Online Safety Blog

ScreenRetriever's Online Safety Blog

ScreenRetriever’s Online Safety Blog

Twenty Percent of Kids Talk to Strangers On Social Media

Posted by on Sep 11, 2018 in Blog

Almost 20% of children talk to strangers every day on social media according to recent research.  This includes half of nine year olds, despite age restriction on most social media sites. Most nine years olds simply cannot understand the risks. Perhaps older children think that doing so is harmless, that strangers have no idea who they are in the real world and have no way to find out. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Almost anyone, child or not, who has an online presence can be identified by various means unless they go to considerable lengths to avoid it. Clues range from physical location...

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Are Your Kids Snapchat Mapping?

Posted by on Jul 14, 2017 in Blog

Are Your Kids Snapchat Mapping?   Snapchat Map knows your exact location and places your avatar on a map. Snapchat created this feature to help friends find each other easily.  The problem is that anyone, friend or foe can zoom in and locate exactly where you are, right down to the street address. Obviously this opens the door to predators finding naïve, vulnerable kids.  Many kids have followers that they don’t know personally. Location sharing on Snapchat is off by default for all users and is completely optional. Since this feature is “opt-in” make sure your teens don’t. To access the...

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Lethal texting

Posted by on Jun 21, 2017 in Blog

              Texting Suicide Case Now Front and Center   Conrad Roy III, an eighteen year old teen who appears to be depressed and vulnerable is in a relationship with girlfriend, Michelle Carter.  At the time of the suicide she was also eighteen years old.  Conrad allegedly tells her he wants to kill himself.  Carter encourages this behavior via texting. She is not physically with him. Conrad is in the car with the car running with the desire to kill himself by carbon monoxide poisoning.  Conrad gets out of car, possibly having second thoughts. Michelle texts him to...

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CyberSafety-Anonymous, Dating and Chatroom Apps Should Raise a Red Flag

Posted by on Feb 16, 2017 in Blog

CyberSafety – Anonymous, Dating and Chatroom Apps Should Raise a Red Flag   When kids go online they often engage with other people.  That’s after all the point of social networking, isn’t it? Unfortunately, kids often go outside of their “known in the flesh” social circle and engage with strangers online.  This can put them in potentially dangerous situations that sometimes they find out about the hard way. Four men in Bloomington Indiana were arrested with having sex with a 13 year old teen. She met these men on Whisper, an anonymous social networking app.   There are many other...

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Don’t Fall for Phishing Scams or get Hacked

Posted by on Jan 4, 2017 in Blog

Don’t Fall for Phishing Scams or Get Hacked: Hacking and phishing scams are in the news daily.  One way to prevent email hacking is to use 2-step verification.  Here is how to set up 2-step verification for 3 of the most popular email systems: Google, Microsoft and Apple. Scroll down to learn more about strong  passwords too. Google 2-Step Verification Support Page: Go to the 2-Step Verification page. You might have to sign in to your Google Account. Select Get started. Follow the step-by-step setup process. Once you’re finished, you’ll be taken to the 2-Step Verification settings page....

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Could your tween or teen be the victim of an online scam?

Posted by on Dec 7, 2016 in Blog

Could your tween or teen be the victim of an online scam?   Could your tween or teen be the victim of an online scam?  More and more criminals are targeting kids.  They prey on kids using really sad stories, offering free stuff, that proverbial  pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.  Many kids especially girls love the latest trendy fashion and may be fooled into purchasing knockoff goods like a Gucci or Chanel bag online but are actually being scammed.  Or maybe they’re thinking about a scholarship for college. Unfortunately, there are fake scholarship websites targeting kids to scam them. Free...

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Cyber-Reputation: What Does it Mean For Your Child?

Posted by on Nov 12, 2016 in Blog

Cyber-Reputation: What Does it Mean For Your Child?   It’s really important to talk to your child, tween or teen so they fully understand what their cyber-reputation is and what they can do to keep it positive so that it doesn’t come back to haunt them later.  And because it’s simply the right way to behave online and offline.   The Cyberworld is Not Private  Explain to your child how easy and quickly things can spread and go viral online, from person to person and beyond.  Even if a message or image  sent confidentially can be shared or a screen shot can easily be taken of it....

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I wish I had more friends … online

Posted by on Oct 27, 2016 in Blog

I wish I had more friends … online   Does your child, tween or teen say this? “I wish I had more friends?” Self esteem and self worth for kids today living the social media life take this question very seriously. There is so much focus on their social media lives via Facebook, Instagram and many more social networking sites that focus on selfies, the thrill of getting likes, the disappointment when they don’t get them can lead  to a downward spiral to anxiety and perhaps depression. They may feel, “OMG, I’ve lost it! Or over analyze and notice that one friend said that “I look...

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Teen Suicide and Cyber-World Risks

Posted by on Aug 11, 2016 in Blog

Did you know that suicide is the second leading cause of death among adolescents according to the American Academy of Pediatrics?             Bullying, Cyberbullying: There are many risk factors for adolescents committing suicide and one of them is bullying.  A review of 31 studies found “a clear relationship between both bullying victimization and perpetration and suicidal ideation and behavior in children and adolescents. Females were at risk regardless of frequency.” Is your tween or teen being cyberbullied...

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Sextortion, an Online Crime Harming Today’s Children, Tweens and Teens

Posted by on Jun 24, 2016 in Blog

Sextortion, a growing online crime     Sextortion victims can be left with permanent scars.  It’s important for parents to know what sextortion is in today’s digital world because of the impact it can have on children, tweens and teens.   What is sextortion?  According to the FBI, sextortion is a serious crime that is a growing concern.  It’s “a crime exclusive to the digital age. Predators pretend to be teens on social media and gaming sites. They befriend young people, gain their trust and entice them to send lewd photos of themselves. Then they use the photos to extort more...

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