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  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Ask.fm, Badoo, Bumble, Calculator%, , Grindr, Holla, Hot or Not, Kik, LiveMe, MeetMe, Skout, Snapchat, , TikTok, , Whisper   

    The truth behind dangerous apps for kids 

    The truth behind dangerous apps for kids

    In Sarasota County, Florida, the local Sheriff’s Office arrested 25 men accused of approaching children through various social media apps. These arrests have spurred a number of media outlets to list the 15 most dangerous social media apps and platforms for children. These apps include Ask.fm, Badoo, Bumble, Calculator%, Grindr, Holla, Hot or Not, Kik, LiveMe, MeetMe, Skout, SnapChat, TikTok, WhatsApp, and Whisper. Is the media exaggerating the danger or are these apps really dangerous for kids? We’re about to give you the lowdown on these apps and tell you what you can do to protect your kids.

    The majority of the apps listed are dating apps. Any child under 18 has no business being in Badoo, Bumble, Grindr, Hot or Not, MeetMe, or Skout. Other apps on this list are livestreaming or video apps like Holla, TikTok, Snapchat, and LiveMe. While these apps allow users as young as 13 to register for their service, these apps should not be used unsupervised by children as predators have used them to either approach or groom children. Apps like Kik, Whisper, and WhatsApp are messaging apps which can be used like text messages. The problem with these apps is that predators like to move kids to these apps after approaching them on other apps so they can continue to communicate with them.

    While all of these apps are potentially dangerous there are, in our opinion, two apps which are extremely dangerous to children and they are Snapchat and Kik. Snapchat is the photo-sharing app where the photos are supposed to disappear after a set amount of time, however, it’s fairly easy for someone to take a screenshot of the photo being shared. Meanwhile, Kik is the messaging app that is a tool of choice among predators with one registered sex offender calling it “well known within their industry”.

    If you would prefer that your kids not use these apps there is something you can do about it. If your kids are using iPhones or iPads, iOS has parental controls that you can learn to use here. If your kids are on Android phones and tablets parental control instructions can be found here. Also, keep in mind that not all devices need a cellular data connection for predators to approach your kids. Many of these apps can be used on a wifi connection alone so keep that in mind when deciding how best to protect your children.

     
  • Geebo 8:01 am on July 1, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , influencers, , Snapchat,   

    This Snapchat scam can cost you thousands! 

    This social media scam targets the young!

    When you hear the term ‘influencer’ thrown around today you’re almost certain to roll your eyes. While the term may make the person claiming to be an influencer sound vapid, it can be pretty lucrative if you’re successful at it. Depending on how many followers you have on your social media platform of choice, you could have advertisers lining up at your virtual doorstep hoping that you’ll promote their product or service. Many of these influencers have been able to turn their social media presence into a successful full-time job. However, for those just starting out, there are those who will look to take advantage of you.

    Once again, the Better Business Bureau is reporting a scam targeting young would-be influencers. The scam is said to be specifically targeting users of the photo-sharing app Snapchat. The scammer will offer a Snapchat user an advertising opportunity but will ask the user to pay for this opportunity by sending the scammers gift cards. If that wasn’t a big enough scam the scammers will then ask for the user’s login information before changing the login information essentially locking the user out of their own account. Then posing as the user, they’ll invite the user’s friends and followers to the same phony advertising offer perpetuating the cycle.

    As you’ve probably figured out by now, any time someone asks you to pay for something in gift cards, it is most definitely a scam. However, the younger social media users among us may not yet be aware of the gift card scam. If you buy any type of gift card and give the card’s ID number to a third-party, they can quickly empty that card and disappear without a trace. If you see one of your friend’s or followers on social media offering one of these bogus opportunities, their account may have already been taken over by con artists.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 25, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Snapchat   

    Will traffickers lure your kids on Snapchat? 

    Will traffickers lure your kids on Snapchat?

    Within the past few days, there has been a rumor surrounding the photo-sharing app Snpachat. The rumor that’s been circulating mainly on Facebook claims that there is a sex trafficking ring operating in Lawrence, Massachusetts that recruits young girls over Snapchat. The rumor purports that strangers are adding your kids as friends on Snapchat and once they do that the traffickers are able to ascertain your child’s location and potentially kidnap them. However, according to the Lawrence Police, there is no such trafficking ring operating in Lawrence and fact-checking site Snopes says the rumor is gaining ground due to a misunderstanding about how Snapchat works.

