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Kids and new technologies, a good or dangerous combination?

In Uncategorized,YouTube Videos on December 14, 2011 by tecnologyantivirus Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Posted by Ana Etxebarria

According to a recent survey conducted in the US, children spend twice as much time watching TV as reading books… This adds a little bit more controversy to the already complex issue of kids and new technologies. Common Sense Media has published a study revealing that kids are using electronic media to an amazing extent.

According to the report:

  • A whopping 40% of kids 2-4 years and over 50% of 5-8 year-olds have used a smartphone, tablet, or video iPod.
  • Over 50% of children ages 0 to 8 have access to a mobile device.
  • More than a quarter of children this age have ever used one of these newer mobile devices, including 10% of 0- to 1- year-olds, 39% of 2- to 4-year-olds, and 52% of 5- to 8-year-olds.
  • Children under 2 spend twice as much time watching TV or DVDs as they do reading books.

To be honest with you I don’t find this surprising at all. If my own family had been subject to the study, the results would have been pretty much the same.

In addition, this study comes amid huge controversy over a recent recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics reminding parents with small children that they should not be allowing their little ones to watch TV or other screens. They even go as far as suggesting that parents should not watch TV while their kids are around.

However, in view of the study, it seems pretty complicated to convince parents to stop their children from watching TV or playing with an iPad. Or maybe we are focusing on the wrong question, especially when we witness behavior like this from a popular YouTube video of a baby ‘reading’ a magazine the only way she knows how:

The AAP has admitted that 90% of parents of children under 2 years old already allow some screen time, and Common Sense’s report suggests that most parents are rather permissive with electronic media for all age groups. Maybe it’s time to admit that the question is no longer if media should be allowed, but how much and what kind.

APP researchers found behavioral differences between kids who watched fast-paced cartoons with those who watched a slow-paced one, and discovered that only those who watched the frenetic show seemed to be adversely affected. It seems clear that neither the cartoon in question -“SpongeBob SquarePants”- nor any other programs, games or applications are intrinsically bad, although they can be negative if used inadequately. It is a question of common sense more than anything else, but it seems that many parents are unable to apply it and understand what is age-appropriate. And since the “experts” tend to look down on all screen time, it is difficult to know which shows and apps are best.

It’s now pretty clear that screen time is part of our kids’ lives at every age. For you not to understand that would be swimming against the tide. However, it is also true that many of us parents may need more guidance on how much media and what kind is best for the intellectual and cognitive development of our children.

How much screen time is allowed in your house? What sorts of programs and games are allowed?

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Tips for a safe online Christmas shopping

In Malware,Security,Uncategorized on December 7, 2011 by tecnologyantivirus Tagged: , , ,

Posted by Leyre Velasco

Christmas are getting near and still so many presents to get! However, many of us are still a bit reluctant to shop online as we believe we may fall victim to some scam. Here go a few tips which will help you avoid fraud and which will help you do your online Christmas shopping safely.

What to bear in mind when shopping online

  1. Only visit trusted sites. Look for pages with a professional appearance, pages from a well-known brand, sites displaying a customer service telephone number… It is very important to know who you are buying from.
  2. Be wary of prize-drawings and ridiculously good offers. Read the conditions of each promotion carefully to avoid nasty surprises.
  3. Pay for your purchases securely.  There are different means of payment, for example, cash on delivery, Paypal , credit card, etc.  If you don´t choose cash on delivery payment, remember that you will have to provide more information, and therefore you must be sure that the transaction will be completely safe.
  4. Make sure you are on a HTTPS page: Web addresses normally start with ‘HTTP’, for example: http://www.pandasecurity.com/homeusers/downloads
    However, the pages you make online payments on must be more secure and they should start with ‘HTTPS’ As you can see in the image, the Panda Security store URL begins with HTTPS and what’s more, it has a Verisign security certificate.
  5. It is advisable to have a bank account with a credit card associated with it for making online purchases. This account will contain just the money you need for this purpose, making monitoring easier.
  6. Keep product warranties in a safe place. Besides handling the electronic aspect of online purchases, e-businesses must offer straightforward warranties on products bought. The Web page must contain the following information:
    • Means of payment
    • Delivery terms
    • Product warranties
    • Returns
  7. If you find out that the product you receive is faulty, is different from the one you purchased or the delivery terms are not fulfilled, file a complaint through the company’s Customer Service Dept.
  8. If you don’t receive any answers and you suspect there could be some kind of fraud, report it as soon as possible.
  9. Finally, keep a good antivirus installed. This is your barrier against phishing, spam and other Internet threats. If you are not sure about something during the installation or update processes, don’t leave it for later. Look for the appropriate solution in the Support pages and Support forums available to you for any queries you might have, even during the holidays.

