Are You Safe From Your Own Employees?

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – When Denise Edwards (not her real name) saw a text on her 11-year-old son’s phone that said, “Im gonna kill you 2mrw” from an unrecognized number, her heart stopped. She asked her son about it and was shocked to hear an older boy on his bus had been sending these types of texts for about two months.
Experts estimate that teens are at least four times more likely to say something hurtful or demeaning to another child when behind the veil of a phone or computer.
Tim Woda, a digital safety expert, explains: “Cyberbullies are often not the biggest kids on the playground or the meanest girls at school. If you want to protect against cyberbullying, parents need to be aware of what their kids are doing online and be willing to act quickly when they see a red flag.”
Here are a few tips for parents to prevent cyberbullying:
* Talk about it: The best defense is a good offense. Ask your child how they would respond if someone were mean to them online. What should they do? Is it okay to forward a text message making fun of someone?
* Spot it: Cyberbullying can cause kids to avoid using their phone or computer, or appear stressed when receiving an e-mail or text. They may act reluctant to attend social or school events or avoid conversations about school or friends. In extreme cases, the child will have declining grades, stop eating or have difficulty sleeping.
* Deal with it: Teach them to never respond, save the evidence and report the incident to an adult they trust. Next, engage school administrators to discuss their cyberbullying policy and develop a plan of action. Finally, talk about the situation with the bully and the parents. Sometimes a school guidance counselor can act as a mediator for this type of meeting.
* Prevent it: Stealing your child’s phone or their passwords to social networking accounts is not an ideal way to understand what’s going on in their digital world. Use a parental intelligence service, such as uKnowKids.com, that can alert you to dangerous behavior and cyberbullying. The best time to install parental monitoring software is the moment a child gets a social media account or mobile phone so kids accept it for the long run.

Computer Technology Grows New Career Opportunities

In personal and professional life, computer technology impacts even the simplest, everyday tasks. Whether through online bill payment or the seamless integration of global businesses, computer technology offers optimized productivity and the flow of commerce, making it a vital component of success for all businesses.

This unwavering dependence on computer technology has spurred the growth of related fields, making the present a great time to earn a degree in computer information systems (CIS). According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in this field is projected to grow by 30 percent from 2008 to 2018, much faster than the average of all occupations, opening the door for those with applicable skills to apply their talents and passion for computing and technology in the workplace.

Engineering Technology Fields See Continued Job Growth

Technology has become a seamless part of our everyday lives, from the time we wake up until we go to bed. Both at work and at home, we use technology to some extent in completing the majority of personal and professional tasks – from downloading music and playing games to communicating with clients and personal banking.

In this fast-paced world, relevance is fleeting, and new product launches make existing technologies obsolete seemingly overnight. The constant evolution of the industry means new job opportunities will continue to rise for professionals with relevant skills. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment of computer software engineers is expected to increase by 32 percent from 2008 to 2018, much faster than the average for all occupations, particularly for those with bachelor’s degrees.

Quick Fixes for Your Slow Computer

Computers are indispensable, but as soon as they slow down and problems arise, computers become a confusion-ridden technological beast.

The doom-signaling hourglass or pinwheel may not be so intimidating for computer-savvy individuals, but the majority of computer owners don’t understand them. PCs and Macs alike can slow down after a few years of use, and knowing what steps to take in that situation can save money on repairs and diagnostics. When troubleshooting a slow computer, there are a number of possible issues you can eliminate by going through a few steps.

