Decode Your Child’s Secret Online Language

<b>Decode Your Child’s Secret Online Language</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – AFAYC (As Far As You’re Concerned), kids might as well be typing IMs, chats, e-mails and text messages in another language. Which is, of course, the point — Internet shorthand helps kids in KPC, or Keeping Parents Clueless.

It’s natural for kids to want to have private conversations, but parents need to know if they’re being cyberbullied, lured by strangers, or exposed to unacceptable behavior. Since 62 percent of kids have at least one profile on a social networking site, parents have to know what they’re saying and what is being said to them. According to one survey, 95 percent of parents cannot decipher common acronyms, which can be dangerous. If someone tells your child to “GNOC,” do you know that means “Get Naked on Camera”?

To help parents track — and understand — their children’s online communications, SpectorSoft Corporation (www.SpectorSoft.com), maker of Internet monitoring and surveillance products, recently created its “Parent’s Guide to Internet Lingo,” which is available as a free download at www.FreeLingoGuide.com. The guide contains one of the most comprehensive lists of acronyms available, defining everything from “ADAD” (Another Day Another Dollar) to “ZZZ” (Sleeping, Bored, Tired).

“Many of today’s kids are more savvy than their parents when using the Internet, which is why it’s critical to know exactly what they’re saying in chat and IM, and whether new concepts are being introduced to them by others,” said SpectorSoft President C. Douglas Fowler.

The company also updated the 2010 version of its SpectorPro software, which monitors and records every action a child takes online, to include a built-in Internet Lingo translation feature. When parents roll the computer mouse over an unfamiliar acronym or abbreviation, the software immediately reveals its meaning. A worthwhile investment to be sure, as SSEWBA (Someday Soon, Everything Will Be Acronyms).

For more information, visit www.FreeLingoGuide.com.

Cyberbullying and Your Teen

<b>Cyberbullying and Your Teen</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – According to the National Council of Juvenile Court Judges, each year nearly 3.2 million students are victims of online bullying, a serious Internet safety concern. To address these issues, Boys & Girls Clubs of America has partnered with Sprint to promote online safety resources for teens and parents.

Sprint’s 4NetSafety program aims to open the lines of communication about Internet safety between young people and the adults who care for them. The online resource offers free tools from experts that address the perils that young people commonly encounter online and encourage positive dialogue about Internet safety.

“Sprint is pleased to be entering into this partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America,” said Debby Ballard, Sprint’s director of community affairs. “Internet safety is an area that is very important to Sprint, as evidenced by our 4NetSafety program, and our partnership with BGCA allows us to add to and raise additional awareness about these valuable resources.”

A recent survey of young people revealed some startling statistics about how parents are supervising their children’s online time. More than 53 percent say their parents never ask them about whom they are talking to on the Internet, and over half say their parents never surf the Internet with them.

“The Internet can be a wonderful resource, but it has always been our goal to teach our youth how to navigate the Web safely and appropriately,” said Dan Rauzi, senior director of technology services and programs at BGCA. “Sprint and BGCA teamed up to raise awareness about a prime concern of ours — the importance of a healthy and safe virtual life for America’s youth.”

Sprint and Boys & Girls Clubs of America offers the following tips to parents to help keep their teens safer online.

1. Remind your teen that what they post stays online forever.

2. Ask to see their profile page.

3. Tell your chid to only add friends they know in real life.

4. Have them use a nickname that doesn’t identify their location, gender or age.

5. Tell them not to post plans or whereabouts on a site or page.

6. If your or someone else’s child is harassed or bullied online, report it to your local law-enforcement agency or call the CyberTipline at 800-843-5678.

Encuentre grandes ahorros en paquetes pequeños

<b>Encuentre   grandes ahorros en paquetes pequeños</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Si usted se encuentra entre los Americanos con el presupuesto ajustado, y luchando con su situación financiera, siempre es bueno encontrar nuevas maneras de ahorrar. Debido al estrés que enfrentan la mayoría de las personas, no hay momento como el presente para empezar a tomar medidas, y poner sus problemas financieros a descansar.

Según la asociación Wíreless Trade Association, los estadounidenses gastan más de $143 billones cada año en servicio celular. Con un poco de investigación, usted puede descubrir grandes ahorros en paquetes pequeños.

– Tiendas de servicios. En este mundo tecnológico con experiencia, usted puede ser dependiente de su teléfono celular. ¿Pero está usted recibiendo con el plan del celular actual el valor de su dinero? Los planes prepagados pueden brindarle ofertas verdaderas. Boost Mobile (www.boostmobile.com) ofrece un plan mensual que incluye llamadas ilimitadas, mensaje de texto, Internet y Walkie-Talkie con una area de llamadas nacionales por $50 al mes.

