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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


4 Free Apps to Keep Your Kids Safe While Trick or Treating This Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner.  Many of you can remember going out on your own as a child to collect candy from people in the neighborhood. Trick or Treating is a fun experience, but unfortunately there are some scary things that can happen out there … and I’m not just talking about kids in scary costumes.  Our Tech expert, Burton, shares some great free apps that can help you keep your kids safe while they’re out trick or treating.  Take a look…

free apps

4 Free Apps to Keep Your Kids Safe

While Trick or Treating This Halloween

Many parents are reluctant letting their kids trick or treat alone because of what could happen and even if you’re going trick-or-treating with them, what happens if you get separated? Does your child want to go on their own this year to venture out to get candy but you don’t know how to protect them?  Want to be able to locate your child if you get separated from them? Fear not. Like everything else out there, you can find an app for that.  Here are four of my favorite apps that you can use to keep track of your kids while they are out and about  conjuring up some scares and collecting treats.

Life360.

This app has been around for a while and has many useful features that can help parents keep track of their kids. It’s best feature is the crime alerts feature which allows you to keep your kids safe by knowing about areas high in crime hotspots on the map. You can view details of theft, burglary, vandalism, and registered sex offenders in your neighborhood and the neighborhood your kids are trick or treating in.

Glympse.

This app allow you to know your kids location in real time.  You can request the location of your child while they are out, or they have the option to freely send their location to you.  These updates can come in the form of a text message, email or on Facebook or Twitter.  You can also modify the app to send you constant updates while they are out so you will always know where they are.

FamilyTracker. 

This is another location sharing app that allows you to keep track of your kids.  It’s best feature is “bread crumb” feature that allow you to see every step they take as the are trick or treating.

FBI Child ID. 

This is is a must have app. In the unfortunate event that your child goes missing halloween night, you can use it as a tool to help authorities find your child.  Download this app and keep it updated with pictures and vital information of all of your children just in case one of your children wanders off.  Having this information handy saves vital time if you do need to report your child missing. It also contains important information on how to proceed if your child goes missing.

Halloween can be a fun time for your family,  but remember to take extra safety precautions. Its a good idea to label family contacts as ICE (In Case of Emergency) and sending a flashlight with your child.  Also encourage them to travel in groups as there is safety in numbers. Happy Halloween!

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

 


5 Things You Need To Do Right Now To Protect Yourself Against The Equifax Hack

Last week, almost half of the United States population was affected by the Equifax data breach.   Information such as names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and drivers license numbers being accessed by cybercriminals.  You may be wondering what you can do to protect yourself.  Here is Burton with 5 things you can do right now to protect yourself!

5 Things You Need To Do Right Now To Protect Yourself Against The Equifax Hack

Because of severity of the Equifax data breach, I recommend that, anyone with a credit history should assume they were affected by this data breach.

So what steps do you need to take?

Check your credit

Federal law allows you to request a free copy of your credit report once a year from each of the three credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Go to www.annualcreditreport.com to get your credit report now.

Enroll in a credit monitoring service

Services like LifeLock, Identity Guard, IdentityForce. While I’ve never been a big fan of credit monitoring services, now is the time to invest in one. They can’t decrease your chances of becoming a victim, they’ll alert you when something goes wrong and help you clean up the mess if someone tries to steal your identity.

Watch out come tax season

It’s important for you to know that identity thieves can use your stolen social security number and other information obtained in the breach to file fraudulent tax returns and get refunds. You probably should file your taxes early next year.

Watch Out for Scams

With your personal information in the hands of cybercriminals, you need to be extra cautious as scammers have more information they can use against you to con you. After this breach you may start to receive suspicious or unrecognised phone calls, text messages, or email from anyone saying you must pay taxes or a debt immediately.

Review you statements

If you don’t already, make a point to regularly check and monitor your bank and credit card accounts no less than once a week to ensure the listed transactions are legitimate.If you’re like me, you still probably aren’t feeling 100% secure, even after completing the above steps. It’s hard to know how many of us have been affected so I recommend being vigilant in reviewing your financial information for any strange activity.

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


8 Tech Maintenance Tasks Everyone Forgets About, but Really Shouldn’t

Hello, Kansas City! We’re here with another Tech Thursday. Today, Burton Kelso gives some easy maintenance tasks (that are often overlooked) that we should all take a look at and follow up on. Take a look!

8 Tech Maintenance Tasks Everyone Forgets About,  But Really Shouldn't

 

8 Tech Maintenance Tasks Everyone Forgets About,
But Really Shouldn’t

 

Hey Everyone!

 

With so many tech devices in our lives these days, it’s important to stay on top of maintenance that needs to be done periodically on your computer, smarthphone and tablets to keep things running smoothly. Here’s a look at some tasks that are often put on the back burner, but should really be carried out regularly.

1. Update your Wi-Fi router.

If you’re experiencing slow Wi-Fi speeds, spotty connections, updating your router can help. Routers usually have a life of 5 years, so if your router is over 5 years old, it’s time to replace it. For best performance, use the router provided by your Internet provider.

2.Keep Your operating system and other software updated

Most computer and smart devices will automatically download updates, but it’s always a good idea to make sure you’re running the latest and greatest for security and functionality. If you’re not sure, you can give us a call and we can tell you what version of software your device should be running.

3. Clean up storage space.

Got old programs or files you no longer use? Uninstall them and delete those old files. Computers and laptops have unlimited storage, so it’s not as important to clean out old files on those as opposed to your tablet or smartphone which has limited storage. When you device fills up, it can slow down the performance.

4. Backup data regularly.

Backing up your data regularly is one of the most important tasks you need to do. All devices are vulnerable to failure, so it’s always a good idea to back up your stuff. I recommend taking a three step approach to backing things up; by having a local backup of your important files on an external drive; a backup of your most important files to a cloud service like OneDrive or Dropbox; and a full system off-site backup using a service like Carbonite.

5. Clean up your equipment.

If you have a desktop computer or a laptop, it ends up collecting a lot of dust internally, so it’s a good idea to blow it out with canned or compressed air. This will keep your computer from overheating.

6. Restart your computer:

Letting your computer hibernate or sleep is great, but once in a while you need to restart you computer. Shutting down or restarting your computer every once in a while will free up resources and keep your computer running smoothly.

 

7. Reset your modem

Every few months it’s a good idea to reset your Internet modem. To reset your modem, simply unplug the power cord for a few seconds and plug it back in. That will trigger any updates your cable provider has sent to your modem and you can enjoy the faster speeds.

 

8. Check for updates on game consoles

Usually game console will either update in the background or let you know that an update is available. But you might want to manually check for updates on occasion so you know you’re getting the best performance from your entertainment device(s).

 

Following these simple tips can help ensure your devices are running at optimal performance with fairly minimal effort. Keep in mind that you’ll need to carry out most of the tips listed above on a regular basis so it’s good to get into the habit of performing them.

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 Easy Tips to Using Public Computers Safely

Happy Thursday, Kansas City! We are back with another great Tech Thursday post with Burton Kelso. This week he’s giving us a few tips to keep us safe when we’re navigating a public computer. It’s so important to be mindful of how you handle yourself on computers – especially when others will be using the same one. Take a look at what to keep an eye out for.

4 Easy Tips to Using Public Computers Safely

 

4 Easy Tips to Using Public Computers Safely

 

We’ve all run into a situation when we have to use a public computer at an internet café, library, or school to check out Facebook, check banking information or to send an email. User beware! First, you have no guarantee that the computer is protected; it might be riddled with viruses, and, second, unless you’re careful the next user might learn a lot more than you’d like about your online session. Here are some steps I recommend taking before you use that public computer.

 

1. Don’t let the web browser store all of your secrets.

 

Every web browser on a computer keeps a history of sites you’ve visited and downloads the files and information from that web site for faster loading of sites you visited before. That’s fine at home, but when you’re using a public computer, you don’t want the browser storing your history. Fortunately, modern browsers can protect your privacy. You can right-click on the Firefox icon and choose “Enter private browsing.” For Firefox, pressing Ctrl+Shift+P during a normal browsing session switches to private browsing. In Chrome, the private browsing mode is called “Incognito mode.” Be sure to shut down the browser when you’re done. Private browsing doesn’t disable the Back button so you don’t want the next user backing into your Facebook session or email account.

 

2. Don’t forget to use private browsing.

 

There’s always the possibility that you forgot to go private and you’ve already checked your email or bank account. Erasing your activity is simple. In Chrome or Firefox, you simply press Ctrl+Shift+Del to call up the dialog for deleting your history. The details vary, but you’ll want to make sure you’ve selected all of the options for deletion. Chrome and Firefox lets you specify how far back to delete, so just clear out all the history just to be on the safe side.

 

3. Only Visit Financial Sites On Your Own Computer.

 

It’s possible that the computer you’re using might be seriously compromised security-wise. For example, a stealth keylogger application could capture all passwords typed on the system. A hardware keylogger could do the same, with no possibility of detection by security software.
Your best bet is to simply refrain from sensitive transactions on a public computer. If you absolutely must log in to an important secure site on a suspect computer, here’s one way to make password theft difficult: bring up a page with lots of text in the browser and copy/paste characters from that page into the password dialog. This “ransom note” style is decidedly tedious, but even a spy program that captures periodic screenshots can’t snap all parts of your password.

