Category Archives: Videos

WebSafety Keeps Kids Safe on the Internet

By: Enokson
By: Enokson

WebSafety is a new cell phone app that allows parents to keep their children safe on the internet. It gives parents real-time information about the who, what and where of what their kids are doing online. The app helps parents monitor their children’s behavior and their whereabouts through real-time alerts.

web safety app

In an Interview between Michele Borba product developer of WebSafety, she mentions that WebSafety is very important for parents because it keeps them alerted to when their children are posting personal information and inappropriate things on the internet. She says that one of the most common things that kids do to make themselves vulnerable in the cyber world is the posting of private information.

The WebSafety app empowers parents to keep track of their childrens’ smartphone and tablet usage. It can trigger alerts for vulgar language, flag websites and monitor apps that kids and teens download onto their phones and tablets. WebSafety also offers geo-tracking. Parents can make sure kids are where they say they are going to be. It also allows parents to create a 25 mile geofence to alert them when the child has left the area.

WebSafety is running a limited time promotion of 50% off to the first 25,000 new subscribers to 6-month and 12-month subscriptions. It is available on most Android Smartphones and Tablets. iOS Support Coming Soon!

Pricing Packages start at $3.99 

  • Protects one child device.
  • Includes parent Dashboard.
  • Access to the WebSafety forum.
  • Customer support.
  • Additional devices cost $3.99/month.
  • Purchase a year’s subscription for $39.99, and two months free.

$11.99 / month

  • Protects four children’s devices.
  • Includes parent Dashboard.
  • Access to the WebSafety forum.
  • Customer support.
  • Additional devices cost $2.99/month.

$14.99 / month

  • Protects six children’s devices.
  • Includes parent Dashboard.
  • Access to the WebSafety forum.
  • Customer support.
  • Additional devices cost $2.49/month.
  • Purchase a year’s subscription for $149.99 and save over 16%.

Borba believes that the first step in protecting children on the internet is for parents to have the ability to be informed. She says that parents need to keep an open line of communication with their children and she recommends that kids be told when they are being monitored. Kids who know they are being watched will think more about what put out in the cyber world and more about who they are engaging with online.

The Fifth Estate Reveals Quest to Expose Deceptions and Corruptions of Power

the fifth estateBeing a watchdog and exposing the privileged and powerful was the idea behind WikiLeaks. The website which allowed whistle blowers to anonymously leak covert data shined a light on government secrets and corporate crimes. DreamWorks Pictures’ The Fifth Estate is a dramatic thriller based upon WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange and his colleague Daniel Domscheit-Berg’s quest to become underground watchdogs of the privileged and powerful.

The Fifth Estate highlights one of the most fiercely debated organizations –WikiLeaks– and focuses on the story of Assange and Berg gaining access to the biggest trove of confidential intelligence documents in U.S. history. The Fifth Estate asks “what are the costs of keeping secrets in a free society –and what are the costs of exposing them?”

The WikiLeaks platform rocked the media and journalism community. It began reporting and breaking more hard news than the world’s most legendary media organizations combined. The website exposed over 76,000 documents about the war in Afghanistan, a set of almost 400,000 documents called the “Iraq War Logs,” mapped over 109,000 deaths in significant attacks by insurgents in Iraq, and published files related to the prisoners detained at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. And that was just the start.

The film “The Fifth Estate” presented by DreamWorks Pictures and Reliance Entertainment is based on Continue reading The Fifth Estate Reveals Quest to Expose Deceptions and Corruptions of Power

Oklahoma Disaster Officials Are Now Fighting Off Fraud

It might seem hard to believe, but even areas that are suffering are not immune to fraudsters and scam artists. In fact, these areas seem to draw them in like crazy. In Oklahoma, where the tornadoes and disasters touched down with regularity over the past few months, the scam artists are already trying to take advantage of insurance and government programs. The tornado outbreak started around May 19 and the anti-fraud units in Oklahoma have been on high alert. In fact, officials from North Carolina have come in to aid in the fight as well.