– Corte la línea fija. ¿Por qué pagar dos facturas de teléfono cada mes? Eliminar por completo su servicio de línea fija y trasládese a línea móvil completamente. Según una encuesta realizada en el 2008 por el Centro para el Control y Prevención de Enfermedades, uno de cada cinco hogares ha abandonado las líneas fijas por los teléfonos celulares.

– Escoja un teléfono que dure. El promedio de los celulares de los EE.UU. es reemplazado cada 18 meses, según el EPA, y las ventas por reemplazo de celular son más de $100 millones cada año. Considere la posibilidad de adquirir un teléfono duradero que puede soportar polvo, golpes, caídas y derrames.

– Ahorre sus minutos. Con el servicio de Walkie-Talkie, los clientes no tienen que utilizar los minutos de su celular. En lugar de ello, se puede conectar con la pulsación de un botón con el servicio de Walkie Talkie. Por ejemplo, el servicio de Walkie-Talkie de Boost Mobile es compatible con millones de usuarios de Sprint y Nextel, así como proveedores en México y en algunos países de América del Sur.

– Evite el boom del “Teléfono inteligente.” La atracción por los “teléfonos inteligentes” se está extendiendo.

Casi todo el mundo quiere un iPhone o un teléfono Android. Pero para aprovechar al máximo las funciones de un teléfono inteligente, tendrá que obtener el acceso a los datos, que puede aumentar su cuenta hasta en $70 dólares al mes. Si usted necesita el acceso al Internet, busque un plan que ya tenga incluido el acceso al Internet a un precio accesible.

How to Monitor Your Child’s Virtual Life

<b>How to Monitor Your Child’s Virtual Life</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Joe started to notice that his daughter, then 16, was behaving differently. “She had no desire to go to school in the morning, did not do her homework as she used to, and stopped going to the gym because she was always tired. When the family got together, or even when her friends asked her to go out and do something with them, she would rather stay home, alone.”

Desperate, Joe and his wife decided to install SpectorSoft’s Spector Pro, a monitoring software program, on their home’s computers. The software captures any keystrokes, chats and instant messages, e-mails, Web site visits, Internet searches and programs run by a child, so that parents can see every action performed, step-by-step.

Joe was shocked to learn what his daughter was doing online. “Our girl had met a married 42-year-old man during a chatting session, and they were sending provocative pictures to each other,” he says. His daughter was also visiting juvenile pornography and suicide Web sites, as well as planning to run away with the man she had met.

Joe and his wife put his daughter in counseling and contacted the FBI and local authorities about the online predator.

Pedophiles continue to use the Internet to target victims. It’s important for parents to monitor Internet activity and discuss the dangers with their children. According to the Crimes Against Children Research Center, there are certain online behaviors that put children and teenagers at greater risk. These include:

– Posting personal information – Interacting online with strangers

– Making nasty comments

– Sending personal information to people unknown in real life

– Downloading images from file-sharing programs

– Visiting pornography sites

– Engaging in cyber-bullying

– Talking about sex online

If parents cannot supervise their children’s online activity, or if they suspect a problem, they should consider installing a software program that tracks online behavior. “I truly believe that we saved our daughter,” said Joe.

For more information, visit www.spectorsoft.com.

Families Flock to Virtual World for Learning

<b>Families Flock to Virtual World for Learning</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Today’s parents have a challenge no other generation has faced: New research from the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) reports that Internet risks are affecting kids at increasingly younger ages. Cyber-bullying begins in the second grade; pirating illegal content, such as movies or music, begins in fourth grade.

To combat these growing risks, parents and educators are turning to the next generation in social networking where kids learn essentials of cyber-ethics and security in their favorite setting — a virtual world. WoogiWorld, identified by Parents Magazine as one of the top five next-generation sites for kids, has parents and kids alike flocking to this productive and entertaining new approach to education.

WoogiWorld’s unique approach succeeds through online and offline crossover where kids earn “WoogiWatts” (the currency of this virtual world) by completing important tasks in the real world. Children are encouraged to learn new hobbies, be active in their real-world communities, balance their screen-time, create clubs and be helpful in their homes.

For example, the Woogi Readers Club provides online versions of children’s classics (such as “Rikki Tikki Tavi” by Rudyard Kipling) along with chapter-oriented games. Kids level up as they “pass off” each chapter of the current month’s book. Membership requires completing Internet Basic Training, where they learn how to be safe in cyberspace.

WoogiWorld partners with the Smithsonian, Harvard, RIT, the Univeristy of Maryland and others to teach technology and media literacy integrated into core academic STEM topics (science, technology, engineering and math), along with reading, music, nutrition and health.

A 2008 National Cyber Security Alliance study reported that 75 percent of educators felt inadequate discussing cyber-bullying. As a result, WoogiWorld added modules compatible with federal and state educational curriculum and is fully equipped to provide schools with Internet safety curriculum mandated by the federal government.

