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Keeping Kids Safe Online With Norton

Last Tuesday we went to the House of Illustration in Kings Cross, London for an event regarding online security with Norton.

Our kids are growing up in a technological age very different to ours as and as they grow and technology advances, risks come with the benefits and there is a growing need to keep them safe online.

Using fairytales with a modern twist we were advised the following:

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Keeping Your Kids Safe Online
Secure the devices your children use with filters and parental controls – these features allow you to prevent them accessing inappropriate websites, monitor which sites your children visit and limit the amount of time they spend online, even when you aren’t around. The controls also limit any information you don’t want your child sharing, whether it be their name, age, phone number, or any other private information. You should turn on all the filtering and security features in your computer’s search engine to prevent your child from inadvertently arriving at an adult or other inappropriate site as they do their homework.

Make sure you show your child how to close a browser window and let them know it’s always OK to close a site if something surprising or disturbing occurs. Set high security settings with browsers, membership, and social networking sites.

Supervise their time online. Tell them never to chat, type messages, or share information with anyone on these sites unless you are with them.

Review the sites your child visits; don’t be afraid to discuss and possibly restrict sites that offend or concern you.

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Foster open communication and teach your children to tell a parent, teacher, or trusted adult if they feel uncomfortable about anything they’ve seen on a computer.

It wasn’t all about the kids. I took away some handy hints too:

If it’s connected, it must be protected!
Today we connect to the Intenet loads of different ways, whether it’s with a laptop, tablet or even a watch. Anything that connects to the Intenet must be protected, regardless of the kind of device it is.

Make sure your mobile is fully protected
Mobiles have changed how we communicate and access the intenet but they also bring with them new threats in the form of lost or stolen devices. In fact, mobile is the fastest growing target for cybercriminals.

To protect yourself and your family, make sure your smartphones or tablets require a password and ensure your devices are protected against theft, loss and cybercrime.

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You’re only as secure as your password
Your online accounts are only as secure as the username and password that protect them. Set a recurring reminder to regularly change password for all accounts.

Never share your password! Talk with your children about protecting private information (name, phone number, etc.) and teach them to never to share passwords (except with you).

Use passwords on all your accounts and devices
Use a strong password (unique and complex) on all your family’s accounts and devices. The two most important account passwords are for your social network and your email account. Weak passwords are easy to guess. They might be easy for you to remember, but they are also easy for cybercriminals to guess – locking your smartphone with 1111 isn’t safe! Make sure that each one contains at least eight characters and avoid easy-to-guess passwords such as “password”, “123456” or “qwerty”.

The event was fun for the kids and educational for the adults. It demonstrated the need to keep up to date with technology; just because we are older doesn’t mean we have to be luddites!

I’ll soon be getting a copy of Norton Family to use on my devices and I’ll be sure to write a review on how good/restrictive it turns out to be.

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Spring Cleaning With Boxman

If your family is anything like mine, you probably have too many things in your house!

Old clothes, curtains, school projects from yesteryear which you know need to be thrown out (but the tears and heartache caused when you attempt to get rid of two year old egg/cereal boxes turned into cars make it prohibitive) as well as all that stuff lurking in boxes under the bed/in the attic.

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Help is at hand via Boxman; a storage company with a difference. I tried out their service and it was so very easy:

Step 1. Create an account at boxman.co.uk. Order your boxes at a time that suits you within a very handy two-hour window. No more staying in between 8 and 6 waiting for the delivery person. Collection is free.

Step 2. Take delivery of your boxes (the size of a standard office/moving crate) and fill with all the things you’re too attached to actually throw away. You can log, tag, photograph and document your boxes so you know what’s in which box and you can retrieve things easily. It reminds me of office archive but for the home.

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Step 3. Arrange collection of said boxes. I logged into my account at 13:00 and was able to book a collection that same day between 17:00 and 19:00.

I filled my boxes with winter coats, their old baby clothes and toys (mine and theirs) with sentimental meaning, old photos and books.

