Establishing Safeguards to Prevent Legal Trouble Online: A guest post from Carver, Cantin & Mynarich

As parents, we know excessive screen time and online mischief can impact our kids’ physical and mental health, grades, spirituality, and values. What we often forget or don’t realize, though, is getting into trouble online can have legal consequences for our kids. Today’s guest post from Carver, Cantin & Mynarich offers their legal perspective on why we need to keep our kids safe online.

 

Today’s children are the first digital natives. They were born into a world surrounded by digital devices- the perfect tools for education, communication, and entertainment. Unfortunately, the internet is also a dangerous world with issues ranging from cyber-bullying to inappropriate content. Here are a few ways parents can keep their children safe online and help them avoid legal trouble.   

 

Begin by limiting online time. The longer a child is exposed to digital media, the greater the chance of being exposed to its harmful effects. Several of the harmful effects of lengthy screen time include obesity from a sedentary lifestyle, sleep problems, and behavioral problems like bullying, learning developments, and violence. Additionally, more screen time means more time to find inappropriate content or get into other trouble online.    

 

So, just how much screen time is too much? According to the Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), children under the age of 18 months should not be exposed to any. Those between 18 to 24-months can be exposed to very limited amounts, while those between 2 to 5-years can handle just one hour of supervised exposure. Beyond the age of 5, an allowance of no more than two hours per day is recommended.

 

Next, parents should monitor online time. Besides exposure time, parents need to determine the quality of the content their children consume. They should help their children choose positive educational content and talk about how to make good choices online. This could entail helping kids discern what is “fake news,” putting in place parental controls to ensure kids aren’t looking at overly-sexualized or other age-inappropriate content, or just talking about things online that might interfere with their emotional, physical, or mental well-being. Moreover, parents should watch programs with their children and discuss what they are watching. This will not only help parents monitor what their kids are doing, it will also help teach their kids the boundaries of what is and isn’t appropriate.

 

Consider installing protective software. Given that adults aren’t available 100% of the time to monitor what kids are watching, protective technology can be really helpful. There are a myriad of technologies that can protect them from potentially harmful content. One such tool is Clean Router. This enables parents to manage and monitor all digital devices in their home. As such, it blocks internet pornography, filters Youtube, enforces time restrictions, and logs all activity.

 

Finally, when it comes to your kids’ online time, be consistent with rules and consequences. One of the negative effects of online exposure to inappropriate content is violence, which includes physical and emotional bullying.

 

Cyberbullying is on the rise, especially among teenagers. It is bullying carried out via digital technologies, such as texts, emails, and social media. Among other things, bullying can cause low self-esteem, drugs and alcohol abuse, poor grades in school, and physical and emotional health issues. Moreover, cyberbullying has serious legal ramifications.   

 

Kids also may not realize the danger of sharing personal information or photos online. This is especially true when it comes to sexting, which involves sharing sexually explicit content via digital devices. Your teenager may think they are just sending a cute picture to their significant other, but in some states, sexting between teens can be legally considered the distribution of child pornography. In fact, several states have specific laws on teen sexting. In Missouri, for example, distribution of a minor’s sexually explicit content can attract a one-year jail sentence and $1,000 fine.

 

With serious risks like this, it is critical that parents establish safeguards to protect their children online. Though the internet is an incredible resource, it also opens the door to emotional, physical, and legal risks, especially for kids and teens.

 

 Carver, Cantin & Mynarich are a team of criminal defense lawyers in Springfield, Missouri. The firm specializes in Internet crimes, along with serious felonies, criminal tax, death penalty prosecutions and a wide-range of other criminal cases. The firm is a 2017 and 2018 U.S. News & Best Lawyers Best Law Firm in America.

 

Thank you, Carver, Cantin & Mynarich!

 

Hey parents, ready for online peace of mind?

 

Order your Clean Router today!

Widespread Malware Campaign Hacks Over 100,000 Routers

It’s a not-so-happy Halloween for over 100,000 families this year.

 

A new malware campaign dubbed “GhostDNS” has hacked over 100,000 home routers in an attempt to steal passwords and other login information, particularly targeting online banking information. The Hacker News breaks down the technical details of GhostDNS here. This attack comes only a few years after the infamous DNSChanger, a similar malware system which infected millions of computers in 2012 and again in 2016.

 

We’re happy to report that Clean Routers were NOT affected by this attack. Our robust security system and constant monitoring (made possible by our monthly subscription model) allow our team to keep up with the latest malware threats. We update the Clean Routers regularly to guard against the newest online hazards and keep our ear to the ground for signs of a cyber attack.

 

TLDR? If you have a Clean Router, we have your back! If you don’t, now is the perfect time to order. Let’s make this Halloween all treats, no tricks!