    Snapchat does have a feature where friends can see each other’s location if both friends agree to enable the feature called Snap Map. But if one of the users does not enable Snap Map their location cannot be found. It’s not an automatic thing that turns on once you accept somebody’s friend request.

    Now while there is not currently a sex trafficking ring in Lawrence, that doesn’t mean that traffickers don’t use social media to approach children. In typical cases, traffickers will target children who are having problems at home or have run away in the past. In many instances, those children will have exhibited some evidence on their social media accounts. This allows traffickers to start grooming them by telling them how they understand the child better than the child’s parents do. In some other cases, the traffickers will promise kids from low-income areas with promises of fame and money and convince the child to run away.

    This could happen on any social media platform and not just Snapchat. These grooming techniques are not a new thing and were even used in the MySpace days. One of the best ways to protect your kids from traffickers and other online predators is to talk with them about how these predators operate and how most strangers online probably want something inappropriate from them. Another good way is to keep tabs on the apps your children may use and who is on their friends list. If it’s somebody that they’ve never met in person that you don’t know it’s a good idea to have them remove that person from their contacts. Lastly, you may want to consider holding on to all your children’s device after they go to bed in order to keep an eye on any unusual messages they may receive.

     
  • Geebo 8:59 am on March 16, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , domestic violence, Rihanna, Snapchat,   

    Snapchat in hot water over insensitive ad 

    Snapchat in hot water over insensitive ad

    Since its public debut, photo sharing app Snapchat has been trying to drag teen users away from Facebook. Since many teens like to follow their favorite celebrities on social media, Snapchat’s business has relied heavily on the activity of celebrities whether Snapchat wants to admit it or not. Now, Snapchat is facing a public backlash after one of its celebrities was featured in a very insulting ad on its platform.

    Recently, Snapchat users were served an ad for a mobile game that asked if you would rather slap R&B singer Rihanna or punch her former boyfriend Chris Brown. If you’ll recall, Rihanna was a victim of domestic violence at the hands of Brown. The Grammy award-winning songstress took to Instagram to voice her displeasure over the ad.

    “Now SNAPCHAT I know you already know you ain’t my fav app out there!” Rihanna wrote. “But I’m just trying to figure out what the point was with this mess! I’d love to call it ignorance, but I know you ain’t that dumb! You spent money to animate something that would intentionally bring shame to DV victims and made a joke out of it!!! This isn’t about my personal feelings, cause I don’t have much of them … but all the women, children and men that have been victims of DV in the past and especially the ones who haven’t made it out yet … you let us down! Shame on you. Throw the whole app-oligy away.”

    Snapchat apologized for the ad, but it was too little too late as their stock took a tumble after the debacle. According to tech blog Recode, this just one in a long line of questionable ads on Snapchat as they are said to run ads for cryptocurrency miners and the infamous Ashley Madison website which supposedly helps people carry on affairs. While those ads may be tasteless, domestic violence is no laughing matter and should not be joked about in such a flippant manner. If this is the attitude Snapchat takes in supposedly curating their ads then it’s no wonder Instagram is beating them at every turn.

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on July 7, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , OneDrive, Skype, Snapchat   

    Microsoft takes a page out of Photobucket’s book with updates for Skype and OneDrive 

    Microsoft takes a page out of Photobucket's book with updates for Skype and OneDrive

    Microsoft seems to have taken a page out of Photobucket’s book on how to make customers angry with updates to two of their most popular services. The first isn’t so bad, the second is pretty bad.

    The first problem is with Microsoft’s update to OneDrive, their cloud-based storage system. Microsoft now no longer allows users to store their OneDrive folder on non-NTFS devices. That means you can’t store your OneDrive folder on most external devices such as flash drives without formatting the drives to Microsoft’s proprietary file system. Here’s the difference between NTFS and the other popular file system, FAT32.

