7 Fall Driving Safety Tips

7 Fall Driving Safety Tips

The following post is a guest blog from Jason Fidishun. Jason loves working with John’s Driving School, a company dedicated to teaching residents of Lower Bucks County proper driving techniques for over 40 years. When Jason isn’t teaching, he enjoys spending time with his family and traveling.

7 Fall Driving Safety Tips

Throughout the fall and into the holiday season, thousands of parents pack their college students up to move to a university, while other residents head out on the roads to visit family and friends. Roads and highways quickly become over-crowded, so it is important to drive with caution on the roads. Heed these driving safety tips to lessen you or your young driver’s chances of being involved in an accident on the highways this fall.

Buckle up.  Whether you are coasting around your favorite mountain town or cruising down a highway, it is important to always wear your seatbelt. Make sure that children are safely buckled into the backseat, and that infants are tucked into properly secured car seats. Wearing a seatbelt can mean the difference between life and death in a car accident, so be sure to buckle up when heading out on the road.

Check tires. Give your tires a thorough inspection before heading out this fall. Test the air pressure, and inspect for any leaks or punctures that could cause problems on the road. Ensure that there is a spare tire in your trunk in case anything goes wrong during your travels.

Service your vehicle. Before taking any kind of road-trip, it is a good idea to have your car inspected to ensure it is running properly. Have your oil changed, tires rotated, and battery checked to prevent breakdowns on the highways.

Observe speed. It is extremely important to monitor your speed at all times while operating a car. This is especially important when driving on major highways, and through towns where the speed may only be 25 miles-per-hour. Make yourself aware of the speed limit in the area you are in, and pay attention for changes in speed throughout your travels.

Have patience. You are more than likely to experience traffic when traveling this fall, especially on the weekends. Just remember to take it easy, and do not rush or drive erratically. It is better to arrive late to your destination safely than to never get there at all.

Watch out. Pay attention to the road and the things surrounding your car at all times. Avoid looking away from the roads and becoming distracted by texting or searching for good music. Be especially careful of other drivers around you, as they may not be paying close attention to you or your vehicle. Also watch out for pedestrians attempting to cross the street, as they have the right of way at crosswalks.

Be prepared.  Keep your vehicle stocked with items to use in case of emergency. Have a first aid kit handy, as well as items like flares and reflective traffic warning triangles to warn other vehicles in the event of a breakdown.

In order to arrive safely to your destination, heed these driving safety tips.

photo credit: Nicholas A. Tonelli via Flickr cc

Is Vine Safe for Kids?

When Twitter released the Vine app, it was greeted with a lot of controversy pertaining to its safety and usability among kids. Just like any social media tool, parents became aware that this app could lead to online security problems such as identity theft and cyberbullying. But, what can a parent do? | MamaBear App

The following post is a guest blog from Allie Cooper, a tech enthusiast who’s very passionate with her volunteer work; educating kids about responsible mobile device usage both locally and internationally. She also loves to cook and to travel. Despite her busy schedule, she updates herself with the recent parental control technologies.

When Twitter released the Vine app, it was greeted with a lot of controversy pertaining to its safety and usability among kids. Just like any social media tool, parents became aware that this app could lead to online security problems such as identity theft and cyberbullying. But, what can a parent do?

Similar to Instagram, the video-hosting tool exposes kids to a number of multimedia content. While it can be used for educational purposes and certainly some laughs and entertainment, some users tend to abuse the tool to spread malicious content.

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

Here are  tips  to ensure children’s Vine usage is safe and secure.

Parental Controls

Preventing kids to land on spiteful content, parental monitoring software is ideal to limit only the appropriate app and websites that the child can view. There’s no need to keep it a secret. Rather explain to them the benefits and reasons for employing it, to retain a certain trust.


Before providing a device, ensure that it has a mounted security feature. The good thing is that mobile service providers are spearheading this move. In 2011, O2 has installed an 18+ filter on mobile web browsing, preventing minors to land on adult and malicious content.

Knowing a Kid’s Network

With the absence of concrete privacy settings, users can easily browse all available profiles of their network. It’s advisable to be well-versed with how the app works as well as  the type of people the child interacts (friends, followers, and the people they follow). As a parent, it’s also best to make sure that the people and content you post are accepted online. Always show a good example.