Technology Rules for Digital Kids

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Whether texting, surfing the web or playing video games, research has shown that kids spend more than seven hours a day with gadgets. “That, in and of itself, is neither good nor bad,” says Richard Bavaria, Senior Vice President for Education Outreach for Sylvan Learning. “Balance, as in every other aspect of life, is key.” While tech-savvy kids may have a leg up over those without a fundamental knowledge, kids tethered to technology may have their own disadvantages — socially, academically and, perhaps, even emotionally.
For good or for bad, technology has introduced many “portals of distraction” in kids’ lives — easy ways to get sidetracked, diverted and overwhelmed. But as the school year progresses, parents want their kids clearly focused rather than busily distracted.
Wonder how you can reach a balance? Bavaria and the experts at Sylvan Learning Center offer the following tips:
Your rules rule. Remember: You’re the boss. Like all rules for kids, the clearer and simpler, the better.
Set time limits. A good rule of thumb for teens is two hours of screen time per day, including schoolwork. Decide what works best for your family.
Set place limits. No TV during dinner, for example, or when the family’s having a discussion. Many families find that it’s best if the computer is in the family room — not in kid’s rooms — and used only when you’re present.
Set site limits. Discuss the sites your children want to visit, and discuss which ones they’re permitted to use. If some sites are off-limits, explain why you’re vetoing them.
Schoolwork comes first. Study and chores come before socializing and games. If your child still struggles sans distracting technology, get them the help they need. Find a tutor at www.sylvanlearning.com.
Stress privacy. Explain why you shouldn’t give out personal information to strangers on the Internet. You don’t have to be scary, just realistic and firm.
Stress your values. Explain that it is right for them to come to you whenever they encounter something online that makes them uncomfortable or they suspect you would disapprove of — sex, hatred, intolerance or violence, for instance. Just as we watch what we say in our speech, stress to your kids that its important to do the same online.
Be a role model. Let the kids see you using your computer and phone to make your life easier, more efficient and more fun. Show how you’re in control of these devices, not the other way around.
For more information and tips, visit www.sylvanlearning.com.

DeVry University Seniors Learn There’s Value in Pro Bono Work

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – In a social media powered society, instant gratification is something we have come to expect. More of our daily routines are executed online, be they personal or professional, so when our computer crashes so does our productivity.
In the not-so-distant past, PC problems, virus removal and most other computer-related issues were resolved by carting your PC or laptop into a service center. This is not an easy burden to bear when time is of the essence. With immediate response in high demand, computer support companies have moved their services online, offering comprehensive tech support without the hassle of waiting at in-store service lines.
With the ability to get news, updates and results online in real-time, shouldn’t you be able to access computer troubleshooting online when an issue arises?
In an effort to harness the potential of remote access, some standout IT businesses are implementing remote services to create a better user experience for their clients. Geeks On Call, a trusted provider of on-site IT services nationwide, recently announced the launch of their Remote PC Repair Services.
If a person’s computer suddenly crashes, slows down or gets a virus, Geeks On Call is there with comprehensive technical support to see the issues through to solution. Because the troubled computer is remotely accessed through the Internet, there is no need to wait for a technician to make a house call. However, if there is no Internet access to the computer, Geeks on Call still has an on-site assistance option — in many cases, it can get a technician to you the same day you call. And unlike other services, it can dispatch a technician directly to your location with the ability to refund the majority of the service call.
By taking advantage of remote computer repair with services like those offered by Geeks On Call, users will see real-time solutions for serious computing problems. Remote Services are available 8 a.m. to midnight in the customer’s time zone at 1-800-905-GEEK (4335). For more information, visit www.geeksoncall.com.

5 Free Ways to Work and Collaborate

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – You don’t have to be a tech geek to work smarter in and out of the office; there are some straightforward, free software programs that will help you connect with colleagues for conversation and collaboration.
Let technology simplify your work life with these free software programs. Each offers the ability to get work done on your own time and from anywhere.
* Skype. Sign up for a free Skype account, then send instant messages or make calls from your computer. It helps if you have a microphone and video camera connected to your computer. Try it out at www.skype.com.
* join.me. This program lets you share your desktop. Once you sign up for the free account, you can send up to 250 colleagues to http://join.me. After they enter the nine-digit code that you provide, they can see your desktop and files. This is great for meeting, training and group editing.
* Open Office. Build documents, spreadsheets and presentations without the expense or megabit-girth of Microsoft Office. Download Open Office onto your computer, and use the free suite of open-source software as if it were Office. It can save and open Office files, so no one will know the difference. More details are at http://openoffice.org.
* Google Docs. Google Docs allows you to host documents for free, so everyone can have a look. Go to http://docs.google.com to download your file, then share it as a link or send an e-mail to collaborators. You can change the settings to allow users to edit the document (you can track changes) or limit them to viewing only. You do not need to have Gmail, though you will need to create a free Google account.
* Tungle.me. Among Microsoft Outlook, Google Calendar and iCal, you might have trouble sorting through your date book. Tungle.me lets you sync these calendars and provides a place where people can schedule time with you — without your involvement. Go to http://tungle.me for more information.

