Is the Introduction of Video from the Instagram App Dangerous for Children?

Justin-Bieber-Instagram-Video
The first Instagram video to receive 1 million likes was from Justin Bieber. http://instagram.com/p/ay3XaiAvhC/

Instagram went online in 2010 and rapidly exploded into the 130 million user social media juggernaut that it is today. The popular photo app works on both Android and iOS platforms. The allure of easy photo sharing, liking photos, tagging and the unique filters and editing options make the app an endless source of social entertainment.  The thought of our kids sharing/viewing photos and now videos with and from 130 million people could be source of anxiety for many parents. Other social video apps like Vine already have a following, and the switch can be a hassle  for established users. This leaves a large community of young users that may not migrate, until of course their friends aren’t there anymore.

Instagram video allows for uploads of a 15 second video and joins the same stream as photos.

This addition to the stream doesn’t introduce new risk, maybe just some surprise when anticipating a photo to instead see a video.  However, the explore tab of Instagram has been and continues to be unsettling.  Search anything you’d like and be presented with that category of photos and now videos.   Preying adults and curious kids can easily cross paths by exploring Instagram.

As recommended prior to the introduction of video, be sure your child’s account is set to private.

Talk to your kids about talking to strangers. Stranger danger rules apply online the same as in person. They should not follow anyone they don’t know. And if your kids are going to post videos, talk to them about what’s appropriate.  Keep in mind revealing location, school name and other personal information can be a lot easier in a video than in a photo so they need to be extra careful to avoid potentially very dangerous situations.

MamaBear Instagram notifications can inform parents when a child is tagged in a photo or video, as well as when they add a follower or are contacted by a restricted follower. In addition parents can build a restricted word list to be notified when those words are used on their child’s Instagram feed. We’ll do our part to continue to monitor Instagram video to ensure parents are up to date with new features. Parents, we rely on you to teach your kids proper use of social media.

Download the MamaBear app today to ensure your children are using Instagram appropriately.

 

iPhone vs. Android: MamaBear Weighs in on Smartphone Shopping for Your Kids

iphone vs android kids

It’s a must for the MamaBear team to stay up to date on the latest technology, news and developments in the mobile industry. We strive to deliver the latest technologies available in the major Android and iPhone devices that integrate with our MamaBear family safety promise. Lately we’ve had more than a few parents ask which phones we recommend, and why. Android phones and iPhones are by far the largest portion of the smartphone market. Here’s our comparison to help you determine the best option for your kids.

iPhones for Kids

Pros

There’s no doubt that the iPhone is incredibly popular in design. iPhones integrate well with other Apple products through use of iCloud and offers great device parental controls built in the settings. Kids love Siri and access to many well-regulated apps for hours of entertainment. The ability to save on data costs is also a nice benefit using imessaging when connected to WiFi.

Cons

iPhones are expensive. The designs are so popular that only 2-3 versions of iPhones are on the market and supported by Apple at any given time. Families are also finding that the new power adapter port on the iPhone 5 isn’t compatible with older iPhone technology like docking stations and power cords. Using iPhone with tracking and monitoring apps can also become a bit more difficult as developers have tight guidelines for app features.

Android Phones for Kids

Pros

Unlike iPhones, Android powered smartphones have a wide spectrum of models and prices from several manufacturers. This can give parents leeway to get the phone that fits their family’s needs well. Many Android powered phones tend to have upgradeable memory and are extremely customizable. Another big advantage that comes with Android phones is the insurance that mobile carriers often provide. Android phones are generally easier to insure against loss, theft and accidental damage than with the Apple replacement program. We also experience faster development cycles with greater opportunity to introduce in demand monitoring features like text message monitoring.

Cons

Android phones aren’t without their faults. In general, we’ve seen parents have more success with child safety apps than with built in Android settings. Unlike iPhones, Android phones have hundreds of makes and models. This can make research before buying quite a bit more difficult than picking the popular model in the store. The newest Android operating system aren’t uniform meaning owners of older Android models might have to wait for the newest platform updates.

Iphone Vs Android  for Kids – The Verdict

When it comes to smartphone shopping for the kids, we think the Android platform wins out. Ultimately, the generally lower price points, a wide range of options and ease of replacement makes Android the best option for kids of all ages. In addition, location monitoring, device monitoring also becomes more efficient with Android devices. iPhones are excellent devices and we are definately apple fans, but today we think the Android platform is the best option for our kids. We’re proud to have MamaBear on both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. Check it out and let us know what you think!

