It was a tradition in my old place of work (and hopefully still is) that whenever somebody left the company they would be given a large A3 card with a photoshopped image of themselves on the front. The card would be signed by all the staff, and typically the photoshopped image referenced the employee’s personality or the sterling work that they had done during their time in the company.
My card was that of Clark Kent ripping open his shirt to reveal the Superman logo and suit underneath. My face was superimposed on Mr Kent’s body, and the reference I can assure you was not that I was a ‘Superman’ but rather Mr. Geek Chic like Clark himself.
Fast forward 12 months, and my then three year old – Thing 1 – who was (and still is) a Superhero fanatic came across the card as we were clearing out the spare room. He literally froze in astonishment staring at the card while momentarily glancing back and forth between me and my now alter ego Superman. He couldn’t believe it. He genuinely thought that I was once Superman (the man boobs giving away my early retirement) and not one to disappoint I took on this role with aplomb and embellished it for all it was worth.
I told tales of Lex Luthor, detailed my battles with General Zod, explained the menace that was Darkseid and talked about sharing burgers with Spiderman and Batman in Planet Hollywood. He loved it. I loved it. He saw me as Superman – my wife saw me as a SuperPrat but it didn’t matter because Thing 1 was ecstatic and as any parent will know that’s all the matters. No Kryptonite in the world was going to change this.
As time went on and Thing 1 got older, he continued to ask me questions about my cape-flying ways. Every book we read and every toy shop we visited resulted in further recounts of embellished tales of my superhero days. To be honest, I thought that he’d outgrow it and granted I didn’t extinguish the myth but being honest, I loved it.
I loved that he was still so innocent as to think that the Dadbod standing in front of him was once Superman. My wife, the real superhero in the house, could only stand back and dream about having a husband with a six pack and bulging biceps.
Yesterday, everything changed however.
Sitting down for dinner, I asked Thing 1 about his day. As usual, he had a great time in school and mentioned that he played superheroes with his friends. But he said that when he told his friend that I was Superman, his friend laughed at him. When asked how this made him feel he said ‘Not good’.
I looked at my Wonder Woman wife, and together our hearts sank. I’d have to tell him. I’d have to shatter my his dreams and I’d have to do it before school the next day. I felt both sadness and joy that this little boy was still so innocent that he believed everything I told him.
So this morning I faced the biggest battle of my Superhero career. I got up early with Thing 1 and as we sat together having breakfast I told him that I wasn’t Superman. I explained about the photoshopped card and that when he first saw it he was too young to understand.
He seemed to take it all in but what came out of his mouth next almost floored me…’So you were never a crime-fighter daddy?’ ‘No son I wasn’t. Does that make you sad?’ He turned away with watery eyes and proceeded to finish his Weetabix– the same Weetabix that I told him helped me with my super powers. I felt awful, and if I’m being honest I was close to tears myself.
We hugged and in fairness to the little guy, he took it in his stride and moved on pretty quickly. We went about building some Lego structures, and I withstood every urge I had to tell him that I was once a Lego character… I’ll tell him another time, I thought.
Thinking back to all the fun we had over the years discussing superhero tales and battles, I don’t think I would have changed anything. Kids are innocent and that’s one of the loveliest things about them. I genuinely felt emotional seeing Thing 1’s face change when he realised that I wasn’t the crime fighter he thought I was, but it was better he found out now than be made fun of about it in school.
This whole episode taught me a very valuable life lesson about how gullible kids are, and I’ll be extra conscious in future about the type of ‘tales’ I tell them. One thing is for sure though, I’m absolutely dreading the day that I have to tell them about the Easter Bunny.
Dad of three, husband of one. master of none. All opinions are my own unless my wife tells me otherwise
Thing 2 will be four in October and to look at him you’d think he came off the set of Point Break (think Bodhi). He has a blond curly mop of unkempt hair – unlike me but very much like our postman – that can at times obscure his vision but damn he’s a cutie.
Lately, however, we began to feel like the lack of grooming might be cruel as the constant brushing of his fringe away from his eyes made him look like he was constantly saluting us. I would always salute back.
I had planned to take him to my barber aka. the ten minute €10 haircut which has served me well for many a year – “short back and sides and leave the Jedward fringe please”. Our five-year-old now goes there too and like me, he’s in and out in a jiffy.
Thing 2, however, is a different beast. He’s more stubborn. He’s crankier. He’s more of a live wire. He’s Bodhi, a law into himself. As he gets older I’m hopeful sure he’ll mellow but to bring him to the barber would be a stretch too far for this cowardly dad…I just didn’t need the hassle or the stress.
