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9 Apps And Websites Parents Should Know to Protect Their Kids’ Online Security

9 Apps And Websites Parents Should Know to Protect Their Kids’ Online Security

As a parent, you are concerned about the safety and well-being of your children. In this day and age, the accessibility to dangerous social media platforms makes it difficult to protect your kids’ online security. No-one wants to put their child in the way of danger, however, especially to those less tech-savvy parents, it is difficult to keep up with the amount of dangerous apps and websites that are popping up recently.

To those parents educated in the usage of social media, this is simply a reminder, however to those parents who are not well acquainted with social media, take this as a warning.

Here is a list of apps and websites every parent should know to ensure their child remains safe online:

1.) Instagram

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    A 2014 survey conducted across 41 States in America concluded that the photo-sharing network, Instagram is now the most popular social media network among 7,200 US teenagers.

    It is important to note that the minimum age of sign up is 13; therefore it is already clear that any child under this age is not suitable for an Instagram account. Upon signing up the default profile visibility is set to public. This means that any picture uploaded to the app can be seen by anyone. This can open up young children to the risk of paedophilia, cyber bullying and stalking.

    For parents who allow their children on Instagram, here are a few handy hints to make sure your child stays safe:

    • Turn their profile visibility to private. This way, only their approved followers can view their photos.
    • Make sure your children are aware of blocking users and reporting images. If your child comes across inappropriate material, they can easily block whoever was uploading the material. Be sure they report the particular photo/s as well.

    2.) Snapchat

    Snapchat_Logo.jpg
      Photo: nypost.com

      Similar to Instagram, Snapchat is a photo/video-sharing based social media platform. It involves taking a ‘snap’ and sending it to various people on your friends list. The receiver of the image/video can view it for a set amount of time (e.g. 10 seconds) before it disappears, thus the main appeal of Snapchat.

      This app also holds a 12+ age rating. The main danger of this app is that sometimes the ‘snap’ does not always completely disappear. Inappropriate use of the app can lead to harassment and bullying.

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      Snapchat published a parents’ guide which provides information on safe use of the app, but here are some the basic things a parent should know:

      • Configure Snapchat to only accept messages from users on your “My Friends” list. The last thing you want is your child receiving inappropriate and/or explicit images from a stranger.
      • Don’t expect your snaps to fully disappear. The ‘snapshot’ feature allows the receiver to save the photo to their phone. A warning message is sent to the sender; however that snap is now saved onto someone’s phone. Don’t take snaps you will regret sending later.

      3.) Tinder

      o-TINDER-APP-facebook

        Tinder is first and foremost, a dating app or a hook-up site. Therefore it is questionable as to why children 13 years old (and sometimes under, if the account holds a false age), and most importantly a minor, should be allowed to have it.

        This app locates ‘singles’ near your location. An image of a ‘single’ is shown and if you find them attractive, you ‘swipe right’. If they ‘swipe right’ to you as well, then you can message them.

        There are a number of problems this app can cause from use by children:

        First of all, it puts emphasis on the belief that they need to be physically attractive to be desired, which promotes unhealthy obsessions with appearance. It also opens them up to the dangers of meeting potentially dangerous strangers online and eventually in person.

        As a parent, you can protect your child by:

        • Emphasising the importance of ‘stranger danger’: Make sure they are wary and aware that people are not the same online as they are in person.
        • Wait until they are older: If possible, do not allow them to use the app until they are at least 16.

        4.) Kik Messenger

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          This free app is rated for people aged 17 and over, however it has been reported that its main users are actually aged 11-15.

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          Due to the fact that Kik is not too well-known among adults, it appeals to kinds and younger teens. Cyber safety consultant Martine Oglethorpe told the Sydney Morning Herald:

          ”Kids are moving away from open Facebook updates because they know their parents are watching them, and they’re moving on to Kik.”

          The use of fake names (usernames) also makes it harder to monitor their activity. However this app also draws in paedophiles and drug dealers who can communicate with and influence these children.

          If your child is insistent on using the app, then you can try these alternatives:

          • Don’t be the oblivious parent. Educate yourselves about the social media your children and other children use.
          • Set boundaries. Make sure you come to an agreement about how the app is used, e.g. no inappropriate or explicit messaging especially when it comes to strangers.
          • Educate them about strangers. Don’t let them meet up with strangers. That should be the most important aspect of all.