Follow these simple tips and you won’t have any surprises when it comes to doing your Christmas shopping on the Internet. The end result will be the smile of those receiving your presents.

Nothing else from my side, I’d like to wish you all very happy holidays in the company of your loved ones.

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Protect the online privacy of teenagers

In Security,Teenagers,Uncategorized on November 30, 2011 by tecnologyantivirus Tagged: , , , ,

Posted by Ana Etxebarria

When my oldest daughter turned 13, she got a brand new smartphone, signed up for Facebook and Pandora and went on an apps downloading spree. At the same time, my brand new teen lost many protections over her privacy online.
The online games she plays know her location at any given moment through her phone’s GPS technology.

She’s given my VISA card number to buy apps, iTunes has our family’s email address and everyone’s full names and Facebook knows her birth date and the school she goes to…

At an age at when I still don’t let her go to the shopping center by herself or open the door to strangers, she has a growing dossier about her habits, likes and dislikes, etc.  accumulating on the Web. And even though laws have been passed that protect the youngest of Internet users from giving away much information about themselves, once children become teens, the same privacy rules no longer apply.

Leaving aside the laws that regulate these aspects, experts on adolescent development say youths between 13 and 18 deserve special attention, and teenagers are among the most voracious and precocious users of new Internet services, constantly making grown-up decisions with grown-up consequences. However, as experts say ‘Their ability to make decisions is still forming and clearly different from that of adults.”

With few restraints, teens are creating digital records that also build their reputation offline. All the status updates, tweets and check-ins to specific locations can be reviewed by prospective employers, insurance companies and universities.

Despite Internet companies say personal data can be collected only with permission and parents can set security controls on phones and computers, the Web offers so many opportunities to share information online that teens just don’t stop to think about the consequences.

Anyway, don’t think this is something of the future. It’s the present and it’s here to stay. Becoming a controlling, paranoid mother won’t help either, as they will still have endless possibilities to access the Internet. Therefore, once again I think that the only way to get rid of these fears is to educate teenagers about the dangers posed by the online world as we have been doing forever in the offline world.

How to do this? By helping them make thoughtful decisions, giving them the confidence to turn to you if they make a mistake, and having first-hand knowledge of those sites, games and apps they love so much.

What do you think?

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Twitter Etiquette

In Twitter,Uncategorized on November 23, 2011 by tecnologyantivirus Tagged: , , ,

Posted by Leyre Velasco

As we have previously said in many posts, social networks enable communication among millions of users from around the globe. And, just like any form of communication, the Internet is a community that has its own form of etiquette. In my own case, I just have to look at how my Facebook friends or the people I follow on Twitter behave to know how to act, as it is users themselves that have made these rules.

