“The rise of sexting, bullying, prostitution, and drug use are taking place over third party mobile apps.” — Sedgrid Lewis
Our children can be tweens or teens, younger than that or older, and they will always be our kids. Ensuring their safety is our top priority, regardless their age. According to a recent study by the PewResearch Internet Project, “95% of teens are online, and increasingly their phones are affording them with always-on, mobile access to the internet — in some cases, serving as their primary point of access.” Smartphones and the apps children love to download can create a dangerous combination that we need to be aware of as parents. Other recent surveys indicate that our children now average 7 hours and 38 minutes a day plugged into media – mostly on their cellphones. I know that my daughter rarely strays from her phone, but I would never guess that she spends the equivalent of an average workday, or school day for her, connected to her phone.Advertising
How Safe Is Teen Cellphone Use?
To keep our kids safe, we need to monitor the apps children love to use. Kristin Peaks a Sr. Digital & Social Media Specialist at Cook Children’s tells us that, “I have learned so much about the dangers of Smart Phone Apps. It’s downright scary.” The list below includes the 7 of the hottest apps children love to use today, and why you should monitor them.
Whisper advertises itself as the best place to express yourself online, connect with like minded individuals, and discover the unseen world around you. Over 70% of whisper users are women under the age of 25, and the app provides freedom for young users to share raw feelings and emotions anonymously in their geographic area. Why You Should Monitor It: Teens are able to share things with complete strangers that they might never feel comfortable sharing with their friends, let alone their parents. This app has been used for cyberbullying, and by pedophiles to establish relationships with girls as young as 12 years old.Advertising
Kik Messenger is a free alternative texting service that allows users to send videos, texts, and pictures to over 180 million other users. Why You Should Monitor It: This app bypasses your wireless providers’ short message services (SMS) allowing your teen to “sext” without any parental controls. This has become so common that the the term sex buddy has been replaced with Kik Buddy. Additionally, there is no way of authenticating users, making it easy for pedophiles to use this messenger.
Snapchat provides a fast and easy way to take photos, add a caption, and send it to a friend. The photo “self destructs” 10 seconds after it is opened by the recipient. Why You Should Monitor It: Snapchat is the number one sexting app on the market. This app gives teens a false sense of security when sending sexually inappropriate photos because of the self destruct feature. The truth is, nothing sent over the internet ever disappears. There are always ways to retrieve and capture those images. There have also been numerous cases of cyberbullying with this app.Advertising
Tinder claims to be a fun way to connect with new and interesting people around you. When a mutual match is made by a simple swipe of the finger, your teen can immediately share messages and photos with strangers. Why You Should Monitor It: This app is primarily used for “hooking up.” Once your teen makes a mutual match with another user, the next step is to meet in person. Monitor this app if you do not want your teen meeting random strangers online.Advertising
The tagline for this app is, “Talk To Strangers,” and it does just that – it allows your teen to video chat with random strangers. Why You Should Monitor It: Omegle is filled with people searching for sexual chat. Since the chats are anonymous, they’re often much more explicit than those with a user who can be identified might be.
This app provides the user with a way to get “down” with friends and nearby strangers. After linking this app with their Facebook account, users can decide which ones that they want to “hook up” with. Why You Should Monitor It: This app used to be called “Bang with Friends,” and is connected to your teens Facebook account. The slogan for the app: “The anonymous, simple, fun way to find friends who are down for the night.” If that alone doesn’t scare you, I don’t know what will!
Vine allows users to create short, six second, looping videos and share them with their friends and family to see. Why You Should Monitor It: While many of the videos are harmless, but inappropriate videos can pop up in your teens feed, exposing them to sexually explicit material. Predators have been using this app to search for teens by location, and connect with them through other messaging apps. If you are concerned with your teen’s online safety, you need to monitor the apps children love to use. With new apps being created every day, this is not a one-time activity but a continuous process. Children and Technology: How To Be A Cool, In-Control Parent is a great resource to learn keep your children safe online. When comes to our children it is always better to be safe than sorry, take the time to monitor the apps children love.
Featured photo credit: two boys and a teenage girl sitting outside with phones via shutterstock.com
Published on November 9, 2018
How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career
Technology has taken the business world by storm. People and businesses are progressively reliant on technology world these days. As a result, the people with impressive knowledge and experience with a computer are in demand.
Considering this growing market trend, if you too wish to bag a profitable job, this article is apt for you. Here, we will dig deeper into the business and technology world to look into what are the best computer skills one should invest in and what resources to get help from.
So, are you ready? Here we begin.
Table of Contents
6 Most-In Demand Computer Skills This Year (and Beyond)
When talking about computer skills, following are the 6 computer skills that can fill your mailbox with endless job opportunities (besides, having an English and Hindi typing speed of 40+ WPM):-
1. Spreadsheets and Databases
Considering the treasure trove of data companies are handling these days, Spreadsheet and Database management skill tops the list. It is considered the most wanted job skill in the market, with a salary of around $53,129/yr for an entry-level position. However, the spreadsheet skill does not confine to auditing data from cells.
To get hired based on this computer skill, you need to become a Spreadsheet ninja. From storing data to organizing them, applying complex mathematics formulas, and creating complex macros, you need to be an expert at all.
In other words, you need to have an expertise at working with:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Access
- Data Analytics
- Adobe Campaign
- XML Database management system
- Filemaker Pro
- RDBMS (Relational Database Management System)
2. Social Media, Email, and Blogging
Though people are socially active, not everyone knows how to use the social media tools on the professional front. In such a scenario, having an expertise at writing engaging yet professional emails, writing blogs, and managing social media activities is a ticket to entry in reputed organizations.
Some of the skills related to social media, email and blogging that will have a leg up in the hiring process are:
- Content Management System (CMS)
- Google Analytics
- Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
- Email Marketing
- Web Page Design
- Digital Media
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Campaign Management Software
3. Graphic Design and Word Processing
A solid grasp of skills to present the gained information in the much readable form is another market need. When considering this computer skill category, you need to enhance your skills at:
- Adobe Photoshop
- Adobe InDesign
- Adobe Illustrator
- Microsoft Visual Studio
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Publisher
- Operating Digital Cameras
4. Software and Hardware Design and Development
The Software and Hardware development, in simpler language, means designing, implementing, and testing the computer software/hardware applications. It is the most profitable computer skill, with a different job opening, including Software Architect, Software Analyst, Software programmer, Hardware configuration, etc.
To be capable of developing and testing the software and hardware, you need to peruse your users’ needs and build an application that hits their pain points. You need to work with different web and mobile app coding languages for gaining the attention of your audience, some of which are:
- CISC and RISC architecture
- Embedded Processor Hardware Design
- Memory Management
- PCB Layout
5. IT Troubleshooting
Working on computers is one thing and having a knack of looking into the associated issues and resolving them in real-time is another. There are various employees and graduates who work with computer systems in their daily lives, but get confused when it comes to dealing with frozen programs and performing routine maintenance.
So, if you are familiar with the basic anatomy of computers and machines and know the tricks to perform such tasks to streamline the working process, enter the IT support arena. The prime IT troubleshooting skills one needs to work upon are:
- Backup management
- End User support
- Client-Server management
- Installation and configuration
- Issue tracking system (ITS)
- System administration
- Tech support
6. Enterprise Systems
Many Enterprises have their own enterprise solutions like PeopleSoft for managing their data and operations.
Becoming a master at using the enterprise solutions mentioned in their ‘Requirements’ area can also lessen the barrier to get a job.
The Roadmap to Excel Your Computer Skills
Now that you know the 6 most popular computer skills in the market, the first decision, you need to take is which computer skill you want to work upon. All the skills are equally considerable for making a career ahead. So, choose one as per your interest.
Once done, look forward to the following resources for boosting your computer skills and getting a reputed, handsome job.
Depending on the computer skill you opt, here are the online courses you can turn to for elevating your career opportunities:
1. Become a Spreadsheet and Database Ninja
Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or expert at working with spreadsheets, this online course has something new for everyone to become excel efficient users.
Divided into 48 interesting lessons, the course empowers you to learn the technique of using mathematical, statistical, logical and text functions, sorting and filtering the data, creating Pivot Tables, building macros, finding a value with VLOOKUp, and much more.
This is another impressive course to unlock the power of Excel. Designed for people from all walks of life and familiarity with Excel tools. This course helps you gain in-depth knowledge from the experts about this data-analyzing tool and make the magic in spreadsheet creation and management process.
Build a successful career in the data analytics world with this online course.
Revolving around the two top databases, MS SQL and PostgreSQL, this course will give you a comprehensive knowledge of the working of the databases and understanding of all the related elements, including how to create, update, organize, and safeguard the data.
2. Rule the Social Media World
Introduced by the top experienced inbound professors from Hubspot, here you will get a comprehensive knowledge of Social media marketing.
From understanding how to build relationships on different social media platforms to creating a perfect strategy to engage them, leveraging the benefits of social advertising, and analyzing your social media ROI, this course will bring out the best out of you.
This online course will be the right weapon to look into the differences and similarities between different email styles, improve your English writing skills, write effective subject lines, maintain the formality tone in emails, and more to make a powerful impact on the receivers with your email.
Founded by Udemy, this online course will excel your skills to build a masterpiece everytime you write.
Here, you will get the guidance from the editors of the top newspapers and websites, and understand what kind of words and tone to use for leaving a spellbinding impact on the readers.
3. Launch Your Own Software or Hardware Equipment
From Big Data to IoT, Sensor Circuit Design, Embedded Software and Hardware Architecture, and Motor Control Circuit, this course will give you a glimpse of all the hardware devices, equipment, and programming languages to build wonders.
Become the software developer market demands with Alison’s Java, C#, Python, R, PHP, or MySQL database course. From backend to frontend development and software testing.
The course helps you to learn how to design, develop and test software and working in a team while contributing to the team success.
The Class Central online course will make you a master of software development. Here, you will learn the basic concepts of development like Agile, Design Patterns, and Version Control with Git, along with gaining experience of working with the top programming languages.
4. Live and Breathe Creativity
It is a top-rated program for the new learners and designers to explore the Graphic Design world.
From the history of communication to the design principles, the course will help the students to learn everything specifically and implement in the real world.
From a beginner to advanced level, this course will provide you with an elaborated and comprehensive knowledge of graphic design. In the form of 4 modules, this course will help the interested graphic designers to try out their skills at Graphics, ranging from fonts to colors, backgrounds, images, shapes, and layouts.
62 personalized lessons, premium video tutorials, and unlimited tests and quizzes – this certified course has everything that will make your entry to the business world easier.
The course will make you productive in Word, Excel, and Access through video lectures, articles, and various other supplemental resources.
Besides, it will offer you exclusive tips and tricks to enhance your skills at using Microsoft office.
5. Raise Your Reflexes to IT Troubleshooting
IT Troubleshooting Skill Training will upgrade your logical concepts over technical components to find and repair faults.
It will provide you with a methodological approach to learn the basics of troubleshooting, practice them via exercises and drills, and enhance your IT troubleshooting intelligence.
The Lynda’s IT troubleshooting online course will train you how to respond to the issues related to Windows 10, Office 365, JIRA software, and more, from a local as well as a remote location.
Mobile Apps and Websites to Enhance Computer Skills
The aforementioned online courses will undoubtedly train you for a successful career ahead. But, in case you want a long-term support, turn towards the following websites and mobile apps:
- Duolingo – Duolingo app will improve your spoken and written communication skills in different languages. With the magic of gamification added to the study, the app will make learning a fun and addictive task.
- Hemingway – Hemingway app defines the length, complexity, and common errors associated with the sentences. In this way, it helps you to write effectively and go ahead in the career.
- Udemy – The Udemy, with its 2000+ courses, is a great platform to master new skills, advance your career and explore the newer technologies and programming languages. Enrol a course as per your budget and make a brighter future.
- eDX – eDX is yet another commendable platform you can look forward to. The platform offers you the best of the tutorials prepared by the business professionals and technology experts, ensuring a great boost in your computer skills.
- Excel Easy – Excel Easy, as the name depicts, will make working with Excel easier for you via their detailed tutorials and 300+ real-life examples.
- GCF LearnFree.org – It is a one-stop platform for accelerating your future in the computer world. From graphic design to Microsoft Office, resume writing, enhancing adaptability, and much more, the top experts will guide you with everything on this platform.
- QuarkXPress – The QuarkXPress will aid you to add soul to your design with its unparalleled collection of font style, size, and typography. The best part is that it is avails all the options in different languages, including English, Spanish, German, French, and Italian to name a few.
Bonus: Tips to Accelerate Your Approach For a Better Career Ahead
Though these resources will make you stand out from the crowd and get hired at once, you need to focus on various other things, such as:
1. Practice, Practice, Practice
It is common to forget what we learn. To ensure that you do not miss any opportunity just because you forgot, keep practising.
Make it your routine. Polish your computer skills and you will surely end up getting an offer letter from a recognized firm.
2. Work on Your Efficiency
Remembering what you learned is not enough; practice to enhance those skills to do better.
For example, if you take around 50 minutes to create a design, target for 40 minutes.
3. Look for Shortcuts
Smart work rules over hard work more often. So, look forward to learning shortcuts to do any task. This will increase your chances to crack an interview and get selected.
4. Apply for an Internship
Last but not the least, apply for an internship to see what’s trending in the market and how much you are ready for it. While doing an internship, pay attention to your weak points and work on them. This will ensure a success when you apply for your dream job.
By the late, it’s never too late to be an intern or grab whatever opportunity to learn something new! Here’s how:
The Bottom Line
Seeing the current market scenario, it is evident that having computer skills is a boon for a better career ahead.
So, rather than struggling with thousands of other things and trying to crack interviews, focus on the computer skills mentioned in this article. Utilize the resources and experts’ tips shared and look forward to having a successful and prosperous future.
Featured photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters via unsplash.com