 

Ready to protect your home, business, library, or church with Clean Router?

 

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Guest post from Mom Loves Best: Why Excessive Screen Time for Kids is Dangerous & What to Do About It

Today we have a treat for you readers: a guest post from Jenny Silverstone, the chief editor and author of Mom Loves Best, a research-driven parenting blog that aims to educate parents on essential topics such as children safety, health, and development.

 

Take it away, Jenny!

 

Do you worry about the amount of screen time your children get each day?

You are not alone. According to a recent report by Common Sense Media, 66% of parents are concerned about the amount of time their children spend on devices. Surprisingly, 50% of teens agree with them.

While technology can open many doors of information and be used for great good, there are also many risks involved. In a society equally obsessed and reliant on technology, how can parents regulate screen time for kids?

 

How Much Screen Time Should My Kids Get?

Screen time for Kids InfographicExposure to media and technology is an inevitably for all children, whether at home or in school. In fact, it is important for your children to be able to understand and utilize the tools available to them.

However, the dangers of smartphones, computers, televisions, and movies, come when they are overused. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has set forth recommended guidelines for how much screen time your child should have each day:

  • Children under 18 months: Screen time is not recommended for children under 18 months. Babies are unable to gain anything from media, though the AAP says video chatting is fine.
  • Children 18 to 24 months: You may begin introducing media to your child in limited amounts.
  • Children 2 to 5 years: Limit to one hour of supervised screen time a day. Choose positive and educational programming. The AAP discovered this screen time is useful most often when parents watch with the children and explain what they are seeing.
  • Children 6 & older: At the age of six, the AAP suggests parents begin determining how much media is appropriate for their child, setting guidelines and making sure media usage does not interfere with your child’s physical, emotional, or mental well-being. Two hours a day has been generally suggested.

It is important parents not only focus on how much screen time their children get, but also on the quality of media they consume. Parents should watch and discuss media with their children, teaching them how to apply what they see to their everyday life.

The Dangers of Excessive Screen Time

There are a number of risks associated with excessive screen time for kids:

  • In young children, screen time has shown to negatively impact learning development. Because they are focused on the screen, they miss opportunities to interact with parents and participate in creative play, two essential activities for learning language, problem-solving, and behavioral skills.
  • Children of all ages have experienced impaired sleep schedules with excessive screen time, having difficulty falling and staying asleep.
  • Screen time of any sort is a risk factor for childhood obesity, with children consuming over 150 extra calories on average per hour of television watched.
  • The bright lights of screens can cause vision problems, headaches, and irritability.
    Communication and interpersonal skills are inhibited.
  • The longer the exposure to a technological screen, the higher the risk.

 

Cutting Down on Screen Time as a Family

The best way to cut down on screen time for your children is to join with them. Making a goal as a family will help everyone remain diligent and accountable. Here are five tips to reduce the amount of screen time you are exposed to:

  1. Designate “no-screen” areas of your home. The best place to start is the dinner table.
  2. Have a plug-in station at night in a public area. All cell-phones are plugged in to be charged overnight, but not available to use.
  3. Try unplugging an hour before bed if you can.
  4. Use this website, sponsored by the AAP, to create a Personalized Family Media Plan. You can also calculate how much time your family spends on a screen.
  5. Avoid placing televisions and computers in bedrooms.
  6. Find a loud timer to keep track of how much screen time your children get. In the hustle and bustle of life, it is easy to lose track of time. You can also use special routers to make setting time restrictions easy.

 

Thanks for joining us today, Jenny!

 

At Clean Router, we understand how difficult it can be to slow your family down and keep them safe from the negative side effects of technology. That is why we strive to provide you with a simple tool to monitor all of the media in your home.

 

Let us help you manage your screen time for kids!

Order your Clean Router today!

Keep your library family-friendly with Clean Router!

Beanbag chairs? Check!

 

Extensive picture book collection? Check!

 

Family story time? Check!

 

Homework stations with computers? Check!

 

Internet access? Hmmmm…..

 

For families, no community resource is more valuable than the public library. Research shows having books in the home is strongly linked to kids’ academic achievement later in life, and, for many low- or middle-income families, this just isn’t possible without access to a public library. As the kids grow, the library can provide a quiet place and internet access to do homework, opportunities to connect with kids and adults in the community, and encourage them to keep reading. Particularly as an equalizer, the public library’s importance cannot be overstated.

 

Internet access opens the world to your community, and, for the most part, this is a wonderful thing. However, we all know the world is a complicated and sometimes downright disturbing place. Providing unrestricted internet access to the kids and youth of your community puts them at risk.

 

How? Research shows that kids who access violent media suffer academically, emotionally, and in their relationships. Teens who say they enjoy violent video games have a higher hostile attribution bias and are more likely to respond to others with hostility and aggression. Consumption of violent media has also been linked to decreased verbal skills, lower academic performance, and shortened memory and attention span.