The cost isn’t prohibitive either; it costs £5 per box to store and another £5 per box to return. For that price you get:

Free box delivery and collection
Only pay for what you use
Secure and insured storage
No minimum contracts

Monthly storage charges only start when they collect your packed boxes so you only pay for what you use. If you’ve got lots of stuff to store, you can save money on each box. Use 10 boxes or more in one collection and they’ll be £4.50 each; use 20 and they’ll be £4 each.

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Boxman could come in useful when you are moving house, whether that’s as longer-term storage or as a place to clear your clutter (a la House Doctor – remember her?) while you are trying to sell.

For more information visit www.boxman.co.uk.

*Brought to you in association with Boxman*

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Breakfast Idea: Gluten Free Corn Flakes x Barleycup

Eating breakfast when you’re gluten free can be a bore; there are only so many ways to jazz up porridge and a lot of the ‘free from flakes’ taste like variants of cardboard.

When I was first diagnosed with IBS I was surprised how many breakfast cereals contained gluten; corn flakes, rice crispies etc. thankfully a lot of the big brands are realising the monetary value in adapting their ranges to the gluten free crown and Nestle are the latest to launch a product suitable for our delicate systems.

Everyone in the western world is familiar with their cornflakes and now there’s a variety made without gluten. There’s no premium price tag and according to my husband, little difference between these gluten free corm flakes and the regular type.

nestle gluten free corn flakes

The cereal has been fortified with seven vitamins and minerals, including iron and vitamin D and comes in two flavours – regular and honey.

Most breakfast routines involve a hot beverage and if you’re looking for a natural alternative to tea and coffee, there’s the option of gluten free Barleycup. I live for tea and coffee but should probably cut down and Barleycup is made from roasted barley, rye and chicory and has been certified gluten free by Coeliac UK.

Each cup is only 10 calories and can be made with hot water, (dairy free) milk and as it contains dandelion root and sugar beet, has a natural sweetness.

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Eating on the go when you’re gluten free is the worse so I think it’s a good idea to leave a box of the Nestle Gluten Free Cornflakes and a jar of the gluten free Barleycup in your desk drawer. Clearly marked with your name on in if your office is anything like mine!

Nestle Gluten Free Corn Flakes – rrp from £1.99 (in most supermarkets)
Barleycup – rrp £2.00 (in Holland & Barrett)

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Review: Tavistock Tutors

Tavistock Tutors provide professional private tutoring for all subjects throughout London (and internationally). All their private educators are professionals within their field of expertise and are qualified to extremely high standards. They tutor in 11+, Common Entrance, GCSE, SAT, Special Needs, Home Schooling, 6th Form school entry as well as university entrance exams and interview preparation for university and employment.

They tutor from ages 8 and above and although my daughter is in the top set in maths, there’s no such thing as too much education in my book which is why I snapped up a preview tutoring lesson.

We had a visit from the delightful Norman; a very polite and knowledgeable medical student. He came prepared with worksheets and questions and made Lily feel completely at ease. It’s no mean feat when at 8 year old says she enjoyed an hour of quite complex mental maths from 615-715 but Norman somehow managed to make word problems seem fun! He was punctual, patient, gave praise when due and, in my opinion, was the perfect tutor.

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See his testimonial here and if you’re in the market for tutoring for the 11+, GCSE, A Level or above I highly recommend you book him ASAP through Tavistock Tutors.

www.tavistocktutors.com

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Thomas & Friends: Dinos & Discoveries

If your little ones like dinosaurs and trains they are going to love the new Thomas & Friends: Dinos & Discoveries on DVD.

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The DVD has six exclusive new episodes, and introduces us to a brand new engine Samson. Thomas and friends are filled with wonder at the new sights and sounds on Sodor as the engines help the Earl with a special surprise. Marion experiences some dinosaur daydreams, as Bill and Ben send Timothy on an expedition for a rainbow-coloured truck. Samson discovers his slip-ups cause confusion and delay, while brave Emily steps up to save the world.

It’s hard to get a wordy review out of a four year old. I asked him if he liked it; he said yes. I asked him why he liked it; he said because it was good. That’s about as far as the conversation went!

Thomas & Friends: Dinos & Discoveries (rated U) is available now at www.amazon.co.uk and in all good retailers. It costs £9 and is 70 minutes long.

Find out more about Thomas on the Thomas & Friends website www.thomasandfriends.com.

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