I had promised my darling wife that I wouldn’t give him a home cut but while the cat’s away, or rather at a yoga class, I decided to get the scissors out and strategically sheer him.
I had only ever done a home cut once before and although Thing 1 did end up looking like a Benedictine Monk I was convinced that I could do a better job with a lighter wavier head of hair. I was wrong.
A few snips here and a few snips there and everything seemed to be going swimmingly. In between chats about Paw Patrol and Mike the Knight we also played ‘I Spy’ until my ‘I Spy’ challenge resulted in Thing 2 shouting “the floor” and rapidly moving his head downwards.
Now while he got the answer right (“I Spy with my little eye something we stand on”) he also managed to lose half his fringe…the vertical half. I gasped. Half a floppy fringe and half a spiky scalpy fringe…no comb-over in the world was going to fix this atrocity. Bodhi was now long gone. What sat in front of me could only be described as a cross between Donald Trump and Flock of Seagulls.
As my adrenaline kicked in and Trump Seagull stared up at me I started to panic. Fine, the hair would grow back but my wife was going to be home soon so I was unclear what was in store for me.
It took a few days before we could make proper eye contact with Trump Seagull without cringing (thank god I collect trucker caps) and another few days for me to acknowledge that my sheering days were over.
My claims that it would have been easier if we had had a girl because it would be a simpler straighter cut(I was talking pure sh**e), fell on deaf ears.
To non-parents, this may not sound like a big ordeal and in the grand scheme of things it isn’t. The thing about cutting your child’s hair is the first unbearable ‘half fringed’ glimpse of them as a non-baby. We had waited 3 years and now he was a no longer our helpless little dude.
He has been shorn – had you seen him you might even say ‘branded’ – he is more grown up, more expressive, still cute but less cuddly. He is more Wall Street than Sesame Street.
I haven’t touched a pair of scissors since but we do have another son so third time lucky, who knows? In the meantime however the full salute has been reduced to a half salute and I continue to pray for the welcome return of Bodhi.
1. I’m half tempted to create an ‘Unboxing dinner’ video on YouTube so that my kids will eat the bloody food.
2. I’d love to calculate how much time I’ve spent looking for something I know I’ve already thrown away.
3. Raisins, or as I commonly refer to them as, ‘my favourite little box of shut the f*ck up’.
4. My kids moan if they have the same dinner 2 days in a row yet they’ll happily have the same cereal everyday of their lives.
5. If you want your kids to do almost anything just tell them that it’s bedtime.
6. The only thing I want to try in the bedroom these days is 8 hours sleep.
7. Wouldn’t it be great if you could tap your kids to see how long is left when they are telling you a story, similar to when you tap the screen on a YouTube video
8. Apparently no one calls more than a husband doing the grocery shop.
9. I agree with my kids a lot just so they will stop talking.
10. What doesn’t kill you DOESN”T actually make you stronger; It wakes you up by jumping on your head, telling you that they’ve wet the bed and that they want breakfast.
I1. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be moaned at in surround sound, I recommend having 3 kids (and 1 wife).
12. Nothing ever good comes of a conversation that begins with “Dad are you in a good mood?”
13. DD Tip: Take your kid’s ‘artwork’ to work and throw it away there. That way you’ll never get caught throwing it away at home.
14. My kids go through more toilet roll than an Abracadabra jacks.
15. Yesterday I pressed the pedestrian crossing button right in front of my kids just to remind them who’s in charge. That’s how petty I am.
16. Don’t give your kids a Granola bar before bringing them to the dentist….NOT impressed.
17. I poured boiling water on my hand the other day – I wasn’t trying to – and the first thing I heard was ‘Daddy can I have a snack?’….He chewed on that bandage for a good 5 minutes.
18. I often wish there was a drive-thru for everything.
19. I’m now at the stage where I wish that I can sleep when I can’t and I’m no longer able to sleep when I can.
20. If you’re ever concerned about your kid’s hearing, just open a bag of crisps from another room.
21. My toddler should write a book called “Why one sock is better than two”.
22. My 4yo should write a book called “Why I never wait for the sun to come up”
23. My 6yo should write a book called “Why I want to be a Lego Master Builder”
24. Lego should invent a Lego hoover that parents can use to hoover up Lego.
25. A walk in the park is not a walk in the park.
26.Tetris and Tupperware drawers are pretty much one and the same.
27. What doesn’t kill you DOESN”T actually make you stronger; It wakes you up by jumping on your head, telling you that they’ve wet the bed and that they want breakfast. #GoodMorningThing2
28. I’m inventing a ‘Sock Lock’ that prevents toddlers from pulling off their socks and chewing on them. Hit me up if you want to invest.
