We’ve grown up hearing about the dangers of secondhand smoke, but did you know there’s such a thing as secondhand screen time? Yes, it’s a thing, and it’s dangerous too. Research has shown that how much parents use their technology within sight of children might be setting them up for screen addiction later in life.
Studies have shown that American adults touch their phones between 2,500 and 5,000 times a day and they spend between 2.5 to 4 hours on the phone each day. According to the American Psychiatric Association, that fits the definition of addiction: “A condition in which a person engages in the use of a substance or in a behavior for which the rewarding effects provide a compelling incentive to repeatedly pursue the behavior despite detrimental consequences.” More studies are in motion as we speak, but the scientific consensus is that phone addiction is real.
Kristy CooperStudies show dangers of secondhand screen time
If you’re a serious social media user, you’ve probably got some basic safety protocols already in place. But we feel that you can never be too safe, so for all you savvy social users we’ve rounded up some advanced tactics to guard your safety both online and off.
Tip #1: The right mindset
Understanding that what goes online stays online – practically forever – is something that social media users of every age should know. When sharing information online it is important for people to realize the permanence of what they post, share or even download. Once information goes on the Internet through social networking it is difficult, if not impossible, to remove. Even for platforms such as Snapchat or Instagram stories that “disappear” within 24 hours, the information may be captured via screen shot and shared anywhere, anytime. Depending on what was originally submitted, those deleted posts can prove detrimental for future job prospects, relationships, and even leave a person vulnerable to crimes.
From cyberbullying to cybercrime, the annual Safer Internet Day event is proclaimed to raise awareness of emerging online issues and promote safer internet experiences. If you leave your smart phone unlocked or use passwords like “abc123” you might start thinking differently after seeing these statistics. According to data gathered from top tech organizations, 2019 was a big year for cybercrime with 2020 projected to just keep getting worse.
One cyber-attack happens in every 39 seconds
Hackers stole credit card or financial information from 23% of US people
The US lost between $57 billion and $109 billion due to cybercrime
Phishing caused a loss of $1.48 billion
Email and phone are the most common access for hackers
20% of teenagers received an unwanted sexual solicitation when they use the internet
At least 500,000 predators are active online every day, estimated by FBI
Scary? You bet. Education and awareness are two of the easiest and most powerful tools that we all have, as long as we use them. To help you protect your home, business and family from cybercrime, we’ve rounded up the best of our resources here – for home, for business and even for the holidays.
Kristy CooperSafer Internet Day tips for online safety
You may be on the lookout for phishing and other illegal scams in your inbox, but email isn’t the only place that targets people these days. Social media, a place where many people spend a lot of time, can also pose dangers to users who aren’t on their guard. These tips for social media safety will explain what you need to watch out for – and how to manage it.
TIP #1: Don’t overshare
Sharing thoughts, activities and slices of life are great. But sharing too much information can threaten your personal safety. When it comes to social media safety, avoid posting the following things:
Most of us have wondered, at one time or another, if smartphone tracking is being done to us. Truth is… it probably is!
The New York Times released an interesting, in-depth investigation about who is tracked in the United States via personal smartphones and how much of that information is out there for public use. The answer? Everyone is tracked, no matter where they are. And all of that information is available to pretty much anyone who knows how to access it.
This all started when an anonymous source gave the Times a massive file showing location tracking data for more then 12 million phones from around the country that accurately showed where, when and for how long individuals visited places ranging from the ordinary to the extraordinary.
From the Times report:
“In the cities that the data file covers, it tracks people from nearly every neighborhood and block, whether they live in mobile homes in Alexandria, Va., or luxury towers in Manhattan. One search turned up more than a dozen people visiting the Playboy Mansion, some overnight. Without much effort we spotted visitors to the estates of Johnny Depp, Tiger Woods and Arnold Schwarzenegger, connecting the devices’ owners to the residences indefinitely.”
If streaming price hikes or problems with unreliable apps are giving you a headache, you’ve always got alternatives. Special bundles offered by companies joining forces to give you better alternatives and more incentives for your dollars means you’ve still got choices – you just have to know where to look.
Because everyone has unique needs when it comes to streaming, there isn’t one solution that fits all. However, to help you explore some alternatives, we’ve outlined a few options that are being offered during this holiday season.
Kristy CooperStreaming bundles and special offers give customers more alternatives
While we do highly recommend unplugging from your phones and tech when celebrating with friends and family this holiday season, sometimes the right app might turn out to be a lifesaver. So just in case, we’ve provided a list of some of the best apps that might come in handy.
DARK SKY: Winter weather can be fickle, even here in California. The Dark Sky app provides detailed information and predicts when it will rain or snow, down to the minute, at your exact location to help you plan for the day or week. The app uses your phone’s GPS to know exactly where you are standing and works remarkably well. Both free and paid versions are available for Android and Apple devices.
Kristy CooperBest apps for holiday fun, family and safety
If you’re one of the many people excited for the new Disney Plus streaming app (aka Disney+), but disappointed with slowness or even unable to connect, you’re not alone. The new streaming service officially launched last month, but server issues and security concerns are causing many viewers to call it “Disney minus.”
In a streaming world where Netflix and Hulu still lead the charge with quick, easy streaming service, the launch of a new streaming app backed by a digital powerhouse like Disney has been eagerly anticipated by everyone from Frozen fans to Star Wars devotees. More than 10 million people subscribed to Disney Plus in its first day online, eagerly anticipating access to more than 500 movies and 7,500 TV shows.
Kristy CooperDisney Plus Streaming App Launch Difficulties
Looking for more ways to keep your browsing information private? Understanding how DNS (Domain Name Service) requests work, and how they expose the minutia of your internet activity, is a good place to start. Every time you visit a new website, your computer submits a request to the DNS servers system so it can translate the domain name to an IP address.
Let’s put it this way – DNS server information is like a detailed phone record showing all of your Internet use. And because DNS servers are what connect you to your internet service provider (ISP), this means that they can see what websites you are visiting, as well as when and how often you visit them.
Kristy CooperHow Encrypted DNS Servers Can Support Internet Browsing Privacy
If you think you’ve got some time before the holidays are officially here, you’d be wrong. Black Friday deals are already in our Inboxes – and it’s not even Black Friday yet! Costco has had Christmas merchandise out since September. And Amazon Prime packages are piling up on porches as parents get a head start on holiday shopping. Along with the fun and good cheer of the season, however, comes a darker side with hackers, phishers, porch pirates and other not-so-jolly characters working hard to take advantage of distracted shoppers and deal-seekers.
To keep your season merry and bright, we’ve rounded up a few tips for using the internet to protect your finances, purchases, home, and even your happiness.
Kristy CooperHow the internet can protect your finances and home for the holidays
We believe that everyone deserves fast, reliable internet service no matter where they live or work. Softcom brings the experience, infrastructure, and technology to stand behind our vision. And we’re laser-focused on giving our customers the fast connections, exceptional customer service, and simple, affordable pricing they deserve.