    As the video says, NTFS is more secure, but FAT is more universally accepted. The other problem is once you format a device to NTFS, it’s a chore to reformat the device back to FAT. Like Photobucket, Microsoft didn’t warn anybody about this update and just flipped the switch at their discretion. Microsoft is famous for trying to get customers locked into proprietary formats that are Microsoft exclusive. They’ll probably claim they made the change for security purposes but many people find their external devices formatted with FAT32 to be more convenient.

    Then there’s Skype. Skype was originally a desktop-only application that allowed users to make video calls to each other on their computers. When it debuted in 2003, it was considered groundbreaking. Microsoft acquired Skype back in 2011. In more recent years, Skype became an app that can be used on any Android or iOS device. Skype was great because it did what exactly what it was supposed to do, –it made voice and video calls and that was it. With its most recent update Microsoft added humorous filters and a Highlights section. If that sounds a lot like Snapchat, that’s because it is. It’s basically a straight up rip-off from Snapchat. These new features on Skype are being referred to as fixing something that wasn’t broken. Skype’s lack of features was its biggest selling point. Much like Photobucket again, Microsoft is responding to the complaints by thanking customers for their ‘input’.

    Oh well, at least they didn’t try to charge people $400.

     
  • Geebo 8:55 am on June 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , McDonald's, Snapchat, Snaplications   

    McDonald’s using Snapchat to recruit new hires 

    McDonald's using Snapchat to recruit new hires

    If you need to hire a large number of new employees, you need to go where your potential hires are. For McDonald’s, that would be social media and not just any social media, but Snapchat specifically. The fast-food pioneer is using the photo sharing app to appeal to the 16-24 demographic in order to hire 250,000 people for the summer.

    If you use Snapchat, you may see a short ad for McDonald’s about open positions. In a process McDonald’s is calling ‘Snaplications’, if you’re interested in the position you can swipe up on the ad where you’ll be taken to the company’s career webpage where you can complete your application.

    It will be interesting to see if this recruitment drive is successful for the Golden Arches. While their appeal to a younger demographic through Snapchat seems ingenious, there is still somewhat of a stigma when it comes to working at McDonald’s. The term ‘McJob’ comes from that stigma after all. Many young users tend to portray themselves on Snapchat as being more financially well off than they actually are. They may see working at McDonald’s beneath them even if it is one of their better financial options.

     
  • Geebo 9:02 am on April 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Evan Spiegel, India, Snapchat   

    Snapchat CEO accused of insulting an entire country 

    Snapchat CEO accused of insulting an entire country

    Snapchat is not having the best week ever. It wasn’t bad enough that Instagram was copying Snapchat’s stories feature, but Instagram was bragging that their stories feature had more users than Snapchat Stories. This really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise as Instagram is owned by the juggernaut that is Facebook. What did come as a surprise was Snap Inc. CEO Evan Spiegel allegedly insulting an entire country. Not just any country but the 2nd most populous country in the world. Late last week, it was made public that Spiegel allegedly said that he did not want to expand into countries like India saying that Snapchat isn’t for poor people.

    This became public buzz after it was unsealed in a lawsuit against Snapchat by former employee Anthony Pompliano. Pompliano alleges that Spiegel said that Snapchat is for rich people only and didn’t want to expand into ‘poor countries’ like India and Spain. This caused not only a multitude of Indian users to boycott the app, many worldwide users have as well. Many of its former users have even taken to the various app stores to give it one star reviews in protest. This has affected Snapchat in the wallet too as their recently made public stock took a big hit in the market.

    If Spiegel did in fact make these comments, it’s incredibly short-sighted on his part to say the least. Some of the most popular apps in the world are used in India that U.S. users never even heard of. Messaging app WhatsApp is massively popular worldwide due to text messaging being overly expensive in certain overseas markets. The main market for WhatsApp users is India. India also has a larger percentage of mobile users than most countries. This is why Facebook bought WhatsApp and didn’t fold it into Messenger, because they knew that India was such a lucrative market.

    Snapchat has denied the allegations, but in today’s start up culture of trying to get rich quick by men with massive egos, it wouldn’t be surprising if it was true. We’re looking at you Uber.

