“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
Last Updated on July 8, 2020
10 Smart Productivity Software to Boost Work Performance
Productivity is the ability to perform tasks efficiently and in a timely manner. In today’s busy and competitive business world, productivity is paramount for any business, organization or corporation.
Productivity is more than just performing tasks successfully. It is about investing and allocating resources, so the company or business can perform to meet its core goals.
As part of 2019, it is important to commit to new goals. When shopping around for new productivity software keep in mind the following things: cost, reliability, cross-platform compatibility, on the go, technical support, etc.
In the subsequent sections, we will examine the most recommended productivity software in the marketplace. In addition, we will look at what makes them tick and what separates them from the rest of the pack.
Projects and Tasks Management
1. Monday dot com
Monday dot com was founded to create a team management solution so people connect to workplace processes across any industry. The productivity tool is used in more than 140 countries.
The user interface is intuitive and impressive. It makes collaboration productive and fun because of its simplicity.
The tool is deemed to have one of the best user experiences across the mobile and online project and task management platform.
The product includes usability, customization, admin control, group management and control, private or public control, in-group messaging and more.
The mantra behind Asana’s product is to enable teams from across different organizations to work together effortlessly.
The software comes with lots of customizations. When you create a project as a user, you can choose between a traditional task view and the kanban-style board view. The dashboard allows you to see the progress on a project, and it includes an excellent advanced set of search tools.
Also, Asana’s Android and iOS apps do retain the web interface’s clean look and feel.
Trello was founded in the summer of 2010 and two years later the platform added 500,000 members. Anyone within sales, marketing, HR and operations can collaborate successfully with this product.
Moreover, the tool has over 100 plus integrations with Google Drive, Slack, Jira and others. The product works flawlessly across various platforms.
Some of the well-known features includes is speed, easy-to-use, and set up. The interface includes due dates, assignments, file storage, checklists and more.
The Jira software is flexible and heralded as the next-generation project.
The software allows teams to design and adapt the software to an organization’s needs. This includes having visibility into long term goals, project roadmaps, status of work, real-time release information and more. In addition, the interface is customizable.
The Atlassian Cloud does not support multiple separate domains, subdomains or domain aliases in Google Apps.
5. Evernote Business
Evernote was founded in 2008 and reached 11 million users by 2011. The company was founded on the premise that their product should address the ever-increasing volume and speed of information.
The product helps bring together groups of teams because of versatility and functionality. It creates documents, collaboration on projects, store information all a single location.
Moreover, you can find information quickly and includes effective search capabilities and integrations with existing tools you may already use.
Slack was founded in 2013 and the tool is heralded as a collaboration hub. Slack is where productivity happens. When you start a new project, hire new staff, deploy a code, review a sales contract, finalize on a budget, Slack covers all of these. Some of the major highlights include highly customizable notifications and seamless integrations with other collaboration and office tools. The free version of the software comes loaded with features, but does not archive old message. So, you have to review what are the best options for your organization or business.
Newcomer Spike makes emails more conversational by helping teams maintain productivity, communication, and collaboration. All of these are achieved from within their inbox.
Spike works on top of any existing email (O365, G suite, and IMAP) turning it into a real-time messenger and making your communication much more functional and efficient.
Spike’s features include built-in groups and channels, voice and video calls, email encryption, instant access to all your files, and much more.
8. Office 365
Microsoft’s Office 365 could not be excluded from the conversation and especially as it pertains to productivity software.
Of course we are all familiar with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. But there is more capabilities that come with it.
You have business-class email, online storage space, and teamwork solutions. These services can be accessed from just about anywhere.
Within this suite is Microsoft Sway, which is a presentation software and a step above PowerPoint.
Grammarly helps to cut down time on editing. Professionals in several industries like law, healthcare, academia, marketing, engineering and journalism use it to provide instant feedback on the accuracy of writing in English.
Once you install the extension from Google Chrome, you can get corrections when you are drafting an email, using social media and other apps.
Grammarly is AI powered and it’s a wonderful tool to have to check spelling and grammar before a presentation.
ActivTrak is a business intelligence tool that allows you to access team behavior analytics. In other words, it is data-driven.
The pros include two-factor authentication with active directory integration. You can also automate your alerts and it has an intuitive interface with easy-to-use admin controls.
Furthermore, it comes with Google sign-in, iOS app, productivity track, and more. The bottomline is the product offers employee productivity metrics along with team behavior analytics.
The Bottom Line
Depending on the size, budget, resources, and immediate needs of your company, not all productivity software will exactly solve your problem. You will have to contact any of the providers above and probe extensively to find the right product that is made for your business.
More Productivity Tools
- 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools
- 7 Best Project Management Apps to Boost Productivity
- 10 Must-Have Personal Project Management Tools
Featured photo credit: Domenico Loia via unsplash.com