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Parents: Teens & Phones

I have noticed a trend with teens:  Smartphones.  You may say “duh, that’s been happening for years now,” and you’re right.  What bugs me is not just the fact that teens have them, but that they jumped into the smartphone realm without any thoughts or preparations, and worse, that many parents just let it happen with no considerations.

Parents need to get a hold of thier kids, and they need to realize that parents are their God-given authority.  Enough of the “we’re all winners” and “I want him to make his own decisions and discover his own journey.”  Enough of the journey talk already!  Parents, be parents! I’m sick and tired of hearing parents who were paddled growing up talking about how they don’t paddle their own kids but then get mad when they don’t have control over them.  Yet they tell their kids “if I’d a done that when I was a kid my parents would of…”

Enough ranting.  What about the phones?

Teenagers don’t understand proper responsibility in many realms of life.  Phones are not an exception here.  You’re going to give them a device that is more powerful then the electronics in the rocket that took man to the moon?  (ya, you heard that right!) Then you’re going to give them unlimited data too?  That’s a recipe for disaster.

At the least, parents need to be aware of what their children are doing on their phones.  I think it is very good for parents to have control over when their children get to the Internet.  Also what apps and games they can download and play.  Even the app store itself has all kinds of raunchy content.

All major mobile operating systems (android, iOS, etc.) have some sort of parental controls.  These should be utilized to the fullest extent.  I’m most familiar with iOS.  It has a wonderful “Restrictions” feature (now iOS 12 calls it “Screen Time”).  Check it out, you can lock out the app store, you can turn off the “news” app – and yes, bad stuff can be found there!  Beyond that, you can limit adult content across the device under the safari setting…and I suggest this for ALL Christians, not just teens.  For teens, I even suggest a whitelist-only website list, where every site must be unblocked for them to have access.

For Android, there are app-lockers that will prompt for a parental code before using apps you choose.

Most mainstream phone carriers have a family-safe type system that you can pay for.  They are worth looking into.

If that’s all you do, then it’s much better than nothing.  You can also install a third-party monitoring software and apps.  NetNanny, Mobicip, and Covenant Eyes are good choices.

Computer Internet Safety

For Windows computers, I suggest Clean Internet or Covenant Eyes, and for Mac Computers, Covenant Eyes.

Suggestion

If you have 5-6 hours (and I think it’s worth every minute if you love your kids,) then go here and watch these videos!  They contain a Bible based system to combat the monster of technology in the home.

The Bottom Line

None of this will work if you don’t have a relationship with your kids.  If you don’t have your kid’s heart, they will only see this as a reason to rebel.  See more about that in the first video (zone 0) of Joseph Baxter’s series over at www.criticalarmor.com.

If you have any questions or comments, make them below!

What are your sub-conscious thoughts?

In I Kings 3, we read of Solomon’s request to God.  God came to Solomon at night in a dream and asked him what he wanted. (I Kings 3:5)

Even in his sub-conscious state of sleep, Solomon knew what he wanted.  In verse 9, he asked the LORD for an understanding heart and discernment.  This pleased the LORD, and in verse 11 God promised much more than just that if he would obey Him.

This has led me to think.  Solomon loved the LORD.  He was not perfect, as we see at the beginning of the chapter, but he tried to please God with what he did.  Such was this a habit, that when he was asleep, his thoughts were of God and His ways.

How would you answer the question if you were asked in your sub-conscious state?  Would you jump at the opportunity to have that new car?  Would you jump at the opportunity for a better job?  These aren’t bad things, but at at what point would you ask for God’s wisdom?

Make it a point to put God first in every area of life.  Everything we do, everything we think, and the way we react to circumstances.

I think a lot of people harbor bitterness, envy, covetousness, strife, so that given the opportunity, they have left God out!

Psalm 150:6 says, “Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.”

World War

The IRS Scandal – An IT Guy’s Take

In case you aren’t up on the news, Lois Learner, the ex-IRS official at the center of the investigation of the IRS’ targeting of non-profit groups, had a computer crash.

Coming from an IT guy myself:

Folks, this happens.  That’s why there are backups.  Not only that, but federal law mandates that federal records be permanently stored.  If the IRS was upstanding in this case, they would produce the backups, hard copies, and all other paperwork or electronic information regarding the case.  If they didn’t backup, then they have the most pathetic IT staff in the nation and they should all get fired.  A “lost” or “failed” hard drive that got recycled is not a good enough excuse.

I agree with the following statements:

“The IRS in charge of hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ information. And you’re now saying your technology system was so poor that years’ worth of emails are forever unrecoverable?”

How far would the excuse ‘I lost it’ get with the IRS for an average American trying to file their yearly taxes who may have lost a few receipts.”

–from Chairman David Camp, R-Mich.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/06/20/irs-boss-faces-cover-up-claims-ahead-hill-hearing-on-missing-emails/

Oliver Cromwell Dismisses Parliament

If someone had the guts to say this in congress, they would be completely right.:

“It is high time for Me to put an End to your Sitting in this Place, which you have dishonoured by your Contempt of all Virtue, and defiled by your Practice of every Vice;

Ye are a factious Crew and Enemies of all good Government; Ye are a Pack of mercenary Wretches and would, like Esau, Sell your Country for a Mess of Pottage; and like Judas, betray your God for a few Pieces of Money; Is there a single Virtue now remaining amongst you?

Is there one Vice that you do not possess? Ye have no more Religion than my horse! Gold is your God: Which of you have not bartered your Conscience for Bribes?

