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4 Devices That Will Keep Your Kids Safe Online

Considering buying new technology for your kids this holiday season?  You’ll want to check out these 4 devices that will help keep your kids safe online!

Getting Your Kids New Technology for The Holidays?

4 Devices That Will Keep Your Kids Safe Online

 

Hey Everyone!

It’s hard to believe we’re at the start of another Holiday Season.  If you’re a parent who is thinking of purchasing a new Apple or Android smartphone or tablet, then you probably want to set up parental controls and content filtering on the device to prevent your child from being exposed to undesirable content on the Internet. Smart devices make great gifts, but there are things on the Internet that I’m sure you don’t want your kids to see.

There are many web sites promoting violence, hate, and pornography. There is also the threat of online predators and cyber bullies. You can’t supervise every moment that they’re surfing the Web.  With the help of parental control devices, you can filter out unwanted content, limit screen time, and in some cases, monitor social media accounts. Before you get your kid a smart device for the holidays, consider these devices:

Kurio Brand of Products 

From tablets to smartphones to smartwatches, Kurio has you covered.  With devices that offer your kids the flexibility to play games, watch video, make their own movies and create documents with Microsoft Office. Parents get the peace of mind with Kurio products because these devices have built in parental controls that allow you to control what apps your kids use and what places they visit on the Internet. Our boys have Kurio tablets and they enjoy them.

Kindle Fire Kids Addition 

 Everyone loves Kindle Fire and now Amazon has their Kid’s addition Fire.  The latest version of the Fire promises robust parental controls while still offering your kids the flexibility to download the hottest apps. The tablet comes with a protective case that keeps it safe if your child drops it.  Amazon also offers 2 worry free guarantees.  Your kid damages the tablet, they will replace it for free.

Circle with Disney 

Circle easily connects to your home wi-fi and allows you to control all of your kid’s connected devices. Once it’s installed, you can limit screen time, filter content, and set a bedtime for every device in the home.  The accompanying app, allows you to create unique profiles for each of your children.

TeenSafe 

 The app made by parents for parents.  TeenSafe offers comprehensive coverage for your kid’s devices.  It allows you to monitor such things such as social media interactions, phone messages, text messages and even their location. If your teen gets out of line and isn’t using their phone or tablet appropriately, you can block everything except basic features.

Check Your Devices Settings

If you don’t want to shell out extra money for child safe devices or for parental control apps, you can manually modify your smart devices to keep your kids safe.

Android Parental Controls 

Android devices allow you to set up restricted profiles to limit what content your kids can access.  To set up one, do the following:  First, open the Settings menu of your device, then Scroll down and tap “Users”, then tap ‘Add a restricted user profile’, next name the profile., finally select apps to enable for the profile, finally,

iOS Parental Controls 

You can use restrictions as parental control on iOS devices. To set up Restrictions on your iPhone, touch “Settings,” choose “General,” and then select “Restrictions.” You’ll be prompted for a PIN that gives you access to enable or disable “Restrictions.” There you can turn off any features you want — for example, Siri. Then scroll down to the section “Allowed Content.” This is the place to choose individual limits on what types of content can be downloaded

Parents, apps and technology can protect your kids from a lot of the harmful stuff out there, but parental control can’t catch everything. You ultimately have to be the one who makes sure they are staying safe on the Internet. The biggest threat on the Internet today is parents that do not get involved in their children’s use of technology. Put your hands on your kid’s devices to verify they are being responsible with them.  Never allow devices to stay in kid’s rooms overnight and put limits on daily technology use.  30 mins a day is the recommended use.

How else can you keep up with the latest tech tips and cyber security alerts?

Subscribe to my YouTube channel ‘Burton Kelso’. There are hundreds of videos designed to help you get the most out of the technology you use in your home or business.