MamaBear App’s Top Three Tips for Summer Safety

summer safety for kids

It’s Summertime! When most of us were kids there was no holding us back from summer fun and extra time for discovery and exploration. Even in a world that’s way more complex than ours was, every year summer still means more free time for millions of kids.

Here are our top summer safety tips for and ways MamaBear can help you be in the know and keep the family safe.

1. Water Safety

Teaching your kids how to swim is number one. Then all of the water safety precautions will follow – wear sunscreen, no wrestling in the water, know where the lifeguards or parents are, look out for each other.

2. Camping Safety

Parent chaperones are always best. Nonetheless being prepared with a first aid kit, bug spray and sunscreen are good ideas. Location devices can also be very useful when camping. Installing MamaBear on a camper’s iPhone or Android Smartphone can give kids quick access to parents in case of emergencies while offering parents and chaperones up to date location information about the kids.

3. Safe Road Trips

The freedom of summer usually means some form of travel. This can mean single day trips to local destinations for some, or longer road trips for others. MamaBear’s sound advice is to make sure your kids have a smartphone, a car charger for it and a regular charger. Smartphones are one of the best tools to help kids stay safe on the road – but NO texting and driving. Kids can use a smartphone for directions, travel tips, taking pictures and certainly checking in with mom. MamaBear can let parents monitor trip progress and driving speed, as well as offer children an easy to use option to contact parents if there is an emergency on the road.

These favorite summer activities will give our kids such wonderful experiences. We encourage loosening up the boundaries with the help of technology to ease our minds! MamaBear can help parents with summer safety for kids and provide a variety of ways to keep tabs on our children’s whereabouts and activities. Location monitoring, social media monitoring and driving speed alerts means kids can explore and parents can still work. Let us help you keep track of the kids this summer by downloading MamaBear from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

The Best Apps for Parents in 2013

apps for parents

The start of 2013 offers a wealth of apps for parents to help with day to day life. There are so many apps available for Android and iOS devices that just searching for the best in each category can be very time consuming for a busy parent. Here are a few apps that our MamaBear team have found can make parenting just a little bit easier. These should help with managing life around the kids, as well as monitoring and managing the kids themselves.

Best Note App for Parents

Parents on the go need a good note app just to keep track of day-to-day life. A note app needs to be fast and flexible, especially for parents with multiple children. Evernote works across multiple devices and allows parents to save audio, visual and text based notes and is extremely easy to use.

Best Grocery and List App for Parents

Specific lists may call for more than just a note app. Grocery list apps like OurGroceries can help parents save time from checking grocery stocks. It can synchronize multiple phones to let a family share a list.

For the lists that children hate the most, the ones with their chores, iRewardChart gives parents an easy way to offer incentives.

Best Activities App for Parents

In the same vein as chore apps, apps that make it easy for parents to promote schools and safe extracurricular activities are often very helpful. Overdrive lets kids tap into the local public and educational libraries.  TeamSnap helps parents schedule team and group events easily while making contact with the team and team parents easier.

Best Parental Restrictions App

Setting up parental restrictions for particular device features and age appropriate content is important. For restricting phone access for children using Android phones, we recommend Kids Place.  Kids Place allows the parent to choose what apps and features the child can access on the phone while disabling the rest of the phone’s functionality. This gives parents the flexibility to allow children to try different apps and options and ensures that other apps stay put. Kids place also works on a parents’ phone to allow smaller children to play games, but not accidentally dial or text out.

On an iPhone, go to settings, general and enable parental restrictions for the device features you prefer.

Best All-in-One Parenting App

We don’t mean to toot our own horn, but when it comes to child monitoring apps for parents, MamaBear is your best option. MamaBear offers child location tracking via GPS and alerts, driving alerts, and social media monitoring in one easy to understand interface. In 2013, we’re working on adding even more functionality and looking forward to GPS upgrades in many new Android phones and iPhones.

There are lots of apps to make parenting easier, some of them easier than others. These apps are all available on Android or iOS, just like MamaBear parenting app. Many of them work across multiple platforms and devices, making multi phone households more manageable.

Using these apps for parents should make 2013 a little easier with our biggest reward being happy, safe children.

 

The start of 2013 offers a wealth of apps for parents to help with day to day life. We review the top apps available for Android and iOS devices
Mobile Apps
Date Published: 01/24/2013
4 / 5 stars