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Take a break from technology!

Unplug!
There I said it…
It is alarming to find out the number of adolescents that simply feel “naked” without their phone and access to Twitter, Facebook, Texting, Snapchat, Instagram,KIK…etc. Wake up people.

Unplug from Social Media
Unplug from Social Media
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I have to wonder about correlations to medications, suicide rates, depression, bullying, poor sleep patterns, lowering grades, rates of alcohol use, attendance in spiritual events, poor family connections, and the list goes on.
Ever try just being? Being present, being attentive, being respectful, being involved, being vulnerable, being with your thoughts, being with your family, just being still? Are we promoting a society in which being still is a sign of weakness? Are we telling our adolescents that they must constantly be striving for something more, something better, or something to build? Do our own behaviors model that of being addicted to technology? Do we leave an office environment full of technology and demands on us to enter our home and snuggle up with our laptop? Do we talk to our kids by peering over the screen of a device?

What does that say about us?

We are not evil…that is not where I am going with this. But it should cause us to pause to think about how our behavior does affect others and what we are teaching our children about the use of technology and the importance it does/should have in our lives.

Recent security breaches in Snapchat and other applications have caused this parent to significantly reduce the amount of technology usage but also to stand up and say No! Have I succeeded? Not entirely, but I am making strides. I am trying to instill in all my kids that “the written record” is permanent. Technology can be such a fun hobby. My oldest has really taken an interest in Pinterest, which at face value can be harmless and oodles of fun. However, whatever you post will follow you. FOREVER. There is a myth that when you delete, the item is gone. Well, no it is not gone…not really.

An article about Snapchat in the AP by BARBARA ORTUTAY on January 2nd of this year has left a lot to be desired in keeping technology on the menu in many households.
As Americans rang in the New Year, hackers reportedly published 4.6 million Snapchat usernames and phone numbers on a website called snapchatdb.info, which has since been suspended. The breach came less than a week after the most recent warning from security experts that an attack could take place.
The incident bruises the company's image and may threaten its rapid growth. Los Angeles-based Snapchat has no source of revenue, but its rapid rise to an estimated 20 million U.S. adult users prompted Facebook to extend a reported $3 billion buyout last year. Snapchat's 23-year-old CEO Evan Spiegel turned down the overture. The user number estimate is based on census data and data from the Pew Research Center.
What should users do? Gibson Security, the firm that warned Snapchat of the security vulnerability on Christmas Day, has created a site, — http://lookup.gibsonsec.org/ — that lets users type in their username to see if their phone number was among those leaked. Of two user accounts that The Associated Press checked, one was found to have been compromised.
Gibson Security did not publish the last two digits of the phone numbers.
Gibson says users can delete their Snapchat account if they wish, but "this won't remove your phone number from the already circulating leaked database." Users can also ask their phone company to give them a new phone number.
"Lastly, ensure that your security settings are up to scratch on your social media profiles. Be careful about what data you give away to sites when you sign up — if you don't think a service requires your phone number, don't give it to them," Gibson said.
This was Gibson's second warning to Snapchat, following one in August that the security firm said was ignored.
"Given that it's been around four months since our last Snapchat release, we figured we'd do a refresher on the latest version, and see which of the released exploits had been fixed (full disclosure: none of them)," Gibson wrote on the Gibson Security website.
The Snapchat breach comes just two weeks after Target was hit with a massive data security breach that affected as many as 40 million debit and credit card holders. Litan, said phone numbers are not considered "sensitive" personally identifiable information — such as credit card or social security numbers — so they are collected by all sorts of companies to verify a person's identity.
A phone number is "not as bad as password or magnetic strip information, but it's the piece of the puzzle that criminals need to impersonate identities," she said.
Christopher Soghoian, principal technologist with the American Civil Liberties Union, agreed.
"The main problem was that they ignored a responsible report by security researchers," he said, adding that his concern is not with the specific database of information that was released, but that Snapchat has "demonstrated a cavalier attitude about privacy and security."
Many people use Snapchat because it feels more private than other messaging apps and social networks. Users can send each other photos and videos that disappear within a few seconds after they are viewed. While the recipient can take a screenshot of the message, a big draw of Snapchat is its ephemeral nature.
"This probably won't be the last problem with Snapchat," Soghoian said. Companies like Microsoft and Google, he added, actively court security researchers and even pay bounties for people to expose flaws in their systems.