How to find Parental Controls for Smartphones.

 

 

Creative commons picture – by Enricod – http://www.flickr.com/photos/enricod/6989554817/

October marks the ninth annual National Cybersecurity Awareness Month sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security, so I assumed there would be a few interesting posts about raising awareness about cyber security.

However – Today I read in the Telegraph, that parents are worried that children can get porn on their mobile phones….

While of course I do want our children to be able to use the internet and be safe – I feel this is slightly exaggerated or maybe parents just aren’t informed and unaware.

When they say mobile phone of course, they actually mean Smartphone – a smartphone is a mobile phone that is built on a mobile operating systems allowing internet connectivity.

I don’t really want to debate about why on earth these parents would they buy a child a smartphone when maybe the kids isn’t responsible or savvy enough not to click things that lead to adult sites, but porn is all over the internet, we know this. If they just had a normal feature phone that just took calls – then there wouldn’t be this problem at all.

If you really want your child to have a smartphone

First things first –  its your responsibility to speak to children about the dangers of being online if its on a smartphone or on a computer, children need to know not only what’s out there but the online etiquette.  Maybe too strong a word for children, but you’ve seen what they put on facebook – pouting pictures with their tops hanging off and foul language, talking about their next beer/girlfriend/snog.  No, not all of them are like that but you know what I am talking about.  Children need to be reminded that having a mobile phone of any kind carries with it some responsibility.

Parental controls 

Many, (if not all by now) mobile networks can block adult content sites on your child’s phone, there’s a start – call your network provider speak them them about it.  No, this doesn’t work if they are in a wifi area but these applications might help.

Applications to help your child be more secure on a mobile phone.

Android – Google play has an extensive list of applications like these, on a search for Parental control applications.

Apple does a lot to help security

On the iPad and iPhone there are parental control options on itunes, where you can protect children from inappropriate content or stop video chats.  And there are parental controls iTunes to stop them assessing adult content.

iTunes has many applications listed under parental controls

  • Kaspersky
  • AVG Family Safety
  • K9 Web Protection
  • Mobicip Safe Browser
  • Timelock
  • Netgear Genie
  • Bsecure
  • Parental Control by MountainDev
  • Kids-safe youtube
  • X3watch
Security Applications for Blackberry world …..

And the lists go on and on, I’ve not tested all of the applications obviously so I don’t know how good they are but I wanted to show you, that you do have options, apart from saying…. No, you are too young for your own smartphone!

One last word – remember also that many applications on smartphones you can play with anyone, they don’t even have to be a friend or someone in your phonebook and you can also chat with these people on the games.  So remember that when setting up permissions and controls.

Be safe and be aware.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOPA and why popular websites are joining the blackout

 

SOPA – Stop Online Piracy Act – A proposed Bill to stop or restrict access to sites that host pirated content.

Sopa is basically looking for a way to finally completely shutdown all torrent sites such at Pirate Bay.

Good you say……

So then why are so many social media or websites and search engines supporting or joining the black out protest against SOPA and PIPA  which is the Protect IP Act the companion bill.

Sopa Blackout

Sites such at Google, Reddit, Wikipedia, Minecraft, Twitpic, Flickr, Tumblr, Umgur, Boing boing, and many other sites are opposing the acts saying that American companies being asked to censor the internet. Its Big Brother.They say, the internet will be fully censored, people won’t share anything and if they do, search engines, websites, ad networks and providers are to withhold their services.  Pirates would include anyone that is infringing copyrights. Thus will be the end of the internet as we know it.  So the sites are protesting this now to raise awareness while SOPA is on hold.

List of websites supporting the SOPA blackout 

The RedTape Contronicles say this 

SOPA’s supporters say the bill would give intellectual property rights holders — such as TV studios — a powerful new tool to protect their creative works. But opponents say it would allow federal authorities to shut down entire portions of the Internet without due process, and fundamentally alter the Internet’s ability to provide a platform for free speech.

I’m not sure what would happen to sites such as YouTube, read on…

Money.Cnn.com explains it here

If SOPA passes, copyright holders would be able to complain to law enforcement officials and get websites shut down. Search engines and other providers would have to block rogue sites when ordered to do so by a judge. Sites could be punished for hosting pirated content in the first place — and Internet companies are worried that they could be held liable for users’ actions.

And The Telegraph said

The most controversial provisions of SOPA would force websites that carry user-generated material, such as Wikipedia, to impose new restrictions on posting or constantly monitor activity, it’s claimed. Under current laws if websites remove pirated content when they are notified by the copyright holder they are not liable for damages.

