October 30th, 2019

There’s almost always a semi-secret way to sneak into a website’s off-limits areas, and very often, your kids know about it before you do. This goes for age-restricted content on YouTube, too. Elsewhere on this site, we’ve covered the use of VPNs to breach firewalls and masking apps that disguise the programs a smartphone is running. Here’s another deceptive—and surprisingly simple—trick parents ought to know about: adding the letters NSFW to…... Continue reading >

October 23rd, 2019

While schools across the country have implemented privacy and security restrictions to Internet access, students have discovered they can use a VPN to circumvent their school’s security measures and break through firewalls. (They’ve learned other tricks, too.) The VPN works to create an encrypted tunnel between a device and the Internet. Once you connect through this encrypted tunnel, your online traffic becomes indecipherable. In layman’s terms, this means that when your…... Continue reading >

October 16th, 2019

Kids are always one step ahead of their parents when it comes to technology, and they’ve come up with some clever ways—like the secret calculator—to disguise their online activity. For instance, they’re using apps to mask what they’re doing. Some of these apps are so effective, most parents are completely fooled by what they see when they look at their kids’ phones. A trained eye, though, might notice that something’s amiss. Swapping apps ... Continue reading >

September 25th, 2019

YouTube doesn’t have a popularity problem—just about everyone everywhere uses it. But it has had problems controlling what videos find their way to the site and who sees them. Your kids have the same access to the videos on YouTube you have. Whether those videos are appropriate for children is immaterial, and that is a problem. YouTube Kids is the company’s solution. Elsagate YouTube has literally millions of videos coming…... Continue reading >

September 11th, 2019

Sometimes you don’t want anyone to know what you’re looking at on the Internet. No need to justify or defend that position; you just want to be anonymous. That’s what the private browsing, or incognito mode, on your browser is for, right? Private is not Anonymous Browsing in a “private” setting will block cookies, prevent any web addresses from auto-filling your address bar and keep no record of your history….... Continue reading >

August 27th, 2019

Money can’t buy you love, but it can buy you friends. Likes, comments, followers and friends are all for sale on the Internet. Want 5,000 “real Instagram likes” on a recent post? That’ll be $28, please. Need to increase your reach on Twitter by adding 10,000 followers? Then the “Premium Package” is for you. It’s $80 and, the vendor vows, “100% safe.” Why would anyone pay to increase their friends-and-followers tally? What would be…... Continue reading >

July 27th, 2019

Your kids know what TikTok is, and so do roughly 500 million monthly users. You should, too. TikTok is a social media app used to make and easily share short videos. It’s like Vine, if you recall that early-days video app, but much more popular. It’s fun, engaging, and easy to use, and therein lies the problem: millions of quick, zany videos at your fingertips, waiting to eat up hours of your day and…... Continue reading >

July 24th, 2019

It may seem ridiculous to you, but Instagram Influencer is a real job. And it can be wildly lucrative: a million bucks per post. Influencers play an increasingly important role in the business and commercial worlds, which means it’s increasingly important for parents to understand what they are. These are the people who will be in front of your kids on social media in the future, selling…... Continue reading >

May 22nd, 2019

A generation ago, some of us used to worry about our private conversations being overheard. Others, often derided as paranoid, suspected the government of eavesdropping on everything we say. The rapid technological advances of today make those concerns seem quaint. The wired world has brought the “eavesdroppers” into the home and made them part of the family. These digital assistants answer our questions, play music we like, place phone calls for us, tell us…... Continue reading >

May 16th, 2019

A prompt to restart your computer or phone for a software update usually leads to a groan and a vow to do it later. And then later comes and you…vow to do it later, again. Here’s a tip: Do it now, not later. The reason for updates (yes, they’re tedious) has a lot to do with the current state of digital defenses and making sure all users and their…... Continue reading >