Supervising Your Teen’s Virtual Life

The following article is from a MamaBear guest blogger:

Supervising Your Teen's Virtual LifeParenthood has become more challenging since the worldwide web took over our lives. The limitless possibilities entailed in accessing the web have their positive side, but there is a reason why parents should be paying more attention to the negative.

Teenagers are prone to be careless in creating and maintaining their virtual life; they are pulled left and right by the passing trends that dictate the web’s revolution. Amidst their effort to keep up with social standards and to cope with peer pressure, they tend to forego their security altogether. The consequences of this reckless behavior are severe. Many teenagers have been victimized by criminals online and offline, and the effect of their misfortune reaches to their relatives and friends as well.

It is the ultimate responsibility of the parents to ensure their teenager’s safety while online. While this task may seem too difficult to manage, any parent who is determined to maintain family security will find multiple means to pull this off. You’ll never regret a single ounce of effort you exert into taking control of your teenager’s virtual life.

Get Acquainted with the Web

How do you expect to outsmart your teenagers if you are unaware how the worldwide web runs?  Parents have to spend time making themselves web-capable to gain an extensive preview of the sphere wherein their children interact with other people. Identify the top social networking sites visited, the top applications downloaded, and the top themes researched by the age group your teens belong in. Keeping up-to-date with their possible endeavors will enable you to predict the dangers they may encounter.

The web is a large place of endless odds, meaning that you cannot establish efficient security measures without specific knowledge of what you are protecting your teens from. Aside from the basic internet security software, you have to resort to specific deeds to put the proper limits on your teen’s internet activities.

Account for the Gadgets in Your Home

Include in your studies the gadgets that you have in your house, including all cellular phones, and laptops. Teenagers are able to manipulate these devices with expertise that you may not have expected. They can customize the security settings to ensure that you won’t track their online activities.

Take Advantage of Antivirus Program

Malware and hackers still play a part in the overall threat that is looming over your teens. Installing best real-time antivirus software is an excellent means to lessen the damage that you can incur. Malware is an instrument utilized by hackers to gain administrative control over other people’s computers, thus giving them access to your personal files. Cyber criminals often use these files to blackmail young people for money or alternative forms of bargain.

Confront Your Teens

Don’t make it a secret to them that you plan to be a part of their online interests and to check that everything they do in cyber space is safe. Going undercover and being found out later on may pose threats to your relationship that will lead them to be completely secretive of their affairs.

Make your intentions clear to them; the point of this pursuit is to supervise them not because you do not trust them, but because the web is a dangerous place. It is a fact that teens who are aware of their parents’ watchful eyes are more likely to be careful with their online affairs.

Construct Rules

To guarantee the efficiency of the rules you’ll be setting, they have to be created in the presence and with the agreement of your children. These rules will turn into an agreement rather than constraints for them; hence making the job of instituting them a whole lot easier.

Be strict in implementing the punishments you have agreed with. It will send them the message that you’re serious about keeping their online activities aligned with the rules you’ve created. If ever your teens try to push the boundaries, remind them that you are standing your ground. Between the two of you, you’ll have to be the stubborn one.

Channel Positive Energy

Avoid having them rebel against you by letting them understand that conforming to social standards and peer pressure will do them little good. Channel positive energy in the entire duration of this pursuit to let them understand that you are doing this for them. Be flexible in dealing with them. You’ve been a teenager once; you know that these years are not the easiest in life.

Be a Role Model

The simplest way to direct them to the right path is by becoming their role model. Practice safe internet usage and avoid visiting sites that you’ve prohibited them from accessing. Earning their respect in this area will require time and a lot of self-control. Just remember that the lessons they learn now will pay off in their adult years.

Author Bio:

James is a Network Security Expert and presently he places in NYC. Along with this he has a passion of writing technology blogs. He always tries  to write something that helps his users in updating their antivirus software for computer security.



The ages at which children receive a mobile phone

track your kids

With news that the number of mobile phones that exist in the world will exceed the current global population in 2013, it makes us wonder why mobile phones have made such a huge impact on our lives over the past ten years.

I remember my very first phone- a hand me down from my mum, then sister- and strongly recount how grown-up I felt for owning my very own mobile device. However, at 9 years old, I used the phone for nothing but playing games, especially as none of my friends had a phone for me to text or call.

But things today are already very different from when I was 9 years old; it was just last week that I witnessed my 3 year old cousin successfully unlock her dad’s iPhone and navigated her way to a particular app. With children having more and more exposure to technology today, it is hardly surprising that toddlers are capable of handling mobile phones and tablets.

But what age is too young when it comes to children owning mobile phones?

A recent study suggested that 47% of teenagers now own a smartphone, with over half of them considering themselves addicted to their mobile device.

Teenagers activating and looking for the best mobile phone deals on smartphones such as BlackBerrys, iPhones and Androids was at a record high last Christmas, suggesting that the number of young people being bought a mobile phone is increasing year on year.

The report found that over 20% of 13 year olds now own a mobile phone, though the majority of these teenagers don’t have the latest smartphone models such as the iPhone 4S or Samsung Galaxy S3. Many parents even admitted that their children as young as 10 owned a mobile phone, though a high proportion of these owned hand-me-down devices rather than brand new phones specifically purchased the for child in question.