29. Regardless of how tired you are, check that the sticker is off the apple before you scoff it down.
30. “DAAAAD. HELP. It just came out”. What I didn’t want to hear (or see) when i walked into the bathroom at 3.37am last night.
31. I’m convinced that my 4-year-old is trying to disprove the scripture that ‘man cannot live on bread alone’. #ChallengeAccepted
32. ‘Ugh I hate broccoli’. Yet he’ll eat freshly picked snot no problem.
33. Co-sleeping; what a load of s***.
—->(1) nobody bloody sleeps and
—>(2) it’s more like snow plowing, given how much I have to shift both kid and wife over to their side.
34. Although frowned up, it;s not illegal to call a toddler an asshole.
What started out as an innocent bite turned into a life threatening, life altering situation.
It happened one Saturday morning. On seeing his Mum attempting to scoff down a peanut butter bagel before starting the 100+ chores that every parent has, Thing 2 innocently asked if he could try some of her bagel.
After duly obliging for fear of a tantrum, Thing 2 bit in and no sooner had the crunchy butter hit his lips than he spat it out with the typical ‘yuck’ that most 2 year olds so quickly become fluent in. He didn’t even swallow it. It merely touched his tongue. It had been in his mouth no more than two seconds. Unfortunately that was enough.
What started out as an innocent bite turned into a life threatening, life altering situation.
His entire face swelled up. His eyelids became so puffed that he could longer see. Hives broke out all over his body. He started to gasp for air and credit to him he didn’t even cry (which was almost worse). Needless to say we got the fright of our lives but thankfully this was only a warning sign. After bringing him to our local chemist, his symptoms were treated with oral antihistamines but we were lucky. Very very lucky.
Thing 2 has since been diagnosed with a severe peanut allergy. He’s allergic to other nuts too but peanuts are the killer (god forbid) and had he swallowed the peanut butter that day who knows what would have happened.
His entire face swelled up. His eyelids became so puffed that he could longer see.
Thankfully it’s now being managed. I say managed because it’s impossible to control it. Control implies that you are in charge of it 24/7 but unfortunately you can’t always control what your child eats or more importantly what another person gives your child to eat. This is Thing 2’s Achilles heel.
I find that the hardest thing about Thing 2’s nut allergy is being the party pooper – no you can’t eat that, no you can’t eat that either. Sure we’ve been told that Thing 2 is never allowed to be in a Chinese restaurant. A life without sweet ‘n’ sour chicken and spring rolls is not a life worth living!
What’s more is we’ve become the party pooper family.
Thing 2 started preschool a few weeks ago and due to the seriousness of his condition, birthday cakes are banned and letters were sent to the families of the other kids stating that no nuts of any kind were allowed.
Bye bye Mr Peanut Butter sandwich.
This not only applies to his school. As you can imagine, parties, planes, sleepovers, child minders, relatives, friends etc all have to be instructed about this strict strict policy and furthermore they have to be shown how to use the Epi Pen(s) if Thing 2 is exposed to nuts and goes into anaphylactic shock.
We’ve become the party pooper family.
I can’t stress enough how serious a nut allergy – particularly peanut – is. A lot of people still think being allergic to nuts means that you might just get a rash or start sneezing etc.
For instance on informing a group of people about Thing 2’s allergy, one of the lads in the group piped up with a ‘sure my kid is allergic to carrots’ gag. Now I appreciate that it was a joke but on hearing other people laugh i couldn’t help but feel that he was making fun of the allergy.
My first thoughts were, ‘well if I shove a carrot where the sun doesn’t shine, do you want to see what type of reaction you’ll have’
I can’t stress enough how serious a nut allergy – particularly peanut – is.
But in all seriousness, Mr Carrot Man’s joke/attitude highlights one of the major reasons why it sucks to have a child with a nut allergy – some people assume we’re being paranoid and that we’re being party poopers for no good reason.
That said education and awareness is much better than it used to be and if we could tackle nut allergies like the NHS are tackling sugar with their Sugar Smart – Change4life campaign we’d be doing well. Checkout their Sugar Smart app (free on iOS & Droid) where you can scan the barcodes on food packaging to reveal the number of sugar cubes in everyday food and drink.
Now wouldn’t it be nice to see the HSE do similar….
Apart from the endless mess and the countless trains, planes and automobiles that you’ll have in your home, here’s what to expect and what you should know if you’re a Mum or Mum-to-be of a boy. I have three…
1. Tolerate the Fart (and burp)
Thankfully my good wife grew up with two boys, so she’s well equipped to deal with the potent mix of various human gasses. Kids think farