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WARNING: The Blue Whale Game!

There is a dangerous game being widely reported on the Internet that parents need to be aware of:  The Blue Whale Game.

The Blue Whale Game is a sick suicide challenge that appears to goad vulnerable teens into killing themselves.  This game, allegedly invented by Russian Phillip Budeikin, 22, came to the attention of the English-speaking world earlier this year after originating on the Russian VK (VKontakte) social media network.  In the game the player makes contact with an “administrator” and accepts the “challenge” to complete 50 assignments in 50 days.  The last challenge requires the player to commit suicide.

There are many questions about this terrible game, but law enforcement, schools, and the media are talking about it, so we will, too!

Continue reading WARNING: The Blue Whale Game!

When Children Play With (Electronic) Fire….


Adults frequently allow their children to play with fire.  Not the real, combustible kind, but the world-ranging, never-dying fire that is the Internet.  They give children the latest gadgets, even when it is not the wisest thing to do. (Tell me…WHY does a 6-year old need a $600 smart phone with full access to the entire planet?)  Then they turn them loose without supervision, controls, or “training”.  Few boundaries are given.  If they are, it is often only when the technology is first provided with no “booster shots” as time goes by.
If you talk to military leaders they will tell you that technology is a “force multiplier”. It increases the power and lethality of weapons used against an enemy.
 
Unfortunately, technology also increases the power and deadliness of children’s actions and words.  The power and influence that technology puts into our children’s hands is totally disproportionate to their maturity and can be very harmful, even deadly. We all read about examples such as:
  • Children gang up on others with social media
  • Revenge is taken by sharing inappropriate pictures among peers, or online with the entire world
  • Reputations are destroyed
  • Kids do something “cool” and are arrested for felonies
  • Pranks and similar acts cause pain and suffering far beyond what is intended or expected

This last one came to national attention in March 2017 when 11-year old Tysen Benze of Marquette, Michigan, killed himself within 2 hours of his girlfriend faking her own suicide via social media.  It all happened so quickly!  Now the young lady, who is (hopefully) grief stricken over this senseless event, is also facing the prospect of criminal charges.  Some of her friends may also face charges.

Continue reading When Children Play With (Electronic) Fire….

Blogging The Knights’ Quest: Top Articles of 2016!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

I hope you had a great 2016!  It looks like 2017 will be full of new things, and that includes new hazards with technology!

For the 2nd year in a row our readership topped 40,000!  Thank you!  This year the target is: 50,000! Share some of our articles and help us get there!

THANK YOU!!!

TECH SAFE SERIES TRANSSo here are the Top 10 most read articles for 2016!

Continue reading Blogging The Knights’ Quest: Top Articles of 2016!

Black Friday, Christmas, and Tech 2016:
What Parents Need To Know – Part II

consolesPart II of a multi-post series. You can find Part I HERE.

One thing that is certain about Christmas:  A ton of video games are destined for Santa’s gift sack!

The game industry knows this and plans the release of games, game systems, and accessories with an eye to the end of the year.  That’s why we just saw Sony release the Playstation Pro, and why Microsoft released their new XBOX ONE S machines a couple of months ago.

So, parents, what dangers to your kids lurk in this part of the electronics industry?  What do you need to consider before getting that new game, or game system?

Let’s take a look!

Continue reading Black Friday, Christmas, and Tech 2016:
What Parents Need To Know – Part II

Black Friday, Christmas, and Tech 2016:
What Parents Need To Know – Part I

shutterstock_154413884WOW! Halloween is past and the early Black Friday sales are in play! Time to start planning!

As parents are shopping they have to consider how they will keep their kids safe from inappropriate materials and media, and from predators. What should parents be aware of, and what actions are needed to protect kids from inappropriate material…and more?

In this 4-part series we will look at what parents need to know about protecting kids who use:

– Phones
– Tablets
– Game Consoles
– Video Games
– Streaming TV
– Parental Controls
– and more!

Let’s get started!

Continue reading Black Friday, Christmas, and Tech 2016:
What Parents Need To Know – Part I

Pokemon Go!!! – What Parents Need To Know

Pokemon Go IconIf you have been in the civilized world (and  connected to the Internet) in the past week you have probably heard about all of the ruckus that Nintendo’s new game, POKÉMON GO!, is creating!  In just the first few days, POKÉMON GO! has thrown CANDY CRUSH off the top of the app pile, and (as of July 13, 2016) had over 21-MILLION peak users in the United States, alone!  The frenzy also hit Wall Street and, in the first week of release, Nintendo’s stock price jumped, adding $7.5-BILLION to the firm’s market value.

POKÉMON GO! has produced millions of happy Pokémon fans who have long awaited the fun it brings, but there are also a number of unintended consequences, risks, and outright dangers that parents need to know about.

So, let’s dive in!

Continue reading Pokemon Go!!! – What Parents Need To Know

Monitoring iPhones: What Parents Need To Know – Part I

shutterstock_218810494 Kids and iPhones!  Those little handheld computers are both convenient and a problem, and problems are what parents worry about the most:  Sexting, social media, shooting inappropriate photos/videos, downloading undesired media, bullying.  And they should.

In the past year (2015-2016) courts have ruled that parents may be held legally responsible and considered legally negligent due to children’s activities online when the parents are aware that a child’s online activities may be injurious or are in need of correction (BOSTON et al. v. ATHEARN et al., Georgia Court of Appeals).  In addition, purchases made online, especially in-app purchases, can blow the family budget.  So, if parents are on the hook, what do they do?

Continue reading Monitoring iPhones: What Parents Need To Know – Part I

TUMBLR: What Parents Need To Know

twitter_256Lots of young females like Tumblr, the “superblog” platform.  In fact, recent Pew Research indicates that 23% of teen girls use Tumblr compared to only 5% of boys. It’s popular because very easy to set up your own blog and add content. Plus, it is easy to find other people’s content on their blogs and add their content to your blog. It has social features such as “liking” and “following”. Tumblr is a well-designed platform for expressing yourself.

But, there are things parents need to know….
Continue reading TUMBLR: What Parents Need To Know

THE TECH-SAFE HOME: Digital Spring Cleaning Check List

Spring Cleaning 3Spring is here!!!

Well, Mother Nature may not know that yet, in some parts of the country, but Spring is definitely here, and many of us have lots of Spring projects to get our homes and lawns ready for the rest of the year.

This is also a good time to do some digital Spring cleaning, too.  Let’s see what a TECH-SAFE HOME™ needs!

Continue reading THE TECH-SAFE HOME: Digital Spring Cleaning Check List

ONLINE PORN: It’s A Girl Problem Now….

“Pornography?  I don’t worry about that. I only have girls!”girls surfing Internet M1

That’s what a mom told me a 3-4 years ago when I mentioned what I do to educate and equip parents to keep kids safe online.  She was assuming things were like they were in her day, when almost all the consumers of porn were male.

Things have changed.

Continue reading ONLINE PORN: It’s A Girl Problem Now….