iPhone And iPad Safety Tips

Getting an iPhone or iPad for a child may seem like an accident waiting to happen, but help is at hand. As horror stories flood the press of little tykes running up credit card bills with in-app purchases, it’s only natural to worry about what’s going on behind that big metal tablet. Thankfully, Apple has made a range of tools so parent
s can help keep their child safe. Here are the four most crucial safety tips for iOS devices. Continue reading

3 Things to Consider Before Buying Your Kid a Cellphone this Holiday

Here’s how to figure out if you want to go down that road

Holiday gift-giving is here. Is your child clamoring for a cell phone? If so, how do you know if she’s ready for one? And even more importantly, how do you know if you are?
For most of your younger child’s life, you have been the primary source of his socialization. In other words, he listened to you, trusted your judgment and looked to you for advice. However, once your child hits puberty, another socialization source begins to hold more power: his friends.
It can be a shock when your sweet kid starts worrying more about what her friends think than about kissing you goodbye at school drop-off. Don’t fret—this is developmentally normal and adaptive. Kids need to learn from people their own age about how to behave in order to fit into the world socially.
Around the same time this change occurs, many parents buy their kids a cell phone; the average age of first-time cell phone ownership in the United States is around 12 years. Once kids possess their own mobile phones, they can connect with their friends anywhere and anytime. For those of us old enough to remember childhoods without cell phones and constant screens, the fight over phones centered on getting an extension in one’s bedroom. But those phones were tethered to a wall, and there was always the risk that mom or dad would pick up and listen to the conversation. Not so in 2015.
The combustible combination of these two factors, puberty and mobile phone ownership, means that your kid will now have a tool to do what she is biologically programmed to do—ignore you and think constantly about her friends. It can be a disheartening experience for a parent. But rest assured, you get a few perks with your child’s device ownership.
First, you can now connect with your child via text anywhere she is. Second, if you put a tracker on the phone (such as “Find my iPhone”) you can locate her even if she ignores your text. As a working mom, I must say these conveniences helped mitigate a great deal of my anxiety when I traveled on business.
Ultimately, you need to determine if you’re ready to give your child a bit more independence in deepening his friendships away from you, both physically and psychologically. Likewise, you need to determine if your child is mature enough to handle the responsibility of caring for a phone as well as the subsequent social issues that can arise from access to social media and the like.
Here are three tips to help you evaluate whether you and your kid are ready for his first cell phone (adapted from my book Media Moms and Digital Dads):

1) If your child is telling you that “everyone else has a phone” (and of course it’s always the latest model), ask a few parents of their friends whether they have indeed bought a phone for their kids. Your child has likely only asked a few friends; in their world view, that may be everyone, but chances are the numbers are considerably less than everyone.
2) Ask yourself if your child is responsible enough for a phone? If she always misplaces her sweatshirts and homework, chances are she will lose her device.
3) If you’re feeling that it would be helpful for your child to have a phone, but you’d like to start slowly, you can choose to buy a cell phone rather than a smartphone.
Remember that smartphones access the Internet, and children will take advantage of this feature. A study by the University of Basel examined differences in digital media use between teenagers with smartphones and those with conventional mobile phones. The teens with smartphones spent twice as much time on the Internet, an average of two hours per day, compared with one hour.
In the end, each family and kid are different, so the choice of when to give your child a phone is up to you. There is no magic age that experts have decided on. However, knowing what to expect and what questions to consider before you make the leap, will help your entire family get ready for the texting and selfie tsunami that will surely result.
Common Sense Media executive and child development expert Yalda T. Uhls, Ph.D., is the author of Media Moms and Digital Dads
As posted on time.com

Stop skimmers from stealing your money

One of the more successful tools of 21st century crooks is the skimmer. Thieves attach them to ATMs, gas pumps and other places people swipe their credit and debit cards. Once in place, this sneaky bit of electronics steals the magnetic strip information from your card.

The thieves use this information to clone your card, and once they have a clone, they can drain your bank account, or run up huge bills and trash your credit before you even know it. That’s one reason credit card companies and stores are switching to EMV cards, or “chip” cards, but it will take a while before every retailer supports them, which leaves you vulnerable.

How bad is skimming?

Using skimmers, thieves have stolen untold millions of dollars. Last year, four men were arrested for allegedly stealing $2.1 million using skimmers at gas stations across the South.

t doesn’t help that skimmers are available for sale to anyone who wants to buy them, so they can show up anywhere. Just glancing at the news for the last few months shows that skimmers were found at dozens of local gas stations in Detroit, St. Louis, various sites in Cincinnati, cities in Florida and ATMs at banks around the country. According to the New York Police Department, ATM skimmer use has tripled in Queens this year.

If you had any doubts, skimmers are out there and can be anywhere. So, how do you spot a skimmer before it snags your information? Here’s what you need to look for.