WoogiWorld is a project of iKeepSafe.org, a broad Coalition of governors and/or first spouses, attorneys general, public health and educational professionals, law enforcement, industry and policy leaders working together for the health and safety of youth online. For more information, visit www.WoogiWorld.com.

CA, Inc. Offers Safety Tips for Online Holiday Shopping

<b>CA, Inc. Offers Safety Tips for Online Holiday Shopping</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – The allure of Internet deals and the pure convenience of “click and ship” continue to drive shoppers online this holiday season. An estimated $44 billion will be spent online purchasing holiday gifts in 2008, up more than 12 percent over 2007.

Although more money will be spent online this holiday season, consumers are concerned about security risks when making purchases over the Internet. According to a CA-sponsored survey, 72 percent of consumers in North America think retailers do not spend enough on online security and privacy.

To help ease consumer worry, security experts at CA, Inc. offer the following tips to help consumers protect themselves online this holiday season.

– Secure, then shop. Before connecting to the Internet, be sure to install anti-virus, a firewall and anti-spyware programs.

– Update, Update, Update. The bad guys constantly update their techniques, so consumers need to update their protection. Make sure your firewall, anti-virus, anti-spyware and operating software are up-to-date.

– Never shop on an open wireless network. Open networks are easy targets for hackers to break into your computer and capture financial information.

– Know who you’re dealing with. Get the name and physical address of any online-retailer before submitting personal or financial information. When shopping online auctions, check the track record of the seller before bidding.

– Never e-mail your personal or financial information. E-mail is not a secure method of sending information like your credit card, bank account or Social Security number.

– Look for secure payment processing. When a Web site processes your payment information, be sure the URL address changes from HTTP to SHTTP or HTTPS. This indicates that the purchase is encrypted or secured.

– Be alert and be suspicious. Identity thieves count on the holiday rush to catch consumers off guard with bogus e-mails that seem to be coming from a legitimate organization such as the bank, the IRS or UPS. These “phishing” scams can lure shoppers into divulging personal information. Be suspicious of anyone asking for additional personal information or asking you to click on links in an e-mail.

Teaching Kids Safe and Ethical Downloading

<b>Teaching Kids Safe and Ethical Downloading</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Recent piracy lawsuits brought by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) have parents and youths concerned about the risks and ethics of downloading copyrighted songs and videos. But piracy charges are just one of many dangers kids face when they download files illegally.

Downloading files or software can make computers vulnerable to harmful programs, like viruses and spyware. File sharing can allow other Internet users access to all of the files on your computer, which means that information, like bank details and personal documents, can be stolen. Peer-to-peer, or P2P, sites are notorious for lacing any downloadable files with sexually graphic or violent content.

To help parents protect their families and computers, a non-profit organization, iKeepSafe.org, has developed resources to teach kids the safe and ethical use of the Internet and how to download safely. Before downloading, kids should understand the “3 KEEPs” for safe and honest downloading:

1. Keep safe your personal files. Don’t share your music, videos, games, or pictures -; especially pictures of yourself -; with strangers online.

2. Keep away from doubtful downloads. Files from peer-to-peer sites, social networking sites, or blogs of people you don’t know could have bad files attached to them.

3. Keep using common sense. If it’s not free in stores, it shouldn’t be free online -; that’s stealing from the creators, and it’s against the law.

A new children’s book and animated DVD, “Faux Paw and the Dangerous Download,” teach kids in a fun, non-threatening way the safe and ethical use of downloading. To further promote safety, parents can explain that file-sharing and illegal downloading of copyrighted materials is viewed as theft and can expose both you and them to legal action.

Parents should also check their computer’s browser history regularly -; evidence of P2P sites such as BitTorrent, Limewire, Joost, ANts, Gnutella, eDonkey or new icons and software on your desktop suggest illegal activity. Parents can also find suitable download sites for kids that are legal and free.

To preview the Faux Paw films and parent tutorials, and to find more information on critical Internet safety topics, visit www.iKeepSafe.org.

Software Moves from CD-ROM to Internet

<b>Software Moves from CD-ROM to Internet</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – As many companies have realized, buying computers is one thing, using them is quite another. Among IT staff, infrastructure needs, upfront product costs and upgrades, buying needed software can become an expensive proposition.

But some services allow companies to use important softwares -; like portals, customer relationship services, human resources and IT management applications -; on a subscription or pay-per-use basis.

Called Software as a Service, or SaaS, these applications help middle-market companies avoid steep software costs. Companies subscribing to SaaS networks avoid buying new technology, as SaaS services require nothing more than computers and Internet access.

With SaaS, buyers can access and license software as an Internet service. Companies do not need to buy, install, maintain and support expensive applications. SaaS providers update their offerings from a central location, so companies can always access the latest upgrades. But the SaaS model carries more potential than most companies have explored.

