Tag Archives: safety

Five Reasons Instagram Might Be A Bad Idea for Your Teen

teens and instagramInstagram is one of the hottest social media apps on the market and they are growing quickly. In the past year alone they have doubled their subscription base and that does not appear to be slowing down. Because the app is used primarily on phones and tablets, it has been particularly popular with the younger crowd for sharing pictures with friends. The problem with Instagram is that it is not meant for kids younger than 13 per their terms of service. Despite this, kids sign up all the time with little to stand in their way. Here are five good reasons why you might want to stop your kid from using Instagram at such a young age:

Instagram is public

Like any other social media site, anyone can see your kid’s pictures if they don’t set the account to private. If the kid posts a picture at the park with friends and the account is set to public, anyone can know where your kid is, what they look like and who they are with. The danger is obvious.

Instagram can be brutal

We have all heard the stories of how social media can hurt a kid. Instagram allows Continue reading Five Reasons Instagram Might Be A Bad Idea for Your Teen

Distracted Driving: Is the Canary Project App Really A Good Idea?

We all have heard about the horror stories and a growing number of us have been touched by this growing nightmare personally…distracted driving. How many times per day do you see someone next to you talking on the cell phone or sending a text? After so many people have died, it is unbelievable that so many people still find it to be okay to do so. This is especially rampant among our teenagers. In response to this, a new app called “The Canary Project” has been released. Simply call it Big Brother for parents of teen drivers as it pretty much keeps tabs on what they do and where they go. Is this the way to go to truly make a difference? Let’s look at the good and bad:

What does Canary do?

Essentially it can tell the parents when the child is using the phone while driving. It might be that the child is texting or talking on the phone. If the child’s phone is unlocked and in use while a vehicle is going more than 12 mph, the parents will get a notification. It also can tell the parents where a teen might be in a given time period or if they go outside of certain parameters that are set by the parents geographically.

Why Canary might be a bad idea

The only people who would really be against this idea would be the teens themselves. On the surface it feels like a device that invades privacy. It tells parents when and where, but very little of the what. This means that kids will struggle to break curfew or go outside of certain boundaries without having to answer for it. Teens will no doubt be against such parental vision, but what rules and regulations are welcomed by teens?

Why Canary could be a great idea Continue reading Distracted Driving: Is the Canary Project App Really A Good Idea?

ATM Safety: What You Need to Know

Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) can give you easy, fast access to the money in your bank account. When you insert your card into the machine, it reads the information on the card’s magnetic strip. It then asks you for your pin number and, voila! You have the ability to withdraw money from your checking or savings account. According to statistics published in 2012 by Statistic Brain, there are 2.2 million ATM machines in service, with a new ATM machine being installed every 5 or so minutes. It’s important to note that most of these machines charge a fee for their service, but with modern-day thieves focusing on ATM technology in order to steal your cash, a fee might be the least of your worries.

What Security Measures Are In Place?

Many ATMs are monitored by surveillance cameras to prevent identity thieves from tampering with machines and also to discourage muggers from targeting people who are withdrawing cash. ATM customers are cautioned not to write their pin number down where passers-by can see it and to take precautions against allowing others to see the number that they punch into the keypad.

Unfortunately, there are ways that scammers target ATM machines that render these security measures useless.

ATM Skimming:

Incidents of ATM skimming are on the rise. Skimming occurs when identity thieves modify ATM machines. They insert a phony card reader over the legitimate card reader. This will read the magnetic strip. The information that it reads off of a debit card is either stored in the device or transmitted via wireless to another location. This is combined with either a spy cam or a device fitted over the keypad to read the users’ pin numbers. With these two bits of information, thieves will have easy access to a user’s checking account. They will either remove funds from the account, or sell the information online. The highest bidder will receive your sensitive information.

To prevent this from happening to you, it’s advised that you use only ATM machines located inside a bank, where it is less likely that scammers will have tampered with a machine unnoticed. Also, look out for keypads and card readers that look slightly off. They may be protruding oddly from the machine or a slightly different color than the rest of the ATM.

Sketchy ATM Purchases:

Did you know that used ATMs can be sold on eBay and Craigslist? If the machines are not properly wiped of data, the purchaser may be able to access users’ information electronically. Again, users are encouraged to stick to using only ATMs located at banks, rather than those at retail stores or in out-of-the-way spots, which may later be discarded or sold without being properly wiped of data.

Users should also monitor their checking account transactions closely. Some identity thieves may “test” a user account by making small transactions, sometimes for amounts less than a dollar. They assume that most users won’t notice small transactions like these.

Bank account holders can also be advised to withdraw money directly from a bank teller rather than an ATM to eliminate the risk of ATM-related identity theft and also to avoid ATM fees.

Sources:

http://www.nation.co.ke/Features/smartcompany/Banks-clients-grapple-with-card-skimmers/-/1226/1658812/-/dq6ok3z/-/index.html

Debit card safety: Think before you swipe

 

 

Password Safety Hints: From Google and AARP

During this time of the year people are busy shopping and banking on line. How can you protect your passwords and user names effectively while making the most of online shopping, travel and even news services? Find out what tips AARP and Google Privacy have teamed up to offer.

Continue reading Password Safety Hints: From Google and AARP

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