 

Kids and teens who view pornography don’t fare any better. They also suffer academically and have decreased memory function and attention span, are more dissatisfied later in life, are more likely to perpetrate sexual harassment and develop problematic attitudes about women, struggle with substance abuse and participate in risky sexual behaviors.

 

Librarians, don’t let the dark side of the web drag your library down and threaten the kids of your community! Clean Router can filter every device connected to your network automatically, and you can adjust the filters and approve or block websites easily at any time!

 

Order your Clean Router today!

An interactive internet safety guide for kids– check it out!

Teaching your kids to be safe online doesn’t have to be boring!

 

AT&T has created an internet safety tutorial for kids that quizzes them on online etiquette, protecting personal information, social media safety, and more!

 

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Sunny, straightforward, and practical, Sammy’s Guide to Internet Safety will entertain and educate kids. It’s probably best for ages six to ten years old.

 

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Sammy’s Internet Safety Guide does leave off some topics parents will want to make sure to cover, like avoiding pornography, social media FOMO, and the benefits of unplugging. Check out our blog for tips on talking to kids about pornography and the effects of too much screen time!

 

You can also download Sammy’s Internet Safety Guide and print or save it on your computer. This could be a great test to make kids pass before they get online. Parents, teacher, and librarians– take note!

 

We applaud AT&T for promoting internet safety education for kids! Check out Sammy’s Internet Safety Guide here.

 

Protect your home, library, church, or small business with Clean Router! Download our Parent App today to make internet safety easier than ever.

 

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Pastor Nathan: “How should we prioritize prevention vs. addiction recovery?”

When it comes to online pornography, should parents and youth leaders focus on preventing kids and teens from encountering pornography or helping those who are addicted break free? In the latest Pastor Nathan video, he explains that placing barriers between youth and pornography is essential, but, for many teens, it’s too late to prevent the initial exposure. The most effective approach, then, is to prevent further encounters while simultaneously helping kids and teens heal from any contact with pornography they may have already had.

 

See Pastor Nathan’s full response below!

 

 

Ready to protect your home and family, church and congregation from online pornography? Try the Clean Router Proven Process!

 

Complete the set-up wizard

 Name your devices
Enable text and email notifications
Customize time restrictions
Bookmark Settings.CleanRouter.com

 

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Why you should turn off the computer and go outside

With spring not far away, here’s another reason to savor the balmy weather. A study from the University of Michigan claims that spending time outdoors improves and restores focus.

 

The researchers, led by Marc Berman,  asked 38 undergraduate students to perform several memory-intensive tasks intended to exhaust their attention resources. After the test, all the students were sent on an hour long walk– half through downtown Ann Arbor, Michigan, and half through an arboretum. When the students were tested again after their walk, those who had spent their break surrounded by greenery performed better than the others.

 

Interestingly enough, the restorative effects of the nature walk were independent of the participants’ enjoyment of the walk. The poor students were sent out for a walk at four different times of year, including January. While the students understandably enjoyed the walk less at certain times of year, the students who walked through the arboretum still got the same mental benefits.

 

If you live in an urban environment, take comfort– even looking at pictures of the great outdoors can provide mental benefits. After demonstrating the restorative effects of spending time in nature, the researchers enlisted more undergraduate students and replicated the experiment. This time, however, the students were assigned to look at pictures of urban environments or more natural landscape. While the students did not benefit from the pictures as much as actually going outdoors, the scores of the students who looked at the nature pictures were significantly higher than the scores of the students who were assigned to look at the urban pictures. So, go outside if you can, but if you can’t, at least hang a nice waterfall picture where you’ll see it often. However, don’t go digital– another study found looking at a plasma screen displaying a nature scene provided no more mental benefits than looking at a blank wall.

 

This study is not the first to demonstrate efficacy of nature in calming the mind. In the late 1990s, researchers at a public housing development noticed that the women who lived in apartments with plants and trees immediately outside seemed to fare better than those who lived in apartment buildings without such landscaping. When the researchers measured these women’s concentration and attention through various tests, they found that the women who lived among the trees scored higher than the other women in the housing development.

 

You can read the University of Michigan study by clicking here.

 

The temptation for kids to come home and slump in front of the iPad or computer is real , especially at the beginning of the school year. New teachers, new classes, new schedules– to say nothing of re-learning how to intellectually engage for hours at a time. Homework and extracurricular activities require kids to recharge in a short period of time, though, so mindless activities are a luxury few kids these days can afford. The best way to beat the after-school slump may be some time outside. Whether your family walks home from school or the bus, relaxes for a few minutes in the yard, or simply does homework on the porch, try to incorporate some time with nature into your afternoon routine!