The fraud is multifaceted and includes fraud of the victims, fraud of the system and insurance fraud to name a few.  Tornado victims are being counseled to teach them what to look out for, but it seems inevitable that there will be victims that were victims to start with. How someone can victimize people that have been through so much is hard to understand.

The other part of policing the situation includes Continue reading Oklahoma Disaster Officials Are Now Fighting Off Fraud

Hacker Myths and Realities in Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Have you seen the movie Girl With the Dragon Tattoo? The movie is based on the book of the same title by Swedish author Stieg Larsson. The main character is a girl who lives with asperger’s syndrome and has an amazing ability to hack information. She uses her skills to help a journalist solve a mystery. This representation of a computer hacker is realistic in some ways, but misses the mark in others.

Poster from the Girl With the Dragon TattooReality: The young hacker, Lisbeth Salander, goes by the alias “Wasp” when she’s involved in computer hacking. Some hackers, especially notorious ones that have been caught and publicized or those who use their skills to point out flaws in security systems (known as “white hat” hackers), are known by their legal names. However, many hackers have an internet “handle” or code name that they’re known by.

Reality+Myth: Lisbeth has a “lone wolf” sort of hacking persona but does communicate with other hackers in what seems to be a vey loosely organized context. They know each other by their handles and communicate mostly via the internet, sharing tips and helping one another occasionally. According to “The social organization of a criminal hacker network: a case study” by Yong Lu, this sort of hacker community does exist in some cases. However, there are also networks that are far more akin to a professional crime ring, where a hierarchy exists and and the work load is very specifically shared among members.

Lu characterizes this sort of network as being a fairly recent phenomena. While hackers of old tended to use their skills for Continue reading Hacker Myths and Realities in Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Hollywood identifies an ‘Identity Thief’ starring Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy

While there isn’t much that is funny about identity theft, Universal Studios may have found a way to help us laugh at some of the most difficult situations we may find ourselves in, in there upcoming movie “Identity Thief.”   Here’s the official plot from Universal:

Unlimited funds have allowed Diana (McCarthy) to live it up on the outskirts of Miami, where the queen of retail buys whatever strikes her fancy. There’s only one glitch: The ID she’s using to finance these sprees reads “Sandy Bigelow Patterson” … and it belongs to an accounts rep (Bateman) who lives halfway across the U.S.

With only one week to hunt down the con artist before his world implodes, the real Sandy Bigelow Patterson heads south to confront the woman with an all-access pass to his life. And as he attempts to bribe, coax and wrangle her the 2,000 miles to Denver, one easy target will discover just how tough it is to get your name back.

 

Identity Thief is directed by Seth Gordin and starts Jason BatemanMelissa McCarthyAmanda PeetJon FavreauGenesis RodriguezJohn ChoClark DukeMorris Chestnut. Look for it in theaters February 8th, 2013.

This isn’t the first time Hollywood has identified someone good with the tools of identity theft.   In “Untraceable”  a cyber crimes FBI agent takes on a serial murder who is using technology to not only broadcast, but to block his information from investigators.  He also uses a “spoofcard”  to start making threats against the agent and her family.  SpoofCard allows a caller to disguise the telephone number they’re calling from, identifying information, and even their voice and gender. Callers may even record a message, to access at a later time, from any phone, to be connected to and played to the receiver.

Any awareness in the mainstream of identity theft is a good thing.  Hopefully with this movie, Hollywood will take some time to address the deep and profound impact identity theft has on victims, and maybe will even cause some would-be identity thieves to take up a more legitimate line of work.  Perhaps Hollywood won’t, and they’ll just sensationalize things, but one can always hope.

Sex Offenders on Facebook and other Social Media

Should sex offenders be allowed on Facebook? That question will probably prompt the obvious response, a loud “Hell, no!” but many organizations are arguing that banning sexual offenders from social media violates the offenders constitutional right to free speech.

Many state laws are in effect that successfully ban or limit sex offenders from using social media.  New York state law demands that registered sex offenders report all of their internet accounts (email, instant messaging, and social networking) and bans social networking for sex offenders convicted fo a crime against minor. NY state law also bans convicted sex offenders from social networking if they were convicted of a crime that involves the internet. Other states have similar laws regarding sexual predators and internet activities.

