Digital Parenting: Engage

Digital parenting is one of the hardest parts about being a modern day parent; the possible dangers that come with digital interaction, especially when unmonitored, are well known thanks to news articles and TV specials.

To help parents raise their children, companies have produced plenty of products meant to keep children safe, from filters to site blockers to parental intelligence systems. Parents often develop their own systems to keep children safe online; they may put a limit of the amount of time a child spends online or prohibit the use of a computer in a child’s bedroom.

I believe that it is important for digital parents to avoid creating restriction upon restriction. According to Connectsafely.org, based on surveys of 25,142 families of 9-to-16-year-olds in 25 countries, researchers came to the conclusion that parents' active engagement with their kids' Internet activities works better than restricting them.

"For parents, talking to their child about the internet, encouraging them to explore alone but being nearby in case they are needed and talking to them about what they do online are all ways in which they can reduce online risks without reducing their child's opportunities," said EU Kids Online research director Sonia Livingstone in a press release.

This is not to say the resources available online should be ignored. However, perhaps before jumping to block every single site on the Internet, a quick conversation is all that is really needed. Calmly explain to your children that there are dangerous people online, and that nothing online is truly private. Motivate your children to think: Is this something I want people outside of my house to see? In short, teach them to use the Internet safely and responsibly.

Remember: giving children guidelines is more effective than enforcing restrictions; as tempting as it is to create rule upon rule for your children, encouraging open dialogue between you and your children will lead to a more trusting relationship for both parties, and as a result will let parents talk to and monitor their children with less resistance.

Related resources:
uKnowKids Parenting Blog & Resource Center

 

The Problem: Sexting and Predators

It is hard for me to believe, but today is the nine year anniversary of buySAFE’s birthdate.  Time sure does fly by when you are having a good time. 

When I left buySAFE a few months ago, I promised to keep you up to date on my next entrepreneurial adventure.  In the spirit of start-up birthdays, I thought I would share with you a few interesting details about my next venture.

Sexting is rampant. Predators are everywhere. Obviously, buySAFE was founded to make the Internet safer for online shoppers, and we did that for tens of millions of consumers.  This time around, we want to make technology safer for our kids (Fatherhood has a way of inspiring you to do such things).  Our new start-up is tackling two serious, prevalent and complex problems: Sexting and Predators.  The market simply hasn’t provided any effective solutions for parents yet, and we intend to fill that gap.

The business was inspired by my brother, Tim Woda, who as the parent of older children, has had to confront these difficult issues directly.  It seems like every time I speak with a parent of tweens or teens, they express the same frustrations and fear about allowing their kids to use digital technologies.  Since there are more than 37 million kids in the U.S. and more than 1.2 billion kids globally between the ages of 9 and 17, I believe there is an interesting business opportunity here.

The following is a short video overview of the Sexting and Predator problems that parents face today.  If you have any feedback or suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment.  I welcome your assistance.  Also, please share this video with your friends and family.  I believe it is important that we educate parents to make sure they are fully aware of the digital dangers they must manage on behalf of their kids. 

I recognize that I haven’t told you how we are going to attack these scary problems, but I will over the coming months.  I wanted to tease you first!  🙂  Before telling you everything, we have to finish building out our product and raise a bit of capital to finance our public launch.  Both of these activities are ongoing (and going well), and I will share more as we make additional progress.

I will continue to provide you with regular updates here on this blog, but if you want to get more frequent updates, feel free to become a fan on my Facebook Fan Page.  I am using it to share my daily thoughts on this start-up adventure.  Thanks, and stay tuned!

Thank you buySAFE!

Buysafelogo
Today, I am starting a new chapter in my entrepreneurial story. It is with both a bit of sadness and a lot of excitement that I share with you the news that I have left buySAFE to pursue other start-up and entrepreneurial interests. In addition, I have joined buySAFE’s Board of Advisors so that I can continue to assist the company in whatever fashion is necessary.  Click here to see buySAFE's announcement on the buySAFE blog.

After almost nine years of building buySAFE, I am leaving the Company in very capable hands, with fresh funding, and the brightest future that the Company has ever had. It has been a deeply satisfying experience to create something valuable, and I want to sincerely thank our customers, our partners, my colleagues and the many investors who made buySAFE possible. I am obviously looking forward to my next adventure, but I am also very much looking forward to buySAFE’s continued success over the coming months and years.

I founded buySAFE after getting burned in an online transaction on eBay. As a student, I didn’t have any extra money to lose to ecommerce fraudsters, and so I decided that there had to be a better way to buy and sell products online. buySAFE was born!

