual content online was found by innocently entering simple search phrases into unregulated search engines. In addition, many young children are exposed to violence prematurely through video games or video content meant for adults. It is not difficult to bypass age verification systems on websites and games, and many of these activities require communication with strangers who are often much older than the child playing.

Establishing ground rules, good digital habits, enabling parental controls, and keeping an open line of communication with the child are all effective strategies to ensure that minors have a safe and positive experience when using the internet. It has been found that the majority of young teens feel more comfortable when their parents use control software to keep them safe online. As the internet and social media continue to develop, there are many options and strategies for families to ensure that their children are having nothing but positive experiences online.

This Is Your Mind Online: What Unlimited Screen Time Does To Kids

It’s never too early to teach internet safety. Children of every age need to be guided and given boundaries online, including even the youngest family members. Review this internet safety checklist for preschoolers.

The Pros and Cons of Increased Screen Time

Pros and Cons of Increased Screen Time

In today’s society, it’s pretty widely accepted (and expected) to see kids and teenagers with their eyes glued to a screen. As kids get older, the need for phones, tablets, and other digital devices increases. However, that often leads to debates on whether that increased screen time is a good thing or not.

The average 8- to 12-year-old spends 4 to 6 hours a day watching screens, while teenagers spend up to 9 hours.

Some screen time might be necessary for school and other extracurricular activities. However, if you’re a parent, you know that the majority of that time is spent interacting with friends, scrolling through social media, and watching videos.

So, is increased screen time really all that bad? Are there any potential benefits to consider? Let’s cover some of the pros and cons so you can decide the best screen time solutions for your family.

Pro: Boosted Communication Skills

One of the biggest benefits of screen time is that it can improve your child’s communication skills. Over 10% of children have some type of communication disorder. Others might just be shy or have a hard time putting themselves out there in social situations.

Kids and teens often feel “safer” behind screens. Whether they’re texting, using social media, or even gaming, it provides a comfortable environment for them to open up and be themselves. While it’s still important to set boundaries and ensure they’re getting real-world interaction, communicating on digital devices can teach them important skills they can use in face-to-face settings.

Con: Vision Concerns

It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that spending hours a day looking at a screen can be harmful to your eyes. If you’ve ever spent a prolonged period of time staring at a computer screen, you’ve likely experienced computer vision syndrome. The same syndrome can occur when you’re spending too much time looking at a phone or tablet.

This type of vision syndrome can cause

  • Eyestrain
  • Fatigue
  • Dry eyes
  • Headaches

There are things you can do or offer to your kids and teens to help prevent the strain often caused by screens, including blue light glasses.

Whether your kids already wear prescription glasses or not, blue light glasses use lenses meant to filter the “damaging” light that emanates from digital devices. It reduces eye strain and can help to prevent headaches. If your kids are complaining about headaches or tiredness, the best thing you can do is reduce their screen time and encourage other activities.

Even if your kids feel tired or like they can’t keep their eyes open, too much screen time can also make it difficult for your child to sleep at night. This is largely due to that same damaging blue light, but it also has to do with stimulation.

Most kids using digital devices are either interacting with friends or looking at pictures or videos. That sends signals to the brain that it’s time to “stay awake.”  A good rule of thumb is to cut off screens at least an hour before your child goes to bed.

Pro: Good Content Promotes Positivity

One of the biggest issues parents can face with screen time is the type of content their kids are viewing. If your child is watching videos or playing games on their phone all day, it can contribute to a sedentary lifestyle, which can cause health issues and lead to obesity.

However, if you monitor the content they’re viewing and encourage positive platforms, you can actually promote learning, boost their creativity, and improve their problem-solving skills.

Good quality content should always promote positivity and healthy messages, including things like taking care of physical health, getting along with family members, and sharing. Good content should also encourage kids to spend time away from their screens. Look for shows or games that teach kids how to do an activity or craft. They’ll learn through the content, then step away from the device to take action.

Some content can even encourage physical activity. There are plenty of videos and apps designed to help kids get moving.

This point could also be a “con,” if your child is looking at the wrong kind of content.

As a parent, the best thing you can do is to monitor what they’re viewing on a regular basis. Set security limits on all digital devices in the house, and encourage your kids to use those devices in “common areas” like the living room or kitchen, rather than in their rooms. Additionally, make sure they know how to stay safe online and explain the risks.

As you can see, increased screen time isn’t all bad. When you have healthy boundaries in place and your kids are involved in other activities, spending some time on digital devices can actually be beneficial. Consider these pros and cons as you set limits on your kids’ screen time, and consider whether it’s helping or hurting them.

About the Author
About the AuthorKatie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in education, mental health, family lifestyle and online safety. When she isn’t writing, you can find her with her nose buried in a book or hiking with her dog, Charlie. You can follow her on Twitter.

How to Introduce Laptops to Children To Ensure Proper Usage

How to Introduce Laptops to Children To Ensure Proper Usage

Parents did not have to educate their children about laptops’ safe usage in the past. This is because laptops were not easily accessible. And when children did use a laptop, they were no longer children who needed to be taught.  Everything has changed now.