From iFamily to Yours,

Burton

Burton Kelso is the Chief Tech Expert at Integral. They offer tech support to homes and businesses all over the Kansas City Metro. He regularly appears as a guest tech correspondent on ABC, NBC, FOX, and CBS on shows such as Kansas City Live, Better Kansas City, FOX 4 Morning Show, offering viewers easy tips on technology, Internet lifestyle, Internet security and gadgets. You can find Burton on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter and watch great tech tip videos on his YouTube channel. He can be reached at 888-256-0829 or email at burton@integralcomputerconsultants.com


October is Cyber Security Awareness Month: 8 Tips To Keep You Safe

October is Cyber Security Awareness Month!  Burton, our resident tech expert here at iFamily KC, is here to help keep you safe with these 8 helpful tips!

cyber security

October is Cyber Security Awareness Month

8 Tips To Keep You Safe

October is my birthday month.  It’s also Cyber Security Awareness Month.  This is time set aside by the National Cyber Security Alliance to encourage everyone to take steps to protect themselves from cyber-crime. From age 8 to 80, we are all at risk from some type of cyber-crime. From identity theft, malicious virus attacks on our smart devices, cyberbullying and online predators that lurk in cyberspace to cause us harm in the real world.  Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect yourself, your family, and, your business.  At Integral, we see people who are constantly taken advantage of because they don’t know what to do to protect themselves.  Please take a few moments and follow this list of tips to avoid being the next victim:

90% of cyber-attacks begin with emails. 

Hackers create emails that are socially engineered to get you to react and click to the information contained in them. Don’t click on links or attachments in emails and text messages that come from unknown sources. Avoid texting or emailing personal information.

Think you’ve been a victim of a cyber attack? 

Visit Have I Been Pwned. Have I been Pwned is a free web site that allows you to search and see if your email address was among millions leaked in data hacks. If this web site says your email address has been leaked, change your password immediately.

Don’t use the same password for any of your online accounts.  

Hackers count on you to use the same passwords for all of your online accounts.  That same weak password you use for Facebook is probably the same one you use for Amazon and you banking account. Hackers know this.  Once they get one password, they will use them (along with your email) on all of your accounts to steal your data. Need help keeping track of those passwords?  Download and use a password keeper like LastPass.  This app allows you to store all of those hard to remember passwords for all of your online accounts and automatically log onto your online accounts from your smart devices and computers using,  secure passwords that are hard to hack.

Remember to Keep your Kids Safe Online.  

Social media plays a major roll in most friendships with school age kids.  It also exposes them to risks in cyberspace such as cyber-bullying and online predators. Set ground rules for smart device usage and make sure you’re putting your hands on and monitoring your kids computers and smart devices on a regular basis to see what apps they are using and to see what interactions they are having online. 

Protect yourself against scams with Web of Trust. 

Web of Trust installs with your web browser to keep you safe from web site that could potentially harm your computer or smart device. Visit a harmful site, web of trust will block it for you automatically.

Beware of credit card skimmers. 

Hackers will do anything to get your information including using credit card skimmers which are designed to steal your information.  Spotting a credit card skimmer is as easy as turning on your Bluetooth on your smartphone. If you see a weird device trying to connect to your Bluetooth, it could be a skimmer.  Android smart-devices users can download Skimmer Scanner from the Google Play Store  to detect certain skimmers that use Bluetooth.

Check your financial statements and credit reports on a regular basis. 

Under federal law, you’re entitled to a free credit report every 12 months from each of the three major credit reporting companies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Space out your requests so you get a credit report every four months. Want a handy app to keep track of your credit report, consider using Credit Karma.

Don’t forget to protect your computers and smart devices with anti-virus software and automatic backup.

Anti-virus software like ESET’s NOD32  will help prevent cyber attacks on your computer. In the event that your computer files get ruined in a cyber attack, a good cloud based backup like Carbonite  will keep your information safe.

What things do you do to keep you and your family safe from cyber crime? Leave your comments below.  Let’s get the discussion started so we can help keep each other safe.

From iFamily to Yours,

Burton

Burton Kelso is the Chief Tech Expert at Integral. They offer tech support to homes and businesses all over the Kansas City Metro. He regularly appears as a guest tech correspondent on ABC, NBC, FOX, and CBS on shows such as Kansas City Live, Better Kansas City, FOX 4 Morning Show, offering viewers easy tips on technology, Internet lifestyle, Internet security and gadgets. You can find Burton on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter and watch great tech tip videos on his YouTube channel. He can be reached at 888-256-0829 or email at burton@integralcomputerconsultants.com

 


3 Apps That Will Help You Explore the Outdoors

Take your next outdoor adventure to the next level with these 3 apps that will help you explore the outdoors!