This adventure started for me while I was earning my MBA at Wharton in 2000, and as with all start-ups, there have been huge successes and great challenges. For me, both have proven to be invaluable learning experiences.

Developing buySAFE’s early business/technology plan, acquiring our major financial institution and strategic partners (including two major strategic partners to be announced in the coming months), and raising our $30 million in venture capital financing were all challenges that I ultimately found to be great learning experiences. Over time, I was able to lead almost every aspect of buySAFE’s business operations, and all of these experiences were amazing for me personally and professionally. I plan to share with you many of the lessons I learned at buySAFE over the coming months.

Perhaps the thing I am most proud of at buySAFE is our team. Early on, I recruited Jeff Grass, Tim Woda, and Hans Dreyer to buySAFE. Today, Jeff is buySAFE’s CEO, Tim is the VP – Sales, and Hans is the VP – Operations. They are the core of our team even to this day. The rest of our team is amazing as well, and it has been a pleasure working with each and every one of them.

I never intended to spend almost a decade working on my Wharton class project, but along the way, buySAFE provided me with an amazing opportunity to make great friends, to learn important new skills, and to see that anything is possible with persistence and creativity. It also taught me that you can’t build a company by yourself.

Although I could never hope to name all of the folks that deserve my thanks, I wish I could. A few folks in particular – my wife, my brother, and buySAFE’s employees, customers, investors, and advisors – have all obviously been invaluable to both me and buySAFE. To all of you, thank you! I sincerely appreciate your investments in time, capital, expertise, and support. There would be no buySAFE without you.

As far as the next chapter in my entrepreneurial story, I am not ready to share the details quite yet, but please stay tuned. I will share my adventures with you here on my blog, so if you are interested, please make sure to subscribe using the form below.

Thank you buySAFE!

Related posts:

"Steve Woda, Founder and Chairman of buySAFE, Pursues New Entrepreneurial Ventures" on the buySAFE blog

"Founder of buySAFE, Steve Woda, Steps Down" on AuctionBytes.com

Shopping Advisor approved by Mozilla for Firefox

Sa_firefox_addon
After two months of testing in Mozilla's developmental sandbox,
Mozilla approved the buySAFE Shopping Advisor for public distribution
via the Firefox Add-on site starting this week.

If you aren't already using Shopping Advisor with your Firefox
browser, you should install it as an add-on today.  You can check it
out on the official Mozilla Firefox Add-on site here… https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/9009

I am obviously excited about this big milestone, and as always, I hope you will continue to provide us with your feedback, insights and ideas on
Shopping Advisor over the coming weeks and months.

Have fun, and happy new year!

Steve

Obama is More Famous, But Paris Has a Better Energy Policy

Okay.  I couldn't resist digressing a bit today.

Paris might not be as famous as Obama, but she seems to have a better energy policy than he does.  She makes fun of the "white haired dude" as well.  This spoof is a classic. 

Nicely done Paris.  You're "so hot!"  🙂

See more Paris Hilton videos at Funny or Die

Also, while I have you here, please check out buySAFE's new safe shopping tool, Shopping Advisor.  This revolutionary application is something that my team has been working on for more than a year, and the industry reviews have been tremendous thus far.  Of course, I would love to get your comments and feedback as well.

Here is the scoop… The buySAFE Shopping Advisor is a free browser plug-in that enables consumers to shop online safely and securely. The Shopping Advisor provides objective ratings on eCommerce websites (almost 400,000 as of this morning) so consumers have the information they need to make safe and informed online shopping decisions.  More importantly, Shopping Advisor provides exclusive access to a unique safe shopping channel where every purchase is guaranteed with a bond up to $25,000 and identity theft protected – at no cost.

Have fun, and buy safe!

Install your buySAFE Shopping Advisor

A Little Challenge to the Private Sector

Today’s post is provided by Joan HerbigJoan is the Chief Executive Officer for ControlScan, a leading provider of security and Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance solutions designed exclusively for small- to medium-sized e-commerce businesses.

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I recently sent some employees to a seminar to get an industry-recommended security certificate. The seminar is aimed at providing education on the newest and hottest cyber threats.

With all the news of mega breaches out there, including one I just wrote about on www.esecuritydiva.com, it would seem as if an information-packed seminar such as this one would be packed with IT people, right? Actually, it was. But with public sector IT people. Private sector attendees were few and far between.

What’s going on here? This little piece of news could be a telltale:

Continue reading “A Little Challenge to the Private Sector”

Daily Roundup for 2008-04-21

Continue reading “Daily Roundup for 2008-04-21”