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Consumers add personal devices

During the next five years, consumers will add more devices to their personal portfolio rather than consolidating it, according to Gartner. By 2018, a consumer in a mature market will use and own more than three personal devices.

Gartner estimates that in 2016, the installed base of devices will total 7.8-billion units (including wearables, phones, tablets and PCs) and is on pace to reach 8.3-billion units in 2018.

“The combination of the high level of adoption of technology, the availability of faster networks, and decision making becoming increasingly dependent on real-time information, will undoubtedly lead to more devices per user,” says Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner.

Gartner expects mature market users to use three to four personal devices from a mix of “main” and “niche” devices. Main devices will include smartphones, tablets, convertibles (two-in-one devices) and notebooks, and will contribute to more than two devices per person at any time. Niche devices will include a growing range of wearables such as smart watches, health bands, smart glasses and new types of connected devices such as smart cards, e-readers and portable cameras.

Gartner has made several more predictions for the personal device market, including: Continue reading

A Workplace-Safe Version of Facebook Is Coming Soon

Facebook at Work, Facebook Inc.’s professional version of its social network, is expected to launch in the coming months, after spending a year in tests, a company executive said.

The new service, geared towards workplace collaboration, is nearly identical to its ubiquitous social network, with a scrolling news “feed”, “likes” and a chat service.

“I would say 95 percent of what we developed for Facebook is also adopted for Facebook at Work,” Julien Codorniou, director of global platform partnerships at Facebook, told Reuters.

However, Facebook at Work users will maintain special profiles that are distinct from their existing Facebook profiles.

The company is also developing exclusive products for Facebook at Work, including security tools, Codorniou said.

Facebook started beta-testing the service in January and has kept it as a free, “invite-only” service for companies so far. Continue reading

Millions of teens are using an app to post their secret thoughts, and parents have no idea

Educators and parents are now faced with yet another app stirring up controversy among students.

After School, a free app that was originally launched in October 2014, is available on more than 23,000 high scafterschoolapplogo Millions of teens are using an app to post their secret thoughts, and parents have no ideahool campuses nationwide. The app allows teens to post anonymous messages related directly to an individual school. It was designed to share messages, thoughts and updates but instead, is increasingly become a place for online bullying, sexually graphic content and in some cases, violent threats.

After School’s message boards are closed to adults. Users must verify that they attend high school by connecting the app to their Facebook pages. Each high school has its own restricted message board accessible only by its students.

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Text Messages Ending With a Period Seem Less Sincere, Study Finds

If you end your text messages with a period, you may want to reconsider.

Text messages ending with a period may be grammatically correct, but they come across as insincere, according to a new study published in “Computers in Human Behavior” from researchers at Binghamton University in New York.

While the sample size of 126 college undergraduates certainly isn’t representative of the billions of people around the world who text, the results were still intriguing enough to prove that at least to that subset of the population, punctuation can make all the difference.

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The Pros and Cons of a Cloud Based Phone System

Cloud-based phone systems are rapidly phasing out the traditional phone system and even overpriced, localized VOIP phone systems. Despite increasing favor towards cloud-based phone
solutions, many businesses remain skeptic and are unwilling to make the move into the cloud. This article will help explain the “pros and cons” of taking your phone system into the cloud;
which could be the best step for your business to make. If you are investigating a new business phone system, or even an upgrade, you need to take the time to read this.vvx600 lg a 300x210 The Pros and Cons of a Cloud Based Phone System

What Is A Cloud Based Phone System?
A cloud-based phone system is one where all the programming for your phone is in the cloud, instead of the phone closet, or wherever the phone lines come into your location. It’s that place
that the “phone guy” goes when he has to work on your phones. Instead of having a physical location, i.e., phone closet, for the programming or other features of your phone system, you just
access the system set-up via the Internet. Continue reading

Google to offer own cellular network plan

Mar 02, 2015 by By Joseph Wilson

Google will soon be offering cellular network plans in a bid to bridge the gap between the realms of Internet services and mobile device software it dominates.

Vice President Sundar Pichai says Google, the leading Internet search engine and mobile software provider, is working with unnamed network operators on developing a cellular plan.

“You will see us announce it in the coming months,” he said at the Mobile World Congress wireless show in Barcelona. “I think we are at a stage where it is important to think about hardware, software and connectability together.

“We want to be able to experiment along those lines.”

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The Growing Niche for Telecom Consultants

by Louie Hollmeyer, 121 Marketing LLC

Why a Consultant? Facts, Myth Busters and the Cloudfacebook mobile app 2 200x300 The Growing Niche for Telecom Consultants

The convergence of IT and telecom has changed the landscape of telecommunications. In fact, the term “telephony” may be dying a slow death. Today, we’re primarily talking about “communications”… “IP communications.” Taken further, in the current environment, voice is just another application running on your network. This network convergence—voice and data—has opened a whole Pandora’s Box of services and solutions that enhance workforce collaboration and productivity.

More, More, More Continue reading