Today, we’ll help you avoid the biggest etiquette pitfalls with these tips:

  1. Thank people for their retweets. On Twitter, a ‘retweet’ (or RT) is a previously tweeted message that you share with your followers. It is important to thank for RTs on social media. There are several ways to thank someone for a retweet, and some of them are really funny, as you can see in the following article: 30 Ways to Say Thank You for a Re-Tweet.
  2. Use #FF: On Twitter, keywords are preceded by # symbols (or hashtags). If you tag a user name and then the hashtag #FF or Follow Friday, you are signaling to your followers that you endorse those people and they are worth being followed. Now, if someone has included you in a #FF list, you should give them a #FF recommendation as well, thank them for doing so, or both.
  3. Attempting to follow someone and then unfollow them before they can follow you is considered rude.
  4. Don’t ask your friends for a RT of your tweets. Retweeting a message should be a personal option. If someone likes your tweets, they will retweet them, don’t worry.
  5. Don’t use Twitter to promote yourself. Some people only tweet their own blog posts or use Twitter for their own professional gain only.
  6. Avoid bombarding your followers with tweets that will flood their timeline. Even if you think your tweets are irresistible…

Well, these have been a few tips on Twitter etiquette. I must admit I don’t always follow them and it is not out of rudeness, as I am truly convinced of the value of good manners, but sometimes I don’t have as much time as I’d like to fulfill the protocol to return mentions, retweets or follow fridays. And on the social networks just like outside the net, I don’t think an untimely response is considered good manners 😉

How do you act on the Web?

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Parents help underage children lie to get on Facebook

In Uncategorized on November 16, 2011 by tecnologyantivirus Tagged: , ,

Published by Ana Etxebarria, November 2011

I have recently read an article claiming that millions of preteens have signed up for Facebook, as indicated by a recent survey carried out in the US which showed that parents actually helped them lie to do it. I have 4 kids under age 12 and all of them have Facebook accounts, so I feel very much related to this issue.

Facebook sets the minimum age for using its service at 13 to comply with US federal laws that protect children’s online privacy.

However, a new survey from Microsoft and such top universities as Berkeley and Harvard has found that half of all parents with 12-year-olds and 1 in 5 parents of 10-year-olds knew their kids were using Facebook.

Asked how the children signed up for the service, thus violating the site’s terms of service, nearly 7 in 10 parents admitted they helped their kids set up the accounts.
The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive, drew from a random sampling of 1,007 parents with children ages 10 to 14.

The survey comes amid a debate over children’s online privacy protection in a new era of mobile apps and other technologies. Consumer reports recently reported that 7 million underage users were on Facebook.

Do age limits for Internet services really stop children from using age-restricted sites? Should companies be allowed flexibility to experiment with new services and technologies without new regulations?

Most parents, me included, want our kids online as early as possible. We don’t want to be told how to be a parent. We want our children to be part of the digital world and be able to communicate with relatives and friends using current technology tools.

But, what do privacy advocates say? Well, they say that parents are not fully aware of what data is being collected about their children. If parents knew that sites such as Facebook collect information to deliver customized ads, they would be more cautious. This is total nonsense in my opinion. Or is that TV stations don’t bombard our kids with advertising in children’s networks?

Now, the question is: Is it really good for Facebook to have those underage users illegally? Well it must be, otherwise they would do something about it.

What do you think?

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It is never too late to become digital!

In Security,Uncategorized on November 11, 2011 by tecnologyantivirus Tagged: ,

Published by Leyre Velasco, November 2011

If you know somebody who is NOT one of the estimated total number of 2.095 billion – 30.2% – of world population of Interner users this article might be worth sharing.

The reasons why there are still many non-digital people are varied but more so it is a combination of socio-economic reasons. Some people think that they are too old or it is too late for acquiring computer skills, some people simply do not have the means to afford a computer.

What are you missing?

In short, the Internet enables new ways of social interaction and features widespread usability and access. What’s more, information about any topic to different degrees of complexity can be found online.

What if buying a computer is not an option?

You don’t need to make daily use of the Internet in order to take advantage of the aforementioned benefits. For sporadic use you don’t even need to purchase a computer as you can go to Internet cafes, which are available pretty much everywhere. These places provide internet access usually at a time-base rate but in any case, this way of accessing the net is more affordable than personal ownership of equipment. Or, you can always buy a smart phone with an Internet connection, but we will discuss that in a future post 😉

What if they are computer illiterate?

Don’t panic! Nobody was born knowing everything about anything. There are plenty of online guides for Internet beginners, but, of course, in order to read them, you first need to go online. Therefore, let us explain in plain English the very basic in order for you to be able to start using the Internet or, as it is said, “to surf the net” 🙂 .