3 Apps That Will Help You Explore the Outdoors

Looking for a great way to get you and family outside to explore your community and to make some new adventures? Download an app! My boys love their devices.  Finding new ways to allow them to enjoy technology and get them in out of the house is a challenge. Enrolling them in sports is great, but it fun to have experiences the entire family can enjoy. Here are my three favorite apps that will help you and your family get you out and about:

SkyView

This has my go to app for years when helping my boys see the constellations in the night sky. Skyview turns your device into a a virtual telescope allowing you to identify planets, nebula, moon phases and more.

Geocaching

This app allows you to Join the world’s largest treasure hunt which started in 2000. With the app you can Search for hidden containers within your community or hide your own message or trinket for others to find.

PokemonGo

The hype about This app has died down, but you can deny the fact that this a great game in the fact you have to leave your home to play it. When you explore the world around you, you can discover new Pokemon, search for helpful items and take on gym leaders.

Before you download any app, be sure you are downloading it from a safe, trusted source, and that it is the correct version. Sometimes, if a game is popular, fake versions are released to the public that designed to steal your data. Always use the official app store. Apple devices use the Apple App Store, Android devices use Google Play Store. Check the app rating and reviews. Reading the reviews will let you know if an app is legitimate or not.

From iFamily to Yours,

Burton

 

Burton Kelso is the Chief Tech Expert at Integral. They offer tech support to homes and businesses all over the Kansas City Metro. He regularly appears as a guest tech correspondent on ABC, NBC, FOX, and CBS on shows such as Kansas City Live, Better Kansas City, FOX 4 Morning Show, offering viewers easy tips on technology, Internet lifestyle, Internet security and gadgets. You can find Burton on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter and watch great tech tip videos on his YouTube channel. He can be reached at 888-256-0829 or email at burton@integralcomputerconsultants.com


4 Technology Myths You Really Shouldn’t Believe

Howdy, Kansas City! Technology myths abound, and we’re back with Tech Thursday’s to help figure out what’s true and false. Our tech expert, Burton Kelso, gives us 4 myths to take a look at. Check it out!

4 Technology Myths You Really Shouldn't Believe

 

4 Technology Myths You Shouldn’t Believe

 

Technology moves so quickly which means consumers have to constantly learn something new about each gadget that hits the market. Unfortunately it’s too much information and most of you become overwhelmed with misinformation I’m here to set the record straight about a lot of the things you probably thought were true about technology. Here are a list of the things you need to stop believing about technology … oh and please share this with your friends and family.

 

#1 Macs won’t catch viruses.

Way back in 2012 Apple told folks a Mac isn’t able to get infected by the many viruses that infect Windows computers. In reality, Macs are absolutely vulnerable to virses, just not the ones Windows users catch. Apple had to stop making this claim after a Trojan virus infected about 550,000 of its computers. Keep in mind, Mac computers can also catch the Ransomware virus, which locks up certain files on a victim’s computer and forces them to send the hackers money to release them. So stop thinking your Mac won’t get infected … it will.

 

#2 Leaving your device plugged in will damage the battery.

This was a problem with older batteries, but most devices now contain “smart” lithium ion batteries, that know when they are full and will stop charging at that point. So you don’t have to worry about unplugging your computer or smartphone at night. If you have heard me tell you not to leave your device plugged in, it was because you had an older device. If you have a tablet, smartphone or computer 2014 and newer, you don’t have to worry about ‘overcharging’ your battery.

#3 Smartphones are dangerous to use at gas stations.

You have noticed the signs posted on gas pumps warning you not to use your smartphone. These warnings suggest that texting or calling will cause an gasoline explosion of a 40 megaton bomb. Not so fast. The FCC says while it’s theoretically possible for a smartphone battery to ignite gas, the chances are slim to none.

#4 Deleting a file means it’s deleted.

Putting that Word document containing your old password list in the Trash or Recycle Bin on your computer, and then emptying the contents, will delete it forever, right? Nope. This is what happens. You’re actually deleting is the index information that points to the location of the file on your computer’s hard drive. You can still recover the file, unless you overwrite it on the hard drive. The computer will automatically do this over time, but there’s not telling when this will happen, so it’s best to remember that once you save it to your computer, it’s there to stay.