Facebook has guidelines in place stating: “Convicted sex offenders are prohibited from using Facebook. Once we are able to verify a user’s status as a sex offender, we immediately disable their account and remove their account and all information associated with it.”

John Walsh, spokesman for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, said of the internet, “we know that sex offenders target and lure children and how they look at the online community as their private, perverted hunting ground.”

We all want to protect our kids so the obvious answer is to ban sexual predators from accessing them. But by doing so we are also putting our kids at a disadvantage. If we can take away the rights of one individual, we can take away the rights of the many.  The argument that civil liberties advocates use is that social media is becoming an indispensable freedom of speech.

The appropriate question to ask next is “is social media a necessity in this day and age?” The answer can be quite complicated. Most people don’t leave home without their cell phones, iPads or other communication devices. Many of these devices allow access to the internet world. Many people would argue that participation in online discussion is a matter of free speech in its most basic form.

Carolyn Atwell-Davis, director of legislative affairs at the Virginia-based National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, said of the issue, “It’s going to be really, really hard, I think, to write something that will achieve the state’s purpose in protecting children online but not be restrictive enough to be unconstitutional.”

State legislation can help parents protect their children but only to a point.  State’s cannot trample on the freedoms given to citizens.  So in the end the protection of children is really left up to parents and the owners of each individual website. Parents need to be vigilant about the activity of their kids online and social media websites need to make rules regarding what actions they will take when sexual predators register with them. These two actions are the best way to keep children protected from those our society has deemed unfit.

 


This guest post is by Linda St.Cyr,  a freelance writer, blogger, and columnist. She covers a wide variety of topics from food to celebrity gossip. Read her work at Ecorazzi, Yahoo! Contributor Network, or The Hungry Kitchen.

uknowkids . . . and now you can help protect them from identity theft and cyber bullying

We’ve talked a lot here about teen troubles when it comes to identity theft, online security, sexting, and even cyber bullying is a real concern as our children start to use more and more technology for both “work” and play.   Having information is one good way to help protect them, and reading articles like:

Many parents are asking themselves and others what sort of steps that they can take to know what’s going on IRL (in real life) as well as online with their teens and tweens to keep them safe from identity theft and cyber bullying.   One system that not only helps you monitor what is going on in your child’s life, but that also provides you with the tools you need to talk to your children about online and cell phone safety is uknowkids.com.

uknowkids.com allows you to set up a system to monitor whatever you feel is important from texting, images and social networking to even tagging photos and sharing locations.  You control the system, instead of it controlling you or your children.  Many other systems set it up so that your child is “caught” doing something but it doesn’t tell you what that is.  It just keeps, say visiting the wrong website from happening.

With this system, you sync both cell phone and internet use, including cell phones and social networking.  You know when and where your child posts a picture and if it’s tagged with a location.  You can see, all in one place, who their online friends are.  And, but having these tools available to you, you can talk to your child about your concerns and help them achieve a level of responsibility, while you protect them from the dangers that are out there.

Now, here’s the really cool news I have to share with you.   uknowkids.com has offered to sponsor 50 of our readers so that they can use uknowkids.com and see for themselves how it works and if they like it or not.  Here is your special invitation code, A014591.  

Simply visit http://www.uknowkids.com and use your invitation code to take it for a test drive.   Let us know here what you like or didn’t like about uknowkids.com and if it is something that can help you as a parent or guardian keep your children safe from online dangers, from cyber bullying to predators to identity theft.

Social networking passwords requested by prospective employers

It’s a tough economy out there. There are plenty of people looking for jobs, and if job applications and competition among other applicant’s wasn’t tough enough now potential employers may be adding one more line to that form; one that says “What is your Facebook/Twitter/Other social networking site password?” Would you provide it?  Continue reading Social networking passwords requested by prospective employers

Tips for avoiding your own phone hacking scandal

The Internet has gone viral with reports of a phone hacking scandal in the United Kingdom. Allegedly some reporters affiliated with “News of the World” and “The Sun” were involved in  a phone hacking scandal and/or attempts to bribe public officials and police for insider information so that they could get the “news” out before anyone else. Murdoch executive Rebekah Brooks, has been among the many recent arrests on suspicion of hacking into the cell phones of celebrities, politicians and others in the news and bribing police for information to fuel “scoops” for tabloid magazines including “News of the World.”