Guidelines for Making Kids’ “Screen Time” Meaningful

It’s a fact: Children today are surrounded by all types of digital media from a very young age. Educators, parents and caregivers are left with the task of navigating through a multitude of handheld games, toys and online resources while debating the value of these different options.

Fortunately, research shows that computers can play a positive role in the education of children. Benefits include language, literacy and social development as well as the improvement of important problem-solving skills.

Experts and researchers in early childhood development offer the following guidelines for  computer use by youngsters:

Have You Given ID Thieves Permission?

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – If you, your family members or anyone with whom you do business shares music, photos, or documents online, identity thieves could be downloading your information — including your Social Security number, home address and health information — legally.
In any given second, nearly 22 million people around the globe are on peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing networks, where they download and swap movies, software and documents over the Internet. But users of file-sharing networks can expose the contents of entire hard drives to everyone else on the network.
In April 2009, the Today Show found 25,800 student loan applications, over 150,000 tax returns and nearly 626,000 credit reports, just by searching P2P networks.
Antivirus software protects your computer from viruses, but it can’t stop thieves from accessing your computer if you’ve given them permission via P2P file-sharing networks. And while you can stop using P2P networks, you can’t control others — your doctor or the teller at your bank could be file-sharing without your knowledge.
The Federal Trade Commission recently warned nearly 100 organizations, including companies, schools and local governments, that they had leaked their customers’ and employees’ personal information onto online file-sharing networks. The information found included Social Security numbers, health information and drivers’ licenses — more than enough information for any identity thief to steal your identity.
What can help put a stop to these online data breaches? The LifeLock Personal Breach Detection Service actively searches file-sharing networks worldwide for your personal information. When a leak is detected, LifeLock alerts you with specific details and then takes action to help you shut down the breach of information.
LifeLock also alerts you to other potential identity threats, patrols over 10,000 criminal Web sites for illegal selling of your information, helps cancel or replace the contents of your stolen wallet (cash, pictures, and other monies excluded) and so much more — giving you the peace of mind that your good name is protected.
For more information, visit www.LifeLock.com/p2p.

Save Money With Free Software for Your Computer

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Looking to save money? There are ways to leverage great technology without burning a hole in your wallet.

Here are some safe, secure options — all of them free — that can help make your computer more productive, useful and fun:

* Firefox Browser:

(www.GetFireFox.com) — Get onto the Internet with this alternative to Windows Internet Explorer that is compatible with both Macs and PCs. It is fast and secure and allows you to download lots of free plug-ins that provide information, social media integration and multimedia capabilities.

* TweetDeck:

(www.TweetDeck.com) — This free program enables you to easily manage, monitor and post to all of your social media networks, including Facebook, Twitter and MySpace, from one place.

* Trillian:

(www.Trillian.im) — Not everyone uses the same instant message service. You might use AOL while your friend uses Yahoo. Trillian lets you combine all of your instant message accounts — AOL, Yahoo, MSN, ICQ and IRC — into one program. Recently updated, it can integrate your Facebook and Twitter accounts, too.

* LogMeIn:

(www.LogMeIn.com) — The free version of LogMeIn lets you securely access your computer from anywhere in the world. Want to check your home computer while you’re on the road? Go to a web browser from any Internet-enabled computer or mobile device, and log in to your account to instantly connect and access any programs, files, photos or music on your desktop.

* Windows Live Desktop:

(www.WindowsLive.com/desktop) — Windows 7, which will be loaded on many new computers and mobile devices this year, does not include its own email program. Instead, Microsoft offers a mail program as a free download from this site, along with other programs, including a photo organizer and an application for creating videos.

* Picnik:

(www.Picnik.com) — Picnik is a free alternative to Photoshop and offers photo-editing capabilities such as cropping, resizing, sharpening and red-eye reduction. You can add special effects, fonts, or various shapes to turn your precious memory into a work of art. Google’s Picasa is another good option for free photo-editing software.

Any or all of these programs will immediately add value to your Mac, PC or laptop — at absolutely no cost.

Do your homework first and check out product reviews from reputable technology sites such as CNET’s Download.com to find out more about free and safe software options before you install them on your computer.