Dangerous Apps you need to know

Dangerous Apps you need to know

teen-appsDangerous Apps that you as a parent need to know about A look into the some of the scariest Apps for your kids

I work in public relations at Cook Children’s. It’s my job to be on social networking sites, peruse the internet and keep up with the latest Apps offered on smartphones. To keep your children safe, it’s best that you monitor their phone daily. Look through their apps, texts and pictures. They may feel that you’re invading their privacy, but let’s be honest… You’re paying the phone bill, so you can do whatever you want!

Be aware of, that in my opinion are very dangerous:

Yik Yak – This App is one of the newest and one of the most dangerous. The messages can be viewed by the 500 Yakkers who are closest to the person who wrote the Yak, as determined by GPS tracking. Users are exposed to – and contributing – explicit content, abusive language and personal attacks so severe that schools are starting to block the App on their Wi-Fi. Although the posts are anonymous, kids start revealing personal information as they get more comfortable with other users.

SnapChat – This App allows users to send photos that will disappear after 10 seconds. Once the recipient opens the picture, the timer starts. Then it’s gone. From both the sender’s phone and the recipient’s phone. However, the recipient can take a screen shot of the photo and have it to share.

KiK Messenger – This is a private messenger app and is coveted by those under 18 The App allows kids to send private messages that their parents can’t see. There is very little you can do to verify the identity of someone on Kik, which obviously poses the risk of predators chatting with your child.

Poof –The Poof App allows users to make Apps disappear on their phone with one touch. Kids can hide every app they don’t want you to see on their phone. All they have to do is open the App and select the ones they don’t want you to see. Very scary! The good news about this App is it is no longer available but, if it was downloaded before it was deleted from the App store, your child may still have it. Some other names include: Hidden Apps, App Lock and Hide It Pro.

Omegle – Chat participants are only identified as “You” and “Stranger”. You don’t have to register for the App. However, you can connect Omegle to your Facebook account to find chat partners with similar interests. When choosing this feature, an Omegle Facebook App will receive your Facebook “likes” and try to match you with a stranger with similar likes. This is not okay for children. There is a high risk of predators.

Whisper – This is a meeting App that encourages users to post secrets. You post anonymously, but it displays the area you are posting from. You can search for users posting within a mile from you but you never know the person behind the computer or phone. One man in Washington was convicted of taking advantage of a 12-year-old girl he met on this App just last year.

Down – This application, which used to be called “Bang with Friends,” is connected to Facebook. Users can categorize their Facebook friends in one of two ways: they can indicate whether or not a friend is someone they’d like to hang with or someone they are “down” to hook up with. The slogan for the App: “The anonymous, simple, fun way to find friends who are down for the night.” If that alone doesn’t scare you, I don’t know what will!

I know it’s overwhelming to keep up with your kids and their online habits. But just remember to check their phones often, and even more importantly have real life conversations with them. Discuss the dangers of the Apps and make sure they understand the need to keep personal information private.

Please note: You can turn location services, or GPS, off on cell phones by going in to the device settings. This will keep the Apps and photos from posting the exact location or whereabouts of the phone user.

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Posted by on April 17, 2014 in kids, Parenting, Your Good Friends


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End It Movement

slavaryJoin  other Freedom Fighters from around the world today to  SHINE A LIGHT ON SLAVERY. Draw a RED X on your hand. Tell your world that slavery still exists and YOU WON’T STAND FOR IT. Just use your influence any way you can to help us carry the message of FREEDOM so even more people know. Let’s make this SHINE A LIGHT ON SLAVERY DAY even brighter than ever.  #enditmovement


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Love the Sticks Story

lovethatsticks2Sometimes if you are paying attention you can really see God at work around you!
I have a friend who wrote a blog about a “strange” encounter this week that turned out to be a real God moment…
Her car had broken down and so Joana was bumming rides and walking to get around.  Joana is known to be the kind of person who talks to strangers and this week she is glad she does.

