Are Your Kids Savvy About Internet Safety?

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – The Internet is an important educational tool. With a click of a mouse, kids can find information on just about anything. Unfortunately, children who don’t practice basic Internet safety may expose themselves and their parents to certain risks.
Children can easily stumble upon inappropriate content. Chat rooms have a reputation for encouraging Internet predation, but pedophiles can stalk victims from Web sites like Facebook as well. Many kids don’t realize that anyone can read what they write on the Internet, so they post home phone numbers, addresses, their full names or the names of their schools.
Social networking sites may also expose children to bullying, as peers can send demeaning e-mails, instant messaging and text messages without attracting attention from parents or teachers. Finally, children may download pirated music or movies, or even computer viruses or spyware.
“The Internet is an important resource for kids, if they know how to use it,” says John Goslin, chief technology officer of Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), a non-profit organization that strives to help young people realize their potential. “Parents need to be aware of the potential dangers and create guidelines to help kids avoid them.”
CA Technologies, which serves as the BGCA’s national information technology security partner through its global philanthropy program, CA Together IT, helps keep 56,000 BGCA computers secure. It starts off with security software, including anti-virus, anti-spam and anti-spyware technology, and prevention measures that restrict unauthorized use.
“Software can help prevent viruses, spyware and inappropriate spam messages, and allow parents to monitor and help protect their children online,” says George Kafkarkou, general manager of CA Technologies. “But parental supervision is the best security measure available to kids.”
Parents should know where their children go online and with whom they communicate. Placing computers in a family room can help you keep an eye on their activities. Parents should instruct children not to give out personal information online, even on sites like Facebook, and ask children to come to them if they encounter anything that makes them nervous or uncomfortable.
For more information, visit www.bgca.org.

Employee-Friendly Office Cultures Improve Retainment

Today’s economy isn’t just frustrating for those without jobs – limited budgets can do a number on employed workers’ morale as well. Exemplary employees might not be awarded with raises, no matter how much effort they put into their projects. Employers unable to afford larger salaries may find their best employees looking elsewhere.

But some companies are finding way to keep employees happy by cultivating employee-friendly office cultures. For example, in the fall of 2010, Washington, D.C.’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer implemented a Results Only Work Policy (ROWE), which pays employees  for results, not the hours  that they work. This means that employees are able to work when or wherever they want, so long as their work gets done. In places where it has been tried, ROWE not only boosts morale and retention, but also improves output.

Companies Seek Happy Employees

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Today’s economy isn’t just frustrating for those without jobs -; limited budgets can do a number on employed workers’ morale as well. Exemplary employees might not be awarded with raises, no matter how much effort they put into their projects. Employers unable to afford larger salaries may see their best employees looking elsewhere.
But some companies are finding way to keep employees happy by cultivating employee-friendly office cultures. For example, in the fall of 2010, Washington, D.C.’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer implemented a Results Only Work Policy (ROWE), which pays employees for results, not the hours that they work. This means that employees are able to work when or wherever they want, so long as their work gets done. In places where it has been tried, ROWE not only boosts morale and retention, but also improves output.
Of course, not every company is willing to redo its entire work structure. That doesn’t mean that they can’t find less drastic ways to boost morale. Here are some of the many ways that companies can make the workplace more attractive for employees:
* Acknowledge employees’ contributions. Employees who work hard without recognition are likely to lose morale. Even if a company can’t provide raises, managers can give out certificates or plaques acknowledging an employee’s accomplishments or designating an employee of the month. Plaquemaker Plus, a company that offers many personalized trophies, plaques and frames, offers laser-engraved and full-color plaques that can be used to give hard-working employees a boost. Visit their website at www.PlaquemakerPlus.com or call 1-800-367-5556.
* Celebrate birthdays. Acknowledging employees’ personal lives will make them feel like valuable team members, rather than replaceable automatons.
* Communicate. Unhappy employees are less productive, so managers should take time to speak with them about questions or concerns. An anonymous employee survey can also help employers determine where they need improvement.