As per research, half of all Two to four-year-olds (53 percent) have used a computer.  If you’re a parent or guardian considering introducing your youngster to computers, here are a few pointers to get you started:

Establish strict basic rules.

You may need to explain to youngsters that a laptop is not a toy, depending on their age. After that, you should set some ground rules for when and how your child may use the gadget. Consider designating a distinct portion of your house as a devoted work location, for example, the desk in the living room or the table in the kitchen.

Determine if an adult should be present in the room or nearby whenever your youngster uses the laptop. You may also want to establish limits on how long your child may use the laptop and the activities they can and cannot do online. We will discuss some of these points in detail further in this article.

Describe appropriate laptop care.

This is a difficult one. We all eat at our desks or read email while sipping coffee, but it’s a good idea to teach your kids to keep drinks and snacks far from the laptop in all circumstances. Also, emphasize that the mouse, keyboard, and other attachments are delicate items that should be handled with care. Explain how dropping a laptop or spilling food or drinks on the keyboard might cause irreversible damage to the device.

Purchase a personal laptop.

You can teach your children how to use laptops and tablets, but accidents are unavoidable. The greatest safeguard is designing special devices for kids to use (perhaps your old ones). If you have a purpose computer that you use for business, keep your children away from it. Chromebooks are low-cost laptop computers that may be suitable for young children.

Use the trackpad to practice.

Using a trackpad often necessitates the use of motor skills and coordination. If your child is young, you might wish to invest in a mouse gadget. If you do, make sure it fits comfortably within your child’s hand. They will have difficulties browsing menus and executing basic activities if they are physically unable to grip or operate a mouse. Keep in mind that whether you use a trackpad or a mouse, you can always modify the cursor speed and sensitivity from the control panel of your laptop.

Choose age-appropriate apps.

Young children whose motor skills are still developing may be unable to utilize programs that need them to click on extremely small things. They may also have difficulty scrolling. Several applications allow you to change your device’s interface containing more prominent icons and kid-friendly options.

Bookmark commonly visited URLs.

Using a safe kids search engine is the first step to keeping kids from finding content.  For added security, bookmarks are a terrific method for your child to store and organize certain websites and programs so they can quickly revisit them. Talk with your child and save the URLs you believe will be used the most. When you’re finished, show them where to locate the bookmarks and which items to click. Because youngsters can easily recognize programs by their icons, show out where they appear in the address.

Demonstrate to children how to open and log in to applications.

You may need to set things up for very young kids, but you should let them learn independently with little help. Have a printed copy of the login guidelines available until your youngster is familiar with the process.

Making Laptops Safe For Children to Use.

Children in elementary school will almost certainly use technology such as tablets and laptops on a regular basis. Because kids still look to you for guidance, now is a critical moment to establish and reinforce the proper use of technology and its benefits for your family.

Create Child Accounts

Children in this age group may need to use a laptop for schoolwork. The built-in parental controls in Windows (Microsoft Family) and macOS (Parental Controls) can let you establish time restrictions and limit app and web usage.

Privacy

Converse about safety early and very often. Remind children that what they post online remains online and that they should never reveal personal or sensitive information. Kids who have a habit of talking about their online activities are more likely to alert others if something makes them uncomfortable or unhappy in their digital lives.

Cyberbullying

Once children enter elementary school, offline bullying and cyberbullying have become a significant concern. Below is some essential advice for parents to provide to their children:

  • Whether online or in-person, do not remain a silent observer if you witness bullying.
  • Notify an adult.
  • Speak out for the victim in front of the bully.
  • Go out of your way to help the victim, such as involving them in your plans or checking in to see if they’re all right.

Laptop accessibility.

You’ll be able to control your kids’ computer exposure and be more involved with them when you keep gadgets in a central area, such as a family room.

Navigate their focus towards productivity.

You can maneuver your child’s technology interests toward productive outcomes. Digital literacy is a skill that is becoming increasingly valuable, and technology may provide fantastic creative and educational opportunities. If your child is interested, check if any classes are available about programming languages, digital design, animation, or other technology-related disciplines that can help them profit from technology and prepare them for the future.

Avoiding Addiction to Technology.

There are two significant early warning indicators you should look for to determine if your child has an unhealthy connection with technology. The first is behavioral, while the second is emotional.

  1. On a behavioral level, it’s critical to detect when screens are consuming so much time that there’s no time left for offline activities, physical activity, or social interaction.
  2. On the emotional front, it’s critical to detect when children experience emotional distress as a consequence of their online interactions because they’ve been bullied, shunned, or are deeply unhappy.

Keep an eye out if your youngster replaces offline activities he used to like with increased screen time, such as substituting family gatherings with screen time.

Conclusion.

As with other parenting concerns, consistent, honest communication is essential to ensuring that your family reaps the benefits of technology without suffering too many of its disadvantages.

Safer Search

What does it take to provide a safer web experience for kids? It takes a combination of tools and resources working together in unison: internet filtering, secure browsing, apps for parental controls, and education. That is our mission at Safe Search Kids as we work to deliver these four cornerstones of online safety to parents, teachers, and students.

Search public records to find people, connect with long lost friends, family, or conduct background checks to learn about strangers or acquaintances that have contact with your children on the people search engine.