          5.) Yik Yak

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            This app is free to use, requires no registration and allows total anonymity. Yik Yak connects up to 500 nearby user to an anonymous chat room. The lack of registration allows users of any age to use the app, making it popular among younger teens regardless of the 17+ age recommendation. According to Yik Yak co-founder Brooks Buffington,

            “The app was made for college-age users or above, for college campuses and to act as a virtual bulletin board, so it acts as local Twitter for their campus.”

            It is easy to realize therefore that the app can be easily misused by younger people.

            The biggest problem regarding this app is the case of cyberbullying. The anonymity of users makes it impossible to trace the writer of offensive content and it can be distributed over a wide array of viewers. Used irresponsibly, this can cause major problems with rumors and inappropriate online behavior.

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            Important factors that parents should take into consideration include:

            • Letting them know that bullying anyone is not okay: no one likes a bully, and it will come back to them in one way or another
            • If they’re being bullied, make sure they let someone know: if you’re the victim, it might be best to stay away from the app and seek help.

            6.) Ask.FM

            Ask.fm_Logo

              Ask.fm is a popular question-and-answer website and app popular among young teenagers due to the basis of anonymity. The website’s terms of service places the age restriction to 13 years of age. The website’s most prominent audience ranges from the ages of 13-25, with 50% of registered users under the age of 18. This particular site has featured prominently in the media for being linked to a handful of suicides involving young teenagers. While the questions are posted anonymously, the actual user asked the questions cannot increase privacy settings. Again, this opens up a platform for extreme bullying and harassment by people who are impossible to track.

              For parents with children who use this site, you might want to:

              • Communicate with your child/teen: ensure they are safe on the site and are not experiencing harassment.
              • Don’t let them continue if it gets too bad: if the bullying increases, simply remove them from the site. It would solve a lot of issues.

              7.) Chatroulette

              chatroulettemoose

                The first thing parents need to know about Chatroulette is that it has been dubbed a “predator’s paradise”. User must be at least 16 years old and have to agree not to broadcast explicit material; however any of these barriers can be by-passed by fake accounts and can expose young children to child molesters.

                The site works by allowing the user to randomly chat with individuals as they appear on the screen. The communication can be through text, audio, and/or video. This site is renowned for widespread inappropriate sexual behavior and can be mentally and emotionally scarring for children.

                As a parent:

                • Be aware of your child’s internet activity: if you are aware that your child is using the site, especially under-aged, you might want to have a serious conversation about it.
                • Warn them of the dangers of webcam: you really don’t want to scar your child for life, so make they know the dangerous consequences of chatting to strangers on a webcam.

                8.) 4chan

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                  4chan is an anonymous image message board notorious for its controversial content. It is known to contain posts that can be described as vulgar, stupid and occasionally dangerous. Trends and ideas are quickly spread through users of the site that then incorporate this knowledge into day-to-day life.

                  A more recent example includes the ‘bikini bridge’ trend, which puts a large amount of pressure on health-consciousness and body-image issues.  At the most impressionable adolescent age, it is impractical to think that your child will know well enough to be wary of internet traps.

                  It also opens up a platform for negative thoughts and actions. This has implications for the development of depression and even suicide.

                  It is important for parents to remember that:

                  • These sites are not suitable for children: remember the types of content this page displays. You do not want to be exposing your child to explicit material.
                  • Observe your child: if they begin displaying worrisome behavior picked up from online trends, make sure you talk to them about being reasonable.

                  9.) Omegle

                  omegle2

                    This chatting site identifies you as simple “You” and the stranger you are talking to as simply “Stranger”. This anonymous chat can take place as either a text or video conversation. If that doesn’t ring enough warning bells, being anonymous does not stop users from sharing name, age and location through the actual message.

                    Users of Omegle must be over 13 with parental consent until the age of 18; however it is not likely that teenagers will actually ask their parents for permission.

                    Once again, this opens up the potential for stranger danger.

                    Parents of children who use Omegle please be aware:

                    • Internet predators are tricky: you do not want your child drawn in by internet predators, so don’t allow your children to meet up with stranger unaccompanied, no matter what the circumstances are.
                    • It is dangerous to share private information: you don’t want creeps showing breaking into your house in the middle of the night because your child has given their address. Private information is very valuable, and they should know when and when not to share it.

