Welcome to Southwest Florida Real Estate

Posts tagged ‘Protect Your Family’

Parents: Why You Should Monitor Your Child’s Use of Online Video Websites

Are you a parent?  Whether your child is still considered young in age or if they are teenager, there is a good chance that they will be using the internet. In the past few years, a lot of focus as been placed on internet safety. Many parents, as well as teachers, politicians, and police officers, are concerned with the individuals who come into contact with children online, especially predators.  Much of this focus has been placed on the monitoring of online chat rooms and social networking sites.  However, as a parent, you should also be concerned with online video websites.

Online video websites, such as YouTube or Google Video, are known as websites that allow internet users to view the videos that are hosted on the site.  Many of these sites allow free video viewing. What many parents are unaware of is that internet users can also make, upload, and share their own videos.  As a parent, you will want to know whether or not your child is doing this. 

Your child makes online videos, so what?  Is that what you are thinking?  There is a good chance that it is because a lot of parents feel that way.  Unfortunately, many are unaware of the types of videos that can be found online.  Some online video websites prohibit videos that have pornographic materials, but besides that little restrictions are in place.  In fact, there are some internet users who have decided to use online videos websites as if they were dating websites.  Is your teenager one of them?

One of the first things that you should do is talk to your child about online video websites.  Even though you may not want to alert them to these websites, there is a good chance that they already know about them. It may be a good idea to ask your child whether or not they have made their own online videos.  It may also be a good idea to determine what the content of those videos are and where they were hosted.

When it comes to getting information from your child, especially teenagers, there is a good chance that you may get an inaccurate response.  But, if you know that your child is making use of online video websites, you may be able to find their video or videos on your own. This can be done by visiting popular video websites, such as Google Video or YouTube, and performing a search.  You may want to try searching for your child’s name, the town in which you reside in, or any screen names that they may have used.  If your child has posted an online video, there is a good chance that you will be able to find it.

Whether or not you find an online video that your child has made, it is important that you emphasis on safety.  It is perfectly okay, as long as you agree, for your child to view online videos or make their own, but they need to be aware of the consequences.  It is important to let your child know how to stay safe online, especially when making their own videos to share with other internet users.  Let them know it is unwise to include personal information about themselves, such as their full name, their telephone number, and their address. Be sure to emphasize the fact that online video websites are viewed by millions of people. This means that their video will likely get watched by people who they don’t even know.

If you are concerned with the way that your child is or may be using an online video website, you may want to take action. That action could involve having the websites blocked or just monitoring them.  As previously mentioned, you have the ability to decide what is or isn’t right for your children. However, it is also important to note that a number of fun and educational videos can also be obtained online.  If you plan on monitoring your child’s use of online video websites, you are encouraged to take a look the sites with them. In fact, you may enjoyable entertainment that you weren’t expecting to find.


Have a Home You Can Feel Safe In

Whether or not the world is getting more dangerous is debatable. However, the safety of your family should always be an issue of concern, and rightly so. Whether you’ve recently experienced a break in or are just anxious about leaving your children home alone, there are many things you can do to improve security around the house. While nothing is completely fool proof or guaranteed, making a few changes can go a long way in deterring would-be troublemakers and give you some peace of mind.

Trim hedges and shrubbery away from walkways, windows and doors so that the path is visible and no intruders can hide in the landscaping. Install motion detector lights that will flood the area with light upon your arrival or other movement.

Install a wide-angled peephole in your door so that your family can see who is at the door before you answer it. Pair this with a quality door (solid wood is the safest) on a good frame with a decent lock. Invest in door and window braces for other potential entry points in the house.

Get a dog – although they won’t deter all thieves, they still have the potential to scare someone off or alert your neighbors. And don’t forget the “Beware of Dog” signs, which might be useful even if there’s no dog to actually beware of. A monitored alarm system can also be a great deterrent. Post visible signs warning that the house is alarmed, even if you can’t afford the real thing.

Varying your schedule can deter thieves who might be watching the house. Using timers to turn lights on and off can give the impression that someone is home. These are also useful when going away for longer periods of time. Setting your radio or television on timers may also give the impression of inhabitants, discouraging thieves.

Also, if you are going away for a while, cancel the newspaper delivery and ask a trusted friend to pick up the mail. If you’ll be away in the winter, arrange for snow removal while you’re gone. If you’re leaving for an extended period in the summer have someone mow your lawn. Don’t tell strangers about your trip out of town, but do let your neighbors know so that they can keep an eye on your house. Developing a friendly rapport with the neighbors can help with security – when you know who lives in the neighborhood you’re more likely to notice suspicious behavior. Arrange to keep your spare key on the neighbor’s property instead of your own.

Don’t give thieves any incentives: when you buy new appliances or electronics, don’t leave your boxes at the curb for all eyes to see. Break them down and recycle them.

Keep valuables out of sight – don’t leave your tools or mountain bikes lying around the yard where thieves might pick them up or be attracted to see what else you’ve got. Tools can also be used to break into your home, so be sure to keep your shed locked.

Find a good spot to hide your valuables inside your house. A fire safe box may protect your loot from fire, but many of the locks are easily breakable. Safes should be built in to a wall or other structure, well hidden and kept locked. It’s also a good idea to list and photograph all your possessions as a record for your insurance company. In the event of a break in, this will help simplify your insurance claim.