If you’re a parent, you’re braced for your kids frequent summer cry, “I’m bored!” That down time means lots of internet and electronic time for children. And with 95 percent of teens using the internet, parents are rightfully worried about the sites their kids are visiting and what they are sharing while they are at work.
A new Pew Research study sheds some light on teen’s social media habits, and illustrates some important steps to keep your kids’ social media activities safe.
Alarmingly, almost three-fourths of teens share city and school information. This makes it easy for online predators to find a victim by matching location and photos.
With cyberbullying, cyber-stalking and intimidation extortion scams in the headlines, parents should use them to demonstrate the dangers of sharing location information and pictures on social media. Some teens use a picture of a favorite sport, cartoon character, or movie clip as their profile picture to keep their identity safe while still seeming “cool” to others. Work with your teen to find something they would like to use as an alternative to their real picture so you both can be happy.
Securing social media is important, but make sure your kids’ smart phones and tablets are protected as well. Download and install an anti-virus and anti-theft app like SecureIT Mobile to protect them from internet threats and a password and data protection service like Password Genie to make sure their personal information stays private.
Important tips like these will make sure a simple “I’m bored,” doesn’t turn into something far more dangerous.
For most, Memorial Day weekend marks the start of summer fun as well as a day to honor those who served. The long weekend often entices Americans to get out on the highway and travel, fire up the grill or cool off in a sparkling swimming pool. This weekend also reminds many to take a few safety precautions to make sure that this first long summer weekend turns out to be the best ever. Keeping your mobile devices safe during fun summer activities is equally as important, so we put together a few tips to keep your digital items safe as well:
• Holiday travel usually means at least one forgotten item left behind. Before you accidentally leave your device in a hotel, rest stop, camp ground or community pool, install SecureIT Mobile so you can locate your device, lock it or wipe it to keep your personal data safe.
• Don’t let your mobile devices get overheated. Mobile devices have temperature limits just like humans. The temperature threshold for most Android phones and iPhones is around 100°F and in summer temperatures it can reach that very quickly.
• Keep electronic devices away from the pool, river, lake, etc. to avoid water damage. Though there are many resources to help you fix your phone after it’s gotten wet, your best defense is to keep it away from the water.
• Don’t text and drive! It’s tempting to read and/or answer that text while you are driving, but studies show that texting while driving actually lowers your ability to drive more than drinking and driving. Use a hands-free device to make calls or send text messages via voice recognition software.
• Install a locator app so you can find your way if you get lost hiking. SecureIT Mobile includes GPS location services that can be used by your family or authorities to find you if you are lost; however, having a GPS app that will give you turn-by-turn directions to get back on track is helpful as well.
• Limit location sharing on social media. Generally, it’s wise to only allow GPS related applications to track where you are because many thieves scan Facebook for people on vacation and to plan home break-ins.
• God forbid, you would have your mobile device lost, stolen or irreparably damaged, and your information is lost forever. Use encrypted backup software like FileHopper to back up your personal information and files.
No matter how you celebrate Memorial Day Weekend 2013, be sure to have fun and stay safe. No one wants to deal with the panic of losing or damaging a mobile device when they are on vacation. With SecureIT and FileHopper, we’ll take the headache out of those situations and get you back to enjoying the sweet summer fun!
Mobile malware has long been a rising tidal wave looming over unsuspecting consumers that the mobile security industry has warned about, but the message seemed self serving. Recently, an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) complaint and a Consumer Reports publication brought the issue into the limelight and added a sense of urgency. The ACLU complaint alleges that mobile carriers have failed to protect their subscribers against Android malware threats. Consumer Reports urges consumers to take protecting their mobile devices into their own hands by downloading and using mobile security tools from trusted sources.
The ACLU petition points out that software security updates are rarely sent to the majority of mobile devices on the market. Many phones on the market are running outdated and exploitable versions of Android because the updates are not made available on mobile devices in the same way there are for personal computers. For example, when Microsoft issues a vulnerability patch to their software, consumers are alerted to install it through Windows update on a regular Tuesday basis. At the moment, no such thing exists for mobile phones leaving consumers in the dark.
The June 2013 Consumer Reports article on cell phone security reveals some staggering statistics from their January State of the Net survey. Nearly 40 percent of consumers don’t use any security measures on their phones leaving them vulnerable to the thousands of mobile viruses in the wild. Even more shocking is the estimated 5.6 million smart phone users who experienced phone behavior that indicated the presence of malicious software. The problem isn’t just about malicious software, many apps collect and sometimes expose personal information about you and you may be doing so unwittingly. Many consumers don’t read the lengthy privacy notices from app developers or question the kinds of information collected by them. Pair that with the roughly 1 percent of smart phone users who have reported that either themselves or someone they know was harassed or harmed after the attacker used location tracking services to find them. Not only are you putting your digital self at risk, but your physical self as well.
Luckily for consumers, there are simple tips to protect yourself and your data:
- Protect your smart phone with a password that will grant access to it as your first line of defense. This can be a 4-digit code, a connect-the-dots type pattern, word or phrase. On some phones, you can even go a step further and add voice, fingerprint, or facial recognition passwords.
- Download or install security software, like SecureIT Mobile, that includes antivirus that scans the apps you download, a phone locator/anti-theft and remote wipe functions should your phone fall into the wrong hands.
- Backup your smart phone’s data; this simple step can be a lifesaver should your device ever be irreparably damaged, lost, or stolen. Having an app like FileHopper that automatically backs up new entries is a huge plus because you don’t have to remember to run a backup process.
- Use a password manager. Internet browsers are not a secure place to save your passwords, so you need something like Password Genie to save and suggest passwords for you while protecting that data with encryption.
It’s a scary internet world out there with mobile malware increasing by hundreds of percentage-points year over year and it’s clear you have to protect yourself. For more tips and tricks to keep your device safe check out our press release.
Sync your files and photos to your FileHopper cloud for instant access… now new for iPhone and iPad!
It’s just a fact of life that we lead busy lives. Time is something there is never enough of both personally and professionally. While we can’t solve the problem of ‘time’ for you, we can help make managing your life a little easier and lot more convenient.
With FileHopper for iOS you can upload your photos and files to your FileHopper folder and access them from anywhere you have FileHopper installed! The best part is that once you’ve purchased FileHopper for your iPad or iPhone, we provide you with a FREE desktop companion. Install your desktop companion on any Mac or PC and watch as all your photos, video, MP3’s and files sync seamlessly across all of your devices.
Have vacation photos or work files you’d like to have available offline? No problem! Mark any item as a favorite and you’ll not only have quick, convenient access to it, but you’ll be able to access it when your device isn’t connected to the Internet.
In addition, FileHopper iOS allows you to create new text documents for notes, reminders or lists. Once saved, that document will automatically be synced across all your FileHopper installations. Start with the Free version, which includes 2GB of cloud-based storage to edit and save your files, then upgrade to Premium to unlock another 3GB plus all the great features listed here, plus 24/7/365 live support and more!
So go ahead and give FileHopper a try. We can’t give you more time in your day, but we can help streamline your on-the-go lifestyle to be a little more manageable and a little less stressful!