                    Featured photo credit: forbes.com via blogs-images.forbes.com

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                    Elizabeth Andal

                    Elizabeth is a passionate writer who shares about lifestyle tips and lessons learned in life on Lifehack.

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                    Last Updated on August 16, 2019

                    10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track in 2019

                    10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track in 2019

                    The success of our day is largely dependent on the quality of our planning. Not to miss out anything in their to-dos, some people prefer to make a list of upcoming tasks in a notebook, while others have long started using digital technology solutions.

                    Calendar applications are some of the main tools that are worth using to organize our life and plan your time carefully.

                    Many people have switched to specific tools; however, there are still some who do not use calendars on a daily basis. They may find some applications uncomfortable to use, non-functional, or expensive.

                    In this article, we are going to check out the best calendars apps to help you stay organized.

                    1. Cal Calendar

                      Cal Calendar has recently appeared on the market of mobile applications (Android, iOS). It is the brainchild of the development team of Any.do that features impressive functionality and well-thought-out design.

                      The application comes with many great features, including support for Exchange and Google Calendar, widgets, voice recording, and many more.

                      Cal Calendar has direct integration with Any.Do To-Do List, which gives you a unique tandem of two applications.

                      Apart from its extended functionality, Cal Calendar is easy to use. The creation of events is very simple and fast.

                      What is more, depending on the name of the event, the application automatically adds contacts and geolocation data to the entry description. You can even import your lists and entries from Any.do.

                      Cal Calendar is a great option for any type of user. It is very convenient and doesn’t overcomplicate the mode of display.

                      Another good thing is that this tool is available for free, so you can use it without spending a dime for the software.

                      Available for iOS and Android

                      2. Google Calendar

                        Google Calendar is the official calendar for Android devices that has been tested out by many users around the globe. If you are right now trying to get away from it, consider changing your mind.

                        Since this application is installed on most Android devices by default, many users think that there is nothing special in this program. They are wrong.

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                        Google has been updating its calendar for quite a few years, and now it comes in Material Design with advanced event features, direct integration into other Google services (for example, supports reminders and Google Now), and comes with Exchange support.

                        The program is super easy and will not cost a dime for you. It is a good thing, right?

                        Available for iOS and Android

                        3. Jorte Calendar

                          Jorte Calendar is one of the most popular calendar applications in the Google Play store.

                          The program features a wide range of configuration options, with many design alternatives. You can adjust display mode to your needs and view calendar entries sorted by month, week, or day (by hours). It is convenient for quickly picking the desired date, using task bars, and setting reminders.

                          Apart from its ordinary information storing function, this application can be a special cloud service, Jorte Cloud, allowing you to synchronize calendars, schedules, and task lists on multiple devices. The application also supports data importing from Google Calendar.

                          For those paying attention to the program design, there is also Jorte Store, where you can buy styles and icons to personalize the calendar. This feature makes Jorte is one of the brightest calendar applications.

                          A basic version of the app is free of charge, so if you do not want to spend money on a calendar application, it is a good option.

                          Available for iOS and Android

                          4. Business Calendar

                            Business Calendar is geared towards people who use their calendar for work purposes and business task planning. It offers different modes with wide configuration capabilities.

                            The application gives a default view mode by months, and events can be marked in different colors. Display modes/ sorting can be adjusted to your needs (by month, day, year, or events).

                            You can also set a multi-day viewing mode to see how things look for the next few days. Scrolling up and down moves you by month, and if you check a few days, they will be shown in a more detailed form.

                            The day display mode offers hourly scheduling, and the schedule mode provides a detailed schedule for a single event.

                            Business Calendar is a great tool for planning/ scheduling cases, tasks, and events. There is a support for recurring events, which can be set up in just a few clicks.

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                            Having purchased software, you can use it to import and export other calendars, delete, copy, or move several events at the same time.

                            Android Business Calendar application may seem somewhat chaotic, but it works fine and is easy to work with if you play with it for a while.

                            A full version of the application is available for $4.99, but you can also find a free version for the app test drive.

                            Available for Android

                            5. aCalendar

                              aCalendar opens our collection of top 10 calendar applications available on the market today. With its appealing design, easy navigation, and great functionality, it is one of the most popular calendar apps in our list.

                              Some of extra functions include color schemes for each case type (48 colors to choose from), different types of demonstrations, different widgets, moon phases, and much more.