One company, EnterConnect, Inc. (www.enterconnect.com), traded on the OTCBB under the symbol ECNI, is one of the first Internet or extranet portal providers to adopt the SaaS model. Internet portals, or Web sites that act as starting points for browsing the Internet, can index other Web sites and provide e-mail and other communication applications. In combining portal and SaaS technologies, EnterConnect, Inc. has created a software service that allows companies easy administration, content publishing, security, collaboration and flexible infrastructure. Easy-to-use, on-demand portal tools allow companies to better manage their business, drive productivity and communicate with employees, customers and partners. Businesses using EnterConnect Inc.’s services can easily, securely and cost-effectively connect and communicate with one another.

Considering America’s current economic troubles, the nation’s mid-size companies need to boost effectiveness without buying expensive software packages with vast technological requirements. Innovative, Web-based software services can help companies thrive.

Need to Cut Costs? Consider Dialing Up

<b>Need to Cut Costs? Consider Dialing Up</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – If you still have dial-up or are considering it, guess what? You are not alone. In fact, about 25 percent of Americans find dial-up to be a cost-effective and dependable consumer connection to the Internet.

A 2007 study by Pew Internet Research indicated that dial-up remains a strong player in the market. Among the prominent dial-up Internet service providers is LocalNet, who have been in business since 1994. It joins other recognizable ISP’s such as Earthlink, NetZero and AOL.

“Consumers who stay with dial-up or who are new Internet users enjoy having an attractive option, such as LocalNet, which is affordable, reliable and gets users the information that they want,” said Marc P. Silvestri, founder and president of LocalNet, the largest privately held Internet service provider in the U.S.

The Pew data show that 90 percent of dial-up users connect for e-mail, 80 percent to research hobbies and interests, and 60 percent for news.

Silvestri explained that dial-up subscribers appreciate the abundant benefits they receive at a cost that is usually substantially lower than DSL or cable.

“LocalNet succeeds because we provide all of the advantages of dial-up such as multiple e-mail accounts, easy access, and reliable service while keeping our monthly fee low,” he said.

LocalNet has had a monthly fee of $9.95 for 10 years, longer than any other dial-up provider. Their subscribers represent a cross section of consumers looking for a cost-effective way to get online. The service is also popular among those residing in vacation homes for a portion of the year, people living in rural areas, people who are new to the Internet, retirees and travelers.

To connect with dial-up, subscribers need a computer with a modem and a phone line. They dial a local phone number and connect to the network of their provider.

“LocalNet has 10,000 dial-in numbers throughout the continental U.S. and Hawaii to ensure their subscribers get online quickly,” Silvestri said.

He indicated that LocalNet’s record of growth is just one sign that dial-up remains relevant. LocalNet (www.localnet.com) has realized a 150 percent increase in subscribers since 2003, to a base that is now more than 260,000.

Replace Computer Games With Real-Life Competition

<b>Replace Computer Games With Real-Life Competition</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, kids and teens are spending 46 hours per week using electronic media. Now, parents are becoming increasingly concerned that time on the computer is robbing their children of real-life experiences.

The 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing provide an opportunity for parents to interest kids in real-world activities that will help them balance their real life with screen time.

A study by Harris Interactive indicates that nearly 23 percent of youth report that they feel “addicted to computer games.” A new children’s book and animated film, produced by the non-profit Internet Keep Safe Coalition, uses the Games to teach kids what can happen when online gaming takes over real life.

In “Faux Paw Goes to the Games,” the Web-surfing, six-toed cat and Tai Shan, the youngest panda at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, travel to Beijing to light the Olympic flame at the Great Animal Olympics, “Where we set aside our animal differences and play games in peace.”

When Faux Paw becomes distracted by an online game (Worlds of CatWars), Tai Shan helps her realize that real life can’t wait for the game to end. The book and companion DVD (available at Amazon.com and iKeepSafe.org) give parents an opportunity to start a conversation with their children about maintaining a healthy balance. They also contain strategies for parents trying to help children set limits on their computer time.

Dr. Kimberly Young, clinical director of the Center for Internet Addiction Recovery, suggests:

– Address the problem.

– Show you care.

– Become more computer-savvy.

– Set reasonable rules.

– Make the computer visible.

– Encourage other activities.

– Support, don’t enable.

– Use outside resources when needed.

Concerned parents can assess their child’s level of dependence on the computer with Young’s online Parent-Child Internet Addiction test, available at www.iKeepSafe.org/TEST. Parents will also find tutorials and information that will help them prepare their children to use the Internet safely.

For teachers, a complete integrated curriculum, including lesson plans, worksheets, and activities, is also available at no cost at www.ikeepsafe.org.