4. Keep Your Web Site Visits to a Minimum.

 

As you can see, there’s a whole range of precautions you can take to keep any public computer session from turning into an identity theft nightmare. If you’re forced to use public computers for sensitive communication, consider using ransom-note passwords and possibly a VPN. Don’t engage in any sensitive communication that you could just as well do from your home or office. But even if you’re doing nothing more than checking Facebook and e-mailing your dear auntie, do take the minimal precautions. Invoke the browser’s privacy mode, or clear browsing data if you forgot. Doing so just takes a second and can save hours of aggravation.

 

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

 


5 Reasons NOT to use Your Work Email as Your Personal Email

5 Reasons NOT to use Your Work Email as Your Personal Email

 

5 Reasons Not to Use Your Work E-mail as
Your Personal E-Mail

 

Most jobs come with an email address, but just because it has your name on it, that doesn’t mean it’s yours. It’s tempting to use your work email everywhere, but it’s not a good idea. Here are some reasons not to use your work email as a personal mail account:

 

#1 Your email address is the gateway into your personal life

You use your email address to sign into social media accounts, financial accounts and a host of other accounts that contain your personal information. Why would you sign up for online services for an account you don’t own? If your work email is tied to your social accounts and financial accounts and someone gains access to your company mail account, they could use that access to gain control of your personal accounts.

 

#2 Your boss can see your company emails

If your company has a reason to look through your company email, they probably can. You’d never even know. You don’t want your boss knowing where you shop or what you do on your free time.

#3 If you leave your job, it can be difficult to recover an account

You may eventually decide to leave your current job. When that happens, you will lose access to your work email account. If you’ve used it to sign up for a site like Amazon, you may find that if you forget your password, you might have a difficult time recovering. Many password reset requests go to your registered email account.

 

#4 Your emails may be subject to Freedom of Information Act Requests

Private individuals could have their email become part of a corporate lawsuit. If you work for the government, your emails are potentially public record. If a citizen files a FOIA request, they would possibly be able to see your private correspondence as well as what accounts you have set up online. The same goes for a private individual with a corporate email address. If the company gets sued, your email could become part of the discovery process in the lawsuit. That means that your private emails could be turned over to attorneys and become part of a public record. That could be pretty embarrassing.

 

#5 Corporate email accounts are easy targets for spam and viruses

Corporate email addresses are easy to find. They are usually listed right on the company website. Scammers and hackers gather these email addresses and try to exploit them. They try to hack your password or send phishing attempts that will expose your email account to the hacker. From there, they have access to your personal data.

Keeping a private, anonymous email address through Microsoft’s Outlook.com or Google’s Gmail is the best way to keep your work life and your personal life separate. Your boss can’t see your private emails, hackers are less likely to come across your address randomly, and you’ll keep ownership of the account.

 

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


3 Mistakes Parents Make with Technology

Happy Friday (and St. Patrick’s Day) Kansas City! Our Tech expert, Burton Kelso is back with another tech savvy post, helping parents to fix some mistakes we tend to make with our kiddos and technology. So, if you feel overwhelmed by technology and kids, take some advice from Mr. Kelso to get the family back on track. Take a look…

3 Mistakes Parents Make with Technology

3 Mistakes Parents Make with Technology

 

Everywhere you look, kids are spending more time with their technology devices. While technology has allowed us to access vast amounts of information and has become a great source of entertainment, it has become the number one source of conflict between parents and their children at home. The problem with technology is it doesn’t turn itself off. Also, many parents are guilty of using technology as a babysitter. I get it. It’s easier to give your kid some form of electronic simulation. It keeps them distracted and allows you to ‘adult’. You get stuff done if they are engaged in tech and it helps them become more tech saavy … right? Wrong! Setting limits on bad behaviors is a very important part of being a good parent. Technology is good, but it will never replace that parent to kid time they need. Setting limits on technology will make you the bad parent, but it is key to preventing problems with technology use in your home. So what mistakes are you making? Here is a list of the most common mistakes parents make and how to fix them.

 

#1 Failure to Set Limits on Technology Usage.

How much time you allow them to spend with their tech is up to you, but for the love of God don’t allow them to use it all day everyday. Two hours a day everyday is the suggested amount, but you don’t have to stick with that.  Just set limits on how much screen time they have daily. Screen time includes TV, video games, iPods.  If your kids spend too much time in front of a screen, it can lead to obesity, sleep problems, and behavior problems.  Be sure to give your kids the freedom to decide how they will spend their time away from the screen. I suggest giving them some leeway for times like rainy days, cold weather, and long car rides, rather than having rigid, all-or-nothing schedule, but always remember, having no rules will lead to big problems down the road.