 

Clean Router can help your family unplug and enjoy time off-line together!

 

 Order your Clean Router today!

Librarians: Comply with CIPA without overfiltering!

Your library is pinching every penny and really can’t afford to forgo the e-rate discount program through the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). On the other hand, though, you have read about the dangers of overfiltering and feel strongly about allowing your community access to all educational resources. What’s a librarian to do?

 

Clean Router provides user-friendly filtering and puts YOU in charge of deciding how much access your library patrons should have. Our features are completely customizable, and you can adjust the settings yourself from any computer or mobile device.

 

Here’s how it works:

 

Navigate to settings.cleanrouter.com on any computer.


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The overall filtering strength option is under Router Status. You’ll choose between strict, moderate, and relaxed.

 

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The other filtering options are under Filter Lists and Filter Status.

 

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On the Black List page, you can block access to any website you choose. Simply type the URL into the space provided, click the green button, and hit Save before you leave the tab. The White List similarly allows you to override the filter and allow any website. We’ve also provided a grey list, a TLD list, and a key word list that allow you to further customize the filtering.

 

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The Categories page allows you to decide whether you want to provide access to certain topics like gambling, drugs, violence, and art nudes.

 

To facilitate compliance with CIPA’s monitoring requirement, we’ve also included a logging feature that will record every site visited on the Clean Router network, even if users browse in incognito tabs.

 

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Complying with CIPA doesn’t have to be a headache or limit your community’s access to educational resources!

 

 

Order your Clean Router today!

Protect Your Holy Place

Are you a pastor, a priest, a rabbi, an imam, or a religious leader of any kind? Then we have an important message for you!

 

We know that your place of worship is special to you and your community. It is a place of love, trust, community, and faith. You feel safe there, and you want your congregation to be safe there as well.

 

Most churches these days have internet access.  It’s a great resource for teaching and learning. But, as you know, many portions of the internet are predatory and unholy. Pornography has no place in your worship– for good reason! How can you utilize all the best of the internet without exposing your congregation to dangerous content?

 

Here at Clean Router, we want to help you protect your holy place. Our filtering technology blocks online pornography at the door. No matter how many or what kind of wi-fi capable devices come through your doors, our Clean Router will filter every single one. No one will be able to use your internet connection to access pornography.

 

A holy place should be a safe place. Let Clean Router protect your church and give you online peace of mind.

 

 

Order your Clean Router today!

 
 
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Kids and teens who watch porn more dissatisfied later in life, study finds

Research published in The Journal of Sex Research found that teens who watch porn feel less satisfied and watch more porn later as adults.

 

The study, conducted by Brian J. Willoughby, Bonnie Young-Petersen, and Nathan D. Leonhardt, asked 908 adults about their prior and current pornography use, personal relationships, and mental health. These adults were asked to provide data in these areas for each year of their lives beginning at age seven.

 

The responders roughly fell into four different categories based on the age at which they began using pornography:

 

*Early engager: 7-10 years old

*Pubescent engager: 11-13 years old

*Late engager: 14-17 years old

*Abstainers: Almost no engagement with pornography at any age

 

The participants in the first two groups, those who began using pornography consistently between the ages of seven and thirteen years old, were more likely to have continued using pornography throughout their lives and consumed more pornography than the other two groups. They also were more likely to agree with these statements:

 

“My thoughts about pornography are causing problems in my life.”

 

“My desires to view pornography disrupt my daily life.”

 

“I sometimes fail to meet my commitments and responsibilities because of my pornography use.”

 

“Sometimes my desire to view pornography is so great that I lose control.”

 

“I have to struggle not to view pornography.”

 

Unsurprisingly, these early engagers were also more likely to use pornography compulsively as adults.

 

 

The participants in the abstainer group were more likely to be married as adults and reported slightly better mental health and greater life satisfaction than those in other groups.

 

The data from this study also suggested that those who used pornography infrequently or inconsistently demonstrated similar patterns and outcomes to the abstainer group. This may be the best news of the study, because it means healing really is possible for those who leave pornography behind!

 

Despite all the positive outcomes for teens who avoided pornography, the researchers found that these teens were less sexually knowledgeable and confident than their peers who watched porn. The study’s authors stressed the importance of providing teens with appropriate sex education and preparing them to be confident in their sexuality as adults.

 

 

The authors of this study also repeatedly emphasized the negative consequences for pornography use as children. These children grew up to use more pornography, display more dysfunctional pornography use (like addiction and compulsive use), were significantly less satisfied with their lives, and were least likely to be married as adults. As parents, we may not be able to shield our children from pornography forever, but simply protecting them through childhood will pay off dividends for their future.

 

BLOCK ALL ONLINE PORN from your home with the Clean Router Proven Process!

 

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