Turns out through a long list of events she found herself walking side by side with a woman that received an anonymous sticky note from Joana the year before… and the lady still had the post-it….
here’s her blog conclusion which really touched my heart…

I wrote an entire blog post when I left that note about how when we do kind things, we have to be ok with never seeing the outcome. And yet, an entire year later, God orchestrates a meeting between two strangers that had been connected this entire time without knowing it. I asked her if she believed in God and she said yes. We both agreed we were living in a moment that could have never happened without His influence.

I think about what would have happened if I hadn’t remembered her unusual name, or if I’d had my car and driven instead of walked, or if I had just hurried ahead of her to avoid the awkwardness… I can’t imagine how many potential moments like that I’ve missed.

I don’t really have anything else to say other than God is still big enough and faithful enough to remind us that He is in control and to show us these beautiful moments that can happen when we obey Him. So that’s why I talk to strangers. It’s usually worth it.


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Posted by on February 26, 2014 in Your Good Friends


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You are Wonderful

006 (5)


You are wonderful just the way you are!


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God’s Rest

004 (2)Prayer is the bridge from your mess to God’s rest.


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Bitterly Cold Weather in the Forecast: Be Safe When Heating Your Home

Bitterly Cold Weather in the Forecast: Be Safe When Heating Your Home

With windy conditions and extremely cold temperatures in the forecast, officials remind residents to take safety precautions when heating their homes. Malfunctioning heating equipment is the leading cause of home fires in January and February. Winter storms can also interrupt electrical service, causing people to turn to alternative heating sources, further increasing the risk of fire.

By following these fire prevention measures, you can greatly reduce the risk of fire in your home and enjoy a safe winter season.

• Keep children and combustibles at least three feet away from all heating equipment, stoves and fireplaces.

• If you use an electric heater, do not overload the circuit. If you must use an extension cord, choose one that has a built in surge protector and that the cord is rated for the amps the appliance will require.

• Always remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.

• Make sure your fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room.

• Before going to sleep, ensure the fire in your fireplace is completely extinguished. Never close the fireplace damper if hot ashes remain in the fireplace. The fire may reheat and force toxic carbon monoxide into your house.

• Always let ashes cool before putting them in a closed metal container. Keep the container outside, a safe distance away from your home.


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Resolutions You Can Keep

5 inspiring new year’s resolutions you can keep 
Every year, magazines and websites inundate us with “New Year, New You” headlines, which can be inspiring except most of us find ourselves breaking our new year’s resolutions within the first week. Why exactly? Well, because they’re unrealistic. (Lose 30 pounds by February?) Or we secretly really just don’t want to do them. (Give up coffee? Hmm, maybe not.)  But here’s an idea that might actually motivate you: If your new year’s resolutions revolve around looking your best, the instant gratification of feeling your very best will be what inspires you to actually keep them this year. So if the new year’s resolutions you’ve made already sound unrealistic, here are some new ones that you’ll actually be inspired to keep:

  1. New Year’s Resolution: Quit bad beauty habits. Nail biting, not washing your face at night, overusing the flatiron. There are some bad habits that can really mess with your beauty mojo. Choose the ones that apply to you and just say no.
  2. New Year’s Resolution: Get organized. Cleaning out your closet and reorganizing your makeup drawer might only take you a few hours this weekend, but it will make putting together your look every morning so much easier. I guarantee you’ll discover some cool clothes you almost forgot you had. Be sure to toss, donate or give away the things you don’t use anymore. They just get in the way when you’re trying to get to the good stuff.
  3. New Year’s Resolution: Try a new look.  What’s the style you’ve been dying to sport but have been too afraid (or just too busy) to try? Just try it! All it takes is one trip to the store (and a few bucks).
  4. New Year’s Resolution: Find affordable style.  It’s easier than you think. You don’t need to change what you’re buying, just where you’re shopping. Check out consignment and secondhand stores for inexpensive vintage finds.
  5. New Year’s Resolution: Get a healthier glow. OK, so maybe you’re not going to lose 30 pounds by February, but getting fit will help you look better in as early as a few weeks — I’m not just talking about looking slimmer but also getting a healthy all-around glow. Other health resolutions that can brighten your look: Drinking more water, eating more fruits and veggies and taking better care of your skin.

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