The increase in young people owning a mobile phone can even be seen in the way that contracts have changed. For instance, while pay as you go devices may have become less popular over the past 10 years, pay monthly contracts that can be capped have become more so. In this way, parents find that they are able to track their children’s mobile phone usage insofar as checking which numbers they are calling, and how much money they are spending.

The Pros of young people owning a mobile phone

While critics often focus on the negative impacts of children owning a mobile phone, it is clear that there are obvious benefits of young children being able to navigate their way round technical devices at a young age.

The main pro of a child or teenager having their own mobile phone is an issue of safety; if they can contact you and if you can contact them at any time, it lessens the anxiety that a parent feels if their child is out with their friends, or on a school trip, for example.

Also, by allowing young people to have their own mobile phone, it teaches them the art of budgeting, as well as making them responsible. As mobile phones aren’t always cheap, entrusting a device to a young person is key to their personal development and transition into becoming an adult.

Cons of young people owning a mobile phone

On the other hand, recent reports suggest that out of the all mobile phone thefts last year, a high proportion of them were targeted at teenagers. For example, of the 1,223 mobile phones that were stolen in Nottinghamshire last year, 40 per cent were taken from young people under the age of 21.

However, while this figure may be high, it doesn’t necessarily represent the crime rate throughout the UK. Also, teaching young people about how to stay safe when using their mobile phone is a good lesson learning how to prove their ability to take care of their most prized possessions.


So there we have it; while the number of young people owning a mobile phone might be on the rise, it doesn’t necessarily mean that our children are failing to learn how to communicate. With the technology dominating our society today, it only seems fitting for the future generation to be at the forefront of the hi-tech revolution. And with ‘text speak’ well and truly out of fashion, mobile phones could even get young people writing the English language more frequently, thus enhancing their education. What is clear, however, is that the pull of mobile phones to young people today seems to be getting stronger for parents to resist.



David Khan

The article above was from a MamaBear guest blogger. The MamaBear blog is now accepting guest post from reputable bloggers on a variety of subjects. If you are interested in guest blogging for MamaBear simply contact us here.

Help Curb Teen Drinking and Driving with Social Media and Driving Monitor Alerts


MamaBear is helping families fight teen drinking and driving with social media and driving monitor alerts. It’s that time of year again, when the snow melts from the road and parents hand kids the keys for the first time. It’s also the season for spring break parties, prom and graduation. For many teenagers, it also means early experimentation with alcohol. In the United States, more than twenty percent of teens from tenth grade to twelfth grade experiment with alcohol consumption beyond a few sips. Even with drastic improvements in underage drinking and driving, on average three people under the age of twenty one die every day in alcohol related driving accidents.

MamaBear can offer parents some security when it comes to teen drinking and driving. Our driving monitor alerts give parents information about their child’s speed – whether driving or riding. Parents can use speeding alerts to talk about unsafe driving habits even before alcohol is introduced. A quick call after a driving alert allows parents to ask some questions and caution their speed.

In addition to driving monitor alerts, MamaBear can issue parents an alert when a child is tagged in photos, which we know our teens love to do at parties and social events. Restricted word alerts in social media involving keywords like beer, drinking, drunk and wasted can give parents a real warning if used in on their social media pages. Social alerts combined with driving monitor alerts can reveal possible teen drinking and driving giving parents an opportunity for a parent to interject in the situation preventing a dangerous outcome.

For most teens, drinking and driving will come up at some point. Our kids may be put in an uncomfortable situation when getting into a car of a friend under the influence. The MamaBear App on their phone assists our kids in getting out of the situation. With options that quickly and discreetly inform parents they need a ride, or need help, MamaBear could be an easy solution to peer pressure. This means even more options for responsible teens to avoid teen drinking and driving related problems, even when they aren’t doing the drinking or driving themselves.

Driving Monitor App – How Fast is Your Teenager Driving?

driving monitor app

It’s so important for our newest drivers, in most cases teenagers, to be safe when out on the road. Speeding is a common violation for many new drivers, yet can have terrible consequences. MamaBear App’s driving monitor feature can tell you how fast your teen is driving. Knowing how fast your teen is going can start a needed conversation on ways to be safe drivers and the consequences of speeding.

According to a survey from, 69% of teens who speed say they do so because they want to keep up with traffic. Also, it states that 55% of teens knowingly exceed the speed limit by at least 10 miles per hour and 17% of teens surveyed said that speeding is fun. There really shouldn’t be any reasoning behind speeding. It’s a law in place with safety in mind. It’s a must follow. MamaBear’s driving monitor app can help parent’s track their teen’s speed to see if they’re exceeding the limits and by how much. How do you think your teen drives when you’re not around? Can peer pressure from friends in the car play a role?

Knowing and understand your teen’s speeding habits gives you a chance to share stories with them about the most severe consequences. You’ll find a new one in the news pretty much daily.

During the teenage years, they may feel invincible like nothing can hurt them. So when approached about speeding, your teen may be defensive. But, hold your ground. There’s no debate. We all know how important it is to abide the speed limits.

Speeding teenage drivers are more common than many parents may think. Much of it can be a result of peers and the pressure put on teens. If you choose to use a driving monitor app, like MamaBear’s, you may be surprised by what you find. However, this knowledge can start great conversations. Constantly impressing the importance of safe driving upon your new driver is just one more way you can help protect your children. The full survey can be found here:

Keep your teens safe while driving, download the MamaBear driving monitor app.