Is there a Man amongst you that has the least care for the Good of the Commonwealth?

Ye sordid prostitutes! Have you not defiled this Sacred Place, and turned the Lord’s Temple into a Den of Thieves by your immoral Principles and wicked Practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole Nation.

Your Country therefore calls upon me to cleanse the Augean Stable, by putting a final Period to your Iniquitous Proceedings in this House, and which by God’s Help, and the strength He has given Me, I now come to do.

I command ye, therefore, upon the Peril of your Lives, to depart immediately out of this Place; Go! Get out! Make haste, ye Venal Slaves, begone!”

~Oliver Cromwell, April 20, 1653

5 Biggest Tech Myths

The following was taken from the Fox News Website. The URL is at the bottom of the post.
I can’t say these are my biggest myths, but I definitely agree with all of them. Especially #3 & #5.
–Joel Porozynski

For an industry that’s based on math, science and engineering, technology sure spawns a surprising amount of myths.

Some of these myths are amusing or only mildly annoying. A relative might send you a chain email claiming that Microsoft will pay you cash to forward it on. Another rumor surfaces occasionally that Facebook is going to start charging users a subscription fee.

However, clinging to certain myths can cost you time and money. Let’s take a closer look at these serial offenders.

1. Macs never get viruses
Last year’s outbreak of the malicious Trojan called Flashback infected more than 600,000 Macs. The year before that, the fake anti-virus rogueware known as MacDefender also caused chaos for Mac users.

These high-profile security breaches were a wake-up call for Mac users who believed that Apple computers were immune to the viruses that plague PC users.

Apple once boasted in its ads that Mac users could relax and let the built-in defenses of OS X do all the heavy lifting to safeguard their data. The tech giant has since toned down that message.

Don’t let your purchase of a Mac lull you into a false sense of security. Like PC users, Mac users should make safe browsing and vigilant virus monitoring a top priority.

Download one of the excellent — and free — Mac security programs in my Security Center. And keep it up to date!

2. You get what you pay for with software
Even with budget systems available, computers are a sizeable investment. Fortunately, the software you install doesn’t have to add to the bill.

Modern computer users are lucky to have a vast and growing library of free, open-source software available. Open-source free software can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars over commercial programs without sacrificing essential features.

LibreOffice and Thunderbird, for example, are free programs that can effectively replace Microsoft Office and Outlook. GIMP is a popular free alternative to Adobe Photoshop.

Free software isn’t about all work and no play. VLC is one of the best media players available. It will handle nearly any video or movie format you throw at it, including DVD and Blu-ray.

Click here for a larger list of free software that you’ll love.

3. The more megapixels, the better the camera
Many consumers focus too much on megapixel count when buying cameras. A 16MP camera has to be better than a 12MP camera, right?

Not necessarily. Camera sensor quality is as much about physical sensor size as pixel amount.

A large 12MP sensor in a DSLR will produce better photos than a tiny 16MP sensor in a point-and-shoot.

To cram that many pixels onto a small sensor, manufacturers shrink the size of the pixels. Smaller, crowded pixels don’t capture light as well as bigger pixels spread across a large sensor. The small sensor struggles to capture the tonal range of bright scenes and generates unwanted noise when used in low light.

Don’t get me wrong; megapixels are important. Generally, having more megapixels leads to greater detail in images and allows you to make larger prints.

But the quality of the camera’s lens and its on-board image processor is also very important.

The trick to buying a camera is finding one that fits your shooting needs without overspending on technology that you may not need. My Essential Guide to Digital Cameras will help you find the camera that’s right for you.

4. Password-protected public Wi-Fi is safe
I’m always urging my listeners to secure their home wireless networks to keep out hackers and criminals. Click here for detailed instructions.

Unfortunately, the same isn’t true for public Wi-Fi, such as your neighborhood coffee shop or café, even if it is password-protected.

The point of a password at home is to keep hackers off the network entirely. With public Wi-Fi, hackers can access the network for the price of a cup of coffee.

Once a hacker is on the network, your laptop or mobile gadget is exposed. Any sensitive browsing you do, such as online banking, puts your information at risk of being intercepted.

Some hackers even like to set up their own network with the same name as the coffee shop network. You might think you’re connecting to a legitimate business network, but it’s really a hacker-controlled network. That makes it even easier for them to steal your information. Even security professionals fall for this tactic!

Be wary about where you go and log in when Web browsing in public. Wait until you get home to do any online banking or shopping, or at least use a cellular connection.

Want some other tips for staying safe on public Wi-Fi? Click here for my 5 simple rules.

5. Always buy new gear
Many shoppers will endure horrific lines to save 10 percent on the latest gadget, yet they shun 20- to 30-percent discounts on refurbished computers and other tech gear. The assumption is that a refurb will be faulty or buggy.

Customers do indeed return products because they didn’t work correctly. But sometimes it’s just buyer’s remorse and the gear is fine. How do you know?

Go with a refurb from a major company. Tech giants like Apple and Dell fix, test and resell their products with the same support and warranty as new products. Apple even gives you a new battery on mobile products.

As long as you buy direct from the manufacturer (or a trusted reseller), and there’s a good return policy and warranty in place, there isn’t much of a downside to buying refurbished.

In Apple’s case, you can even buy an extended warranty for a refurb. Click here to find out whether that’s a smart buy

This article can be found…
http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2013/02/09/5-biggest-tech-myths/