Strangely Twitter is not going to participate in the blackout over the bills, even though they were great supporters of the opposition.

I’ve tried to explain this in the simplest of ways as many people have asked why is the bill being opposed? or What is the problem the pirates are criminals, it’s illegal, they should be stopped.  Maybe this will show you.

I’m not sure how widespread this blackout will actually be on the 18th January 2012 but I do hope there is some sort of an impact this seems to have gone a little to far.

You can show your support on wordpress self hosted websites by going to new plugins and search for stop SOPA ribbon, like I have.

Hope this helps

 

 

Setting up MMS or Internet on your T-Mobile Phone

If you have changed your phone or swapped sim cards to another handset you might be frustrated to find that you cannot connect to your social media networks or send MMS (picture messages). That is because you need to be setting up MMS again.

You may have even received a text message from T-Mobile asking your to set up these services and to reply to 34967 however it sometimes it doesn’t work – the message comes back that it cannot be sent to this address.

Strange!

I’m not sure why this happens but it appears to be happening to a lot of people – it is the correct number so it doesn’t appear to be a scam, but this error is happening and people are confused at how to set up their cell phone.  T-mobile just say that they are having issues.

Don’t Worry…

Setting Up MMS

All you have to do is go to the link   http://support.t-mobile.co.uk/help-and-support/index?page=home&cat=SOFTWAREDOWNLOADS and you can send yourself the correct settings anytime for free.  Just follow the onscreen instructions, it takes seconds.

Hope this helps

Yay! Free Angry Birds now for Chrome

At last we have Angry Birds for Chrome web browser: you can download it immediately (beta) at the Chrome web store

Now we can play Angry Birds on every device we have phone, laptop, tablet and PC.

With new exciting Chrome Exclusive levels and a big screen there is no stopping us from helping the angry birds dish out revenge on the evil green pigs who have stolen the poor birds eggs! There are 70 levels available with SD or HD options and you can even play it offline.

Summary – You might see me soon, off to defeat those little green pigs!

 

 

How to change your settings to use HTTPS on Twitter – its safer.

I recently explained how to change your settings on Facebook to HTTPS since they added the option due to a hacking indecent, and now finally Twitter has actually added this option for users to always use HTTPS.


When a user connects to a website via HTTPS, the website encrypts the session with a digital certificate. A user can tell if they are connected to a secure website if the website URL begins with https:// instead of http://


HTTPS helps to protect your password from being stolen, especially if you are using a public WiFi network


When using Twitter.com we could always use HTTPS but had to manually type it in, there is now a box for you to tick in settings to make sure that you always use the more secure HTTPS.


Twitter also uses HTTPS as a default on its log-in page so that users’ credentials are encrypted. Its official iPhone and iPad applications also have HTTPS as their default setting.


If you are using a 3rd Party app you need to check if your have settings on there so that you can sign in using HTTPS


To Change your settings on Twitter.com


Click Settings
Scroll down
Tick the box marked HTTPS Only
Click SAVE



Confirm your password – and its done,  you will now be on an encrypted secure connection.
Hope this helps


Helping kids learn about Virtual Lives – Gaming and Networking.



Tuesday the 8th of February 2011 is Safer Internet Day. 

Safer Internet Day is organised by Insafe to promote safer and more responsible use of mobile and online technology for children and young people around the world.

Insafe are Co-funded by The European Union.

This is the 8th year that Safer Internet Day will be celebrated, last year saw 500 events in 65 countries worldwide.

Each year Insafe chooses a different theme for people to base the activities on.
This year is its Virtual lives, and the slogan is – Its more than a game, its your life

Virtual lives: Online gaming and social networking, the two most popular online activities for our youth. 


The aim is to get the message across to children and young people that although they are hidden behind an avatar or a gamertag, actions in virtual lives can and will affect real lives.  

We all need to be aware of the consequences of our online actions, whether good or bad.

Children especially need to know how to be safe and responsible online and they can learn this the same way they learn everything else, with our support and encouragement

A few easy ways you can help

·                 Inform your school and find out if they are taking part.  
·                 Become a fan of the Insafe Facebook page – Insafe
·                 Become a fan of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre Facebook page – CEOP
·                 Put the banner above on your website.
·                 Host an event in your community.
·                 Repost this blog.



You will find lots of information and free resources from these links

Insafe – www.saferinternet.org. 
Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre – http://www.ceop.police.uk/
I hope you can join in helping our children have the best virtual and real lives possible and also assist in raising awareness of this excellent event with me, thanks.