     
  • Geebo 10:02 am on April 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: April Fools Day, , Snapchat   

    Snapchat wins April Fools Day at Instagram’s expense 

    Snapchat wins April Fools Day at Instagram's expense

    April Fools Day used to be a fun day on the internet. Websites would create jokes, but they were actually clever and enjoyable. For example, Google changed their name to Topeka for April 1st, 2010 after the capital city of Kansas changed its name to Google for a day in an attempt to get Google Fiber. In April of 2009, ThinkGeek posted on their website that they would be offering a Star Wars Tauntaun sleeping bag. If you’ll recall, one of the characters had to sleep inside one of the beasts to prevent himself from freezing to death. The concept was so well done that ThinkGeek actually ended up offering the item later on in the year. Then everyone on the internet felt they needed to get in on the act. The jokes became stale, predictable, or just downright unfunny. That was until this past weekend.

    While most of 2017’s April Fools Day jokes largely went unnoticed, one particular prank was able to garner headlines over the weekend. Snapchat is the photo and video sharing app that has taken over the internet by storm. Many reports have come out and said that Snapchat has more daily active users than Twitter. Facebook owned Instagram has been accused of out and out stealing features from Snapchat, such as the Snapchat Stories feature. Instagram reportedly didn’t even bother to change the name, calling their feature Instagram Stories.

    Over the weekend, Snapchat decided to turn the tables on Instagram. After taking a picture through the Snapchat app, one of the filters made your picture look just like an Instagram photo that is fictitiously liked by only one person, your mom. This is actually a clever prank because not only does take a meaningful but fun jab at Instagram but it’s not mean or annoying to their users. While it’s unlikely that future April Fools Days won’t just be ‘Turn Off the Internet Day’, it is nice to see that not everyone has lost all their creativity.

     
  • Geebo 10:58 am on March 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: filters, International Women's Day, Snapchat   

    Snapchat sparks controversy with International Women’s Day filters 

    Snapchat sparks controversy with International Women's Day filters

    After its successful IPO, photo sharing app Snapchat finds itself in the news again, but not for the same reasons. Since yesterday was International Women’s Day, Snapchat decided to release new filters in honor of the day. With the filters you could make yourself look like either scientist Marie Curie, artist Frida Kahlo, or civil rights icon Rosa Parks.

    A controversy started when some things were noticed about two of the filters. With the Marie Curie filter, not only did it thin out your face but it also gave you full eye make up for some reason. Many considered this to be wildly historically inaccurate. With the Frida Kahlo filter, it seemed to lighten the skin tone while trying to make the user look like the Mexican artist. A number of Snapchat users took to social media to decry this as an instance of ‘whitewashing’.

    Surprisingly, the filter that didn’t cause too much of a kerfuffle was the Rosa Parks filter. With the Rosa Parks filter, it didn’t change the skin tone of the user even though Ms. Parks was African-American. This could be that Snapchat learned from a previous controversy when they released a filter for reggae artist Bob Marley’s birthday which many users said was nothing more than applying ‘blackface’ to the user.

    Even with Snapchat’s faux pas there is something good that can be taken from their attempt to highlight these historical women with their whimsical filters. Snapchats userbase tends to skew young and some of these young people may not have yet learned about these three iconic women from history, and these filters may have sparked an interest into researching them. And nothing is wrong with a little bit more knowledge.

     
  • Geebo 10:49 am on March 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Snapchat   

    Snapchat IPO sees successful first day 

    Snapchat IPO sees successful first day

    Yesterday, Snapchat parent company Snap Inc. had their IPO with the stock finishing at a 44% price increase by the end of trading. This should come as no surprise as the photo sharing app has been a massive success with the much coveted 18 to 34 market.

    Snapchat started out as somewhat of an Instagram clone except with a twist. It first started out as the app where the pictures disappear after a short time. Even though there have been ways to save pictures that were not intended to be saved Snapchat became even more popular with the release of its quirky filters that allow you to do fun manipulations to your photos such as face swapping.

    Then came the limited of release of Snapchat’s video recording glasses known as Snapchat Spectacles. Their viral marketing and pop up vending machines saw the glasses sell out at every location they surprised users at.

    Snapchat’s biggest feature seems to be that it’s the social platform that your parents aren’t on. Basically, they’re the anti-Facebook as it’s specifically designed to appeal to the millennial crowd. That niche focus has made Snapchat a wild success and their IPO’s achievement reflects that.

     
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