Social Media Monitoring App

From a modern parent perspective, many are now utilizing social media monitoring tools to keep an eye on their young ones. Ideally, these allow you to receive an email alerts or push notification, which details how the child behaves online. Moreover, some tools are able to predict and give reports when a restricted word has been uttered online, and even when a questionable person mentions your kid. One of the most favorable tools is the Mamabear app. For example, Mamabear’s Instagram notifications allow parents to be updated when the child has been tagged in a photo or video, including recent followers and newly-followed profiles.

Watch Out for Signs

Due to peer pressure, kids easily share videos that may incur a negative effect on a kid’s emotional and psychological upbringing. Parenting expert Michele Borba suggests to watch out for signs to prevent the future attacks of cyber predators.

Social withdrawal

Social withdrawal happens when kids have deactivated all of their social networking accounts. According to Social Wellness, this type of social isolation may lead to a severe case of depression.

Fear of Social Networks

The fear of social media normally happens when a kid encounters a cyber predator. This fear leads to occasional anxiety attacks, especially when social media alerts pop up on their mobile device.

Is Vine Safe for Kids?

Vine, despite its flaws, can be a safe haven for kids. All it takes is a smart and educated parent, especially instilling good values to their children. Aside from relying on your wisdom and experiences, use technology to  remedy the blunders of social media.

Will you allow your kid to join this video-hosting tool?


Image courtesy of: Aulia. M.

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.



How to Avoid Getting Bling‘ed by Social Media Sneaks

You may not be statuesque like Audrina Patridge, dashing like Orlando Bloom or wealthy like Paris Hilton, but a moment of carelessness could put you in one unfortunate category occupied by all three: crime victim.

Patridge, Bloom and Hilton were among the celebrities who had their homes burglarized by the so-called Bling Ring, a group of fame-obsessed Hollywood teens whose crime spree inspired a film that debuted in mid-June. In some of the break-ins, the young burglars cunningly turned their victims’ use of social media against them.

The recent premiere of The Bling Ring has sparked a number of dialogues touching on everything from the empty culture of celebrity and materialism to the alleged sense of entitlement rampant among members of “Generation TMZ.”

How far will young adults go to emulate the flashy lifestyles of the stars they admire? Are famous people grateful for any kind of attention, even if it involves a visit from police detectives?

As a parent, you probably have little interest in wading into a sociological debate. You’re more interested in practicality — namely, finding out what steps your family can take to avoid the home security threats lurking on the Internet.

Don’t overshare on social media

The Bling Ring had a key accomplice. It has many aliases, but you probably know it as the Internet.

Some of the celebrity victims made themselves easy marks by sharing their whereabouts on social media. Even Paris Hilton, obviously not the most self-aware star in the Hollywood galaxy, has acknowledged the fact that she made herself vulnerable by constantly posting about her activities. Of course, the victims’ habit of leaving their doors unlocked also had something to do with it.

By tweeting about their plans to attend the latest blockbuster premiere or uploading Instagram photos of themselves (aka “selfies”) at a trendy new club, entertainers are effectively announcing to the online world that their homes are unoccupied. When the Bling Ring saw openings like these, they very often capitalized on them.

Even if you don’t live in a Hollywood mansion, discretion on the Internet matters. Home security experts like Chris Wiley of
Security Choice advise that famous and non-famous alike to refrain from exposing potentially compromising information on social media websites. The list of no-no’s includes:

  • Making your address visible in your public profile
  • Accepting “friend requests” from people you don’t know
  • Announcing your vacations plans, especially when they’re accompanied by the dates you’ll be out of town
  • Posting photos of all the cool (and possibly expensive) holiday gifts that you and your family exchanged.

After all, members of the Bling Ring aren’t the only suspicious characters who troll the Internet looking for information they can use. Most of these crooks would be perfectly happy to target the house of an everyday person like you.

It may not be Hollywood, but it is your home

The loot stolen by the Bling Ring has become nearly as famous as the people they stole it from. Over a period of about one year, the burglars got away with more than $3 million worth of jewelry, designer clothes, luggage, a laptop and more.

Just because your life doesn’t have the same material trappings as those of a celebrity doesn’t mean that you have less to protect — quite the contrary. Anyone with a home and a family has the desire and the obligation to protect it all. The Bling Ring may have been busted, but there are plenty of less-fashionable crooks left to contend with.