                              Taking into account it functionality, aCalendar is a reliable calendar application that has an easy-to-navigate interface with three display options. Scrolling from side to side allows you to switch between the display modes of the month, week and day.

                              When scrolling down and up, you are moving through the calendar at intervals in accordance with the selected display mode.

                              Apart from its time planning feature, aCalendar synchronizes photos from contact lists or social networks to remind you about birthdays, anniversaries, or any other special dates.

                              The program also supports data transfer through NFC and full-screen widgets, which eases your work with any data.

                              The program is available for free, but you can also get even more features if you buy the extended version of software for $4.99.

                              Available for Android

                              6. DigiCal Calendar

                                DigiCal Calendar is very similar to Cal Calendar in the fact that the application focuses on design more than on its functionality. However, this doesn’t mean that the application doesn’t serve the purpose.

                                With this calendar application, you can synchronize all your calendars and view them in different ways.

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                                Along with the basic functions, this program comes with support for Google Calendar, Outlook, and includes some unique and interesting features. You can match keywords to the image or set up a dark theme.

                                The app can even show you the weather forecast for three days. There are many other features that deserve the attention of people who really like to use calendar applications.

                                Available for Android

                                7. SolCalendar

                                  SolCalendar can be called a universal application. It claims to be an all-in-one digital solution having a basic calendar functionality combined with some other advanced features, such as weather forecast for a specific day.

                                  The application supports Google Calendar, as well as tasks, widgets, lunar calendar and even Foursquare.

                                  Those searching for a calendar application to cover just everything in its functionality, SolCalendar is a program to consider. There are a lot of interesting things in this application; the program does an excellent job working in “all-in-one” mode.

                                  Test SolCalendar – the application is available for free. You can test it out without purchasing the service.

                                  Available for Android

                                  8. Calendar

                                    Calendar is a relatively new app. It works as a web app and for both iOS and Android devices. It is an intelligent app that learns your contacts, schedule and tasks. It also helps you schedule and arrange meetings according to your available time slots.

                                    A good thing about Calendar is that it allows you to sync up with other calendars you use such as Apple Calendar and Google Calendar. And so you can manage all the calendars you have in one place.

                                    Calendar also gives you analytics of your meetings, giving you a clear picture on how you can improve your time management.

                                    Available for Desktop, iOS and Android

                                    9. Today Calendar

                                      Today Calendar is one of the most hip and edgy calendars in our list. The solution was one of the first ones that really embraced Material Design and remains one of the few that adhere to the neat style.

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                                      The calendar application offers bold colors, simple controls, and great functionality. This is not as heavy an application as many others; it will not eat all the memory of your device.

                                      If you are not searching for something complicated and over-functional, Today Calendar is what you need. You can always test the application before paying for it – the program is available for free.

                                      Available for Android

                                      10. Calendar Widget: Month

                                        Sometimes people do not need a heap of calendar applications. They would prefer to have one efficient calendar widget.

                                        Calendar Widget: Month perfectly fills this niche and meets all the needs of a modern user. It has some features of an ordinary calendar, but the real great thing about this software is that it has 80 or more themes in its library.

                                        The design of the application is great; the themes are perfectly tuned. There are options for almost any theme of your smartphone. The only drawback is the fact that the widget memory is not too large, and you should be ready for it.

                                        This simple calendar widget was created in the image and semblance of widgets from Yahoo. The widget window displays one calendar month with the ability to go to the previous and move to the next one.

                                        If you need a simple and affordable calendar to plan your tasks and affairs for one month, this widget is ideal for you. Calendar Widget: Month is so simple that it does not even have Google Calendar support.

                                        At the moment, it does not have the function of connecting any third-party calendars and services. Developers allow the possibility of introducing support for Google service as an addition to the widget, if users request to have this opportunity.

                                        Available for Android

                                        Our Verdict

                                        Searching for the right application to manage your various calendars and plan your busy day can sometimes turn into a streak of obstacles.

                                        Most of us need flexible applications that can be easily used to manage our tough schedule. The application should have all necessary time planning functions and be intuitive.

                                        Stylish design and limitless compatibility also matter. It is not always easy to find such a program.

                                        The above digital calendar solutions fall under the category “worth” of being used. They are modern, multifunctional, easy, and easy. Pick the one you like!

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                                        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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