 

 

Burton Kelso is the Owner and Chief Technology Expert at Integral, an on-site and remote technology repair company for consumers and businesses. He regularly appears as a guest tech correspondent on ABC, NBC, FOX, and CBS on shows such as Better Kansas City, Kansas City Live, and the FOX 4 morning show, offering viewers easy tips on technology, Internet lifestyle, and gadgets. He can be reached at 888-256-0829 or email at burton@integralcomputerconsultants.com


4 Apps to Help You Unplug on National Day of Unplugging

Howdy, Kansas City! Our guest technology writer, Burton Kelso, is back at it again with another great article. This Friday is National Day of Unplugging, which is a movement that is trying to inspire people to “unplug” themselves from their devices/technology for 24 hours. Mr. Kelso has 4 great apps that will help you unplug for the day and connect in other ways. Take a look…

4 Apps to Help You Unplug on National Day of Unplugging

4 Apps To Help You Unplug for National Day of Unplugging

You see it everywhere you go. Families are paying more attention to their technology to each other. Kids have more screen time than outdoor time. Technology is great, but at some point you have to take a break. Are you and your family looking for a fun way to disconnect from the technology you use in your daily lives? You’re in luck! National Day of Unplugging is Friday, March 3 and lasts 24 hours. Created by the non profit group Reboot, every year they ask individuals, families and communities to reconnect by eliminating or reducing technology use for a 24 period to remind people to take a break from all things digital. If you visit the web site at www.nationaldayofunplugging.com, you can sign up and take the pledge to unplug from or reduce your technology use. You can even sign up for a free ‘sleeping bag’ for your smartphone.

Today’s technology has a positive impact on our lives, but it’s ultimately created to suck you in. Every action you take is designed to keep you connected and using more. Like all things in life, technology needs to be used in moderation. Nothing can replace the importance of real-life social interaction, and putting our technology away can help encourage that.

There have been many studies that show that too much technology can cause problems. Consider these facts:

  • Young people who are heavy technology users have a higher risk of sleep disturbances and mental health issues.
  • The presence of a smartphone or tablet is distracting enough to disrupt your performance on mental tasks.
  • Browsing with devices like smartphones, tablets and e-readers at bedtime disrupts sleep.
  • If you’re looking to cut down on your technology, here are some apps you can use to disconnect:

#1  Offtime

Offtime tells you exactly how much time you have been spending on every app. It also lets you put your phone in a do not disturb mode and allows you to customize the settings. If you need to make exceptions for certain contacts such as work or for family members, they can still get in contact with you.
2. ClearLock. This app allows you to temporarily block distracting apps for the duration of time you choose. Once checked, you cannot change the settings until the time elapses. This app really makes you focus on things in the real world as opposed to the digital world.

 

#2 QualityTime

This app is perfect for those who might be addicted to their smartphones or have a hard time with self control with checking their phones. You can set limits for how much time you want to spend on an app on a daily basis. Once you hit the limit, the app will prompt you a message about it. You can also create custom do-not-disturb profiles for work, home and leisure.

 

#3 Freedom

The Freedom app works for computers, smartphone and tablets and is designed to limiting access to digital distractions. It’s calendar format allows you to input the days and times that you want to take a break from all things digital. It allows you to block websites, apps and the Internet.

 

#4 Bonus: PhoneStack App

Not really an app, but a game you play when you want to keep everyone off their devices when you have real world meetings. It consists of stacking all phones on the table. It is forbidden to touch the devices during the meeting. If someone does, no matter the reason, they will have to face consequences such as paying for dinner for everyone at the table, or doing a set of chores if you’re at home.

 

As I stated before technology is great, but all things should be done in moderation. If you and your family aren’t going to participate in National Day of Unplugging, consider taking gradual steps to cut down on your technology use. For my family, Sunday is the day we chose to disconnect from technology. Whatever you do, make it a family effort and stick to the plan.

 

Burton Kelso is the Owner and Chief Technology Expert at Integral, an on-site and remote technology repair company for consumers and businesses. He regularly appears as a guest tech correspondent on ABC, NBC, FOX, and CBS on shows such as Better Kansas City, Kansas City Live, and the FOX 4 morning show, offering viewers easy tips on technology, Internet lifestyle, and gadgets. He can be reached at 888-256-0829 or email at burton@integralcomputerconsultants.com. You can also follow Integral on Facebook.