Step 1: Access your Internet Browser

Double-click on the browser icon which is usually located at the Desktop of your computer. The most used browsers are Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome.

If the icons are not available from the Desktop, and if your Operating System is Windows, go to Start, Programs, Nameofyourbrowser

For example, say you have Internet Explorer, go to Start, Programs, Internet Explorer.

Whatever page is set as default will automatically be displayed.

Right, now you are on!

Step 2: Get started with a search engine

We suggest you started getting familiar with a search engine as soon as possible, as it will be your gateway to the online universe.

But, what is a search engine? A search engine is designed to search for information on the www (world wide web). You can search for web pages containing data, images, videos, news, etc. The three most popular search engines are:

  • Google (91%)
  • Yahoo (4%)
  • Bing (3%)

Say you want to use Google.  Simply type in the web address http://www.google.com/ in the Address field at the top of the page.

From that moment on, whenever you want to search for information, just type in the keywords of your search in the search field and press Enter on your keyboard.

I hope the image below clarifies it:


Step 3: Selecting results

After typing in the keywords of your search, it is likely that you will get numerous results. How to know which page is more reliable than others? Well, as a general rule, organizations and government pages are normally more reliable than independent or personal websites. But even these can be biased or one-sided.

So, often use your common sense and don’t forget to protect your computer with a good antivirus program. Check out Panda’s!

Tips

The search engine will give you access to “everything”, however, here go a few examples of very useful pages:

  • Netlingo: Glossary on basic computer terms. http://www.netlingo.com/
  • Wikipedia: Collaborative encyclopaedia on pretty much any subject. Users have globally and gradually built knowledge. It is quite reliable but check the sources of the articles just in case.
  • Skype: Site which allows for free telephone calls to people you know anywhere in the world. If your computer has a webcam, you can see the people you talk to in real time.
  • Facebook: This is the most used social network in the world, with over 500 million users, the average age being 38!
  • Flickr: Site to share pictures with your friends and acquaintances.
  • Youtube: check out videos of your favourite artists, TV interviews, even from when TV was in black and white.. free!
  • Grooveshark: Listen to your favourite music completely free!

Articles

Customer Experience for 2012

In Security,Uncategorized on November 3, 2011 by tecnologyantivirus Tagged: ,

Published by Ana Etxebarria, November 2011

Customer experiences are on the brink of a new era. Web sites have become critical to influencing decision making and building a stronger relationship between the brand and the end-customer. And already the sheer number of devices consumers have at their disposal – and the types of interactions they expect- quickly make today’s “be4st practice” tomorrow’s old news.

Let’s have a brief look at some impressive figures provided by Gartner:

  • 30 billion pieces of content were added to Facebook this past month.
  • Worldwide IP traffic will quadruple by 2015.
  • More than two billion videos were watched on YouTube … yesterday.
  • The average teenager sends 4,762 text messages per month.
  • 32 billion searches were performed last month … on Twitter.

So, the question is, how is Social Media paving the way for the future of Customer Service & Support Centers?

Like in the majority of areas within an organization, social media is changing the way customer interacts with the software vendor.

YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc. have taken the CRM world by storm and now it is a business norm to interact with customers in real time utilizing this modern technology. Customers that follow companies on social networking sites expect that we will be able to get a fast response. If that need for a response is not met, this has the potential to escalate into increased complaints on social networks and a poor public impression of a company. If customers are pleased with companies, however, they can also use Facebook or Twitter to praise those companies, leading to a more positive public perception.

Panda has already an official Twitter account for Technical Support and Customer Service @PandaTechSup and a Facebook fan page: http://www.facebook.com/PandaSecurity. In 2012, we can expect to have to do more customer service online and dedicate resources to staying on top of online commentary and responding to it in a timely manner. The old saying, “the customer is always right” is more important than ever in a competitive and difficult economy. Customer loyalty and satisfaction is a key component to any organization’s success and bottom line.