#2 Not Having Enough Family Activities without Technology.

Families are spending more time in front of their screens. Immediately posting photos to social media, logging on to your favorite streaming service to watch movies, the list goes on. Be sure to create activities that don’t involve a screen. So what do you do?  Give them ideas for what to do instead. Also, it would be a good idea for your family to plan a day of unplugging from technology or having a No Tech zone in certain areas of your home such as the dining room. Plan a game night for your family. Show your kids how they should experience the world by planning non tech family activities.

 

#3 Parents are also Tech Addicts  

Parents, you have to set the example with your technology use. Kids will mimic your actions. If they see you using technology on a consistent basis, they will think it’s ok for them to do it too. When you stop and realize that most adults spend more than seven hours a day interacting with some form of technology, it’s not hard to imagine why your kids are doing it too. Just like you set limits with your kids, you need to learn to set limits with yourself. You can wait to send that work e-mail. With most shows on being accessible from a streaming service, you don’t have worry about missing your favorite show. Your kids need you to pay attention to them, not to the device in your hand.

 

The bottom line is you must control technology or technology will control your kids. Too much technology not healthy for any young person. Find the right balance for technology in your home and eliminate tech addiction in your kid’s future.

 

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.

 


Weekly Tech Talk: Yes! It’s Okay to Snoop on Your Kids

Howdy, Kansas City! It’s time for our weekly tech talk with Burton Kelso of Integral Computer Consultants. This week, he’s giving all of us parents permission to snoop. More importantly, however, he’s giving us all ways to keep our kids safe when they’re surfing the web. Check it out!

Weekly Tech Talk: Yes! It's Okay to Snoop on Your Kids

 

Weekly Tech Talk: Yes! It’s Okay to Snoop on Your Kids

 

Parents, let’s face it. It’s your job to make sure your kids are safe from harm offline and online. Many of you struggle with how your kids will react when they find you are snooping on their digital habits and worry how that will affect their relationships with their children. How do I know this? We get calls every week from parents wanting to know what’s going on in their kids digital lives, but they don’t want the child to find out that they are keeping tabs on them. Well, I’m not that parent. When it comes to my kids, I’m like the Gestapo. In today’s digital world, there are too many dangers on the World Wide Web to let your kids use the Internet without some type of supervision. Consider theses facts:

1. 42% of kids admit they have seen online porn. One in 16 have been exposed to hardcore pornography.
2. One in 12 have exchanged messages with sexual content to other people, while one in 25 have sent graphic photos of themselves.
3. 25% of children get away with pretending to be older to get an account online.
4. One in 20 children admitted arranging a secret meeting with someone they met online.
5. Almost three in 10 parents let their kids use the Internet without any restrictions or supervision.

As you can see, there are many reasons why you need to keep up with your kids’ digital lives. So what can you do? There are several things you can do to snoop on your kids.

 

#1 Check Your Child’s Surfing Habits.

If your family still uses a desktop or laptop computer, or if your child has a Smartphone or tablet, the best way to see what your child has been up to is to check the browser history. All web browsers save a record of the sites that have been visited. However, a child could easily delete items from the history, so consider other ways of monitoring your child’s Internet usage.

#2 Put Your Hands On Their Devices on a Regular Basis.

It’s important to keep your hands on your child’s device so you area aware of their digital lifestyle. Keep the family computer in a common area. Take away computers, tablets and Smartphone at night and keep them in your room. Don’t allow your kids to put passwords on any of their devices. You should be able to see what’s going on at any time.

#3 Use Your Router to Snoop.

Depending on your model of router, you can setup it up to monitor your kids Internet habits. You can track what websites they visit, you can block web sites you don’t want them to visit and you shut down Internet access for them completely.

 

#4 Using Software to Monitor Your Child’s Internet Usage

There are several programs you can use to monitor your child digital lifestyle. Here are some of the best tools available to help you monitor and protect your child online.

YouKnowKids

This service provides comprehensive support for Apple and Android Devices. It tracks Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, as well as tracking calls and texts. It can also track your child’s location with GPS location services.

NetNanny

NetNanny offers the best content manager out there. It supports Windows, Mac, Android and iOS. It gives you email notifications so you can keep up with what your child is doing.

 

TeenSafe

This app and website also provides you comprehensive coverage of all your kids devices. Like YouKnowKids, it will track social media and calls and texts from smart devices and offers GPS location services.

 

Always remember to teach your kids (and yourself) that privacy is privilege, not a right. It’s important that you kids understand that trust isn’t something that can be taken lightly. In the end, it’s not snooping when you take extra steps to keep your kids safe from the dangers that lurk online, it’s you doing your job as a parent.

 

Burton Kelso is the Owner and Chief Technology Expert at Integral, an on-site 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