Who has been a victim of phone hacking?
Milly Dowler, a missing teenager whose voice mail was allegedly hacked by News of The World before she was found murdered.
Hugh Grant
Heather Mills (former wife of Paul McCartney)
Former child singing star Charlotte Church
Conservative MP and former defence secretary, Liam Fox was informed that “His bank details and a number of financial transactions were found in the records they have been investigating as part of the Operating Weeting.” (Operation Weeting is the Scotland Yard name for the investigation into phone hacking.)
Comedian Steve Coogan

Just to name a few . . .

How much is your voicemail worth?
According to CNN, “The publisher of News of the World tabloid last week paid out hundreds of thousands of pounds to settle lawsuits over phone hacking.”

Charlotte Church has refused to settle, citing the damage that phone hacking did to her personal life.

Steve Coogan settled for $63,000 but says, “This has never been about money,” he said. “Like other people who have sued, I was determined to do my part to show the depths to which the press can sink in pursuit of private information.”

But phone hacking isn’t just something that journalist trying to get the inside “scoop” on, can do and you don’t have to be a celebrity or public official to be at risk. According to this report on CBS news AT&T and Sprint are among those cell phone customers who are at high risk of phone hacking, but just about any cell phone user can also run the risk of someone getting the inside “scoop” on their personal lives with a simple Internet website and 3 minutes of time.

How can your private voicemail stay private?
Protect your voice mail service bycreating a unique and private four digit password. Avoid birthdays, last four digits and other significant dates. Kristian Hammond, co-director of the Intelligent Information Laboratory at Northwestern University, advises “One of the main holes in peoples’ security is their password,” said Hammond. “People should be thinking about making sure their passwords are unique and not related to them.”

He warns, “What it really comes down to is your password. As with most password-protected devices, people do a mediocre job of making sure their passwords are un-guessable,” said Hammond. “A lot of people use things like the year they were born, the month or day they were born, their social security number—easy to remember but also easy for people to guess.”

Just as you frequently change the password on your online accounts like banking, Amazon or email, change your passwords on your cell phone voice mail on a regular basis. Check your voice mail frequently, getting and deleting your message as soon as possible to keep your private messages, private.

Debt collectors gone wild

No one likes the term debt collector, but most of us have encountered one or two along the way no matter how careful we are about paying our bills.  But then again some encounter them along the way because they don’t pay there bills, so they do have a place in this world.  But what they don’t have is the right to threaten, coerce, violate your privacy, or intimidate.  Don’t think it could happen?  Here is a prime example.

The Washington Post recently published “Debt collectors harassed consumers with violent threats, FTC says” and here are just a few of the things these debt collectors gone bad have allegedly done:

  • “one firm threatening to kill debtors’ pets or desecrate the bodies of their deceased children”
  • After being unable to pay the bill for her daughter’s funeral one woman was told that they would “dig up her daughter’s body and hang it from a tree.”
  • According to this report by the FTC one company being investigated  made  “bogus threats,” and  “portrayed themselves to the consumers – and even to the consumers’ employers and neighbors – as process servers trying to deliver legal papers. The company unjustly profited from the deception, making at least $9.4 million, the FTC said.”
  • One woman was called a “deadbeat” and “asked how she would feel if her son’s body was dug up and dropped outside her door.”
  • Yet another complaint is that the debt collection companies disclosed information to the debtors employers, employees, co-workers and neighbors.
Shocking?  Yes, absolutely, but anyone who has spent any time with more active debt collectors on the phone knows that there are quite a few threats and intimidation tactics used.  Are they allowed?
To find out your rights as a consumer:
Privacy Rights.org offers this Fact Sheet about When debt collection practices go too far. 
Has a debt collector every gone “too far” when contacting you?
Here’s a recent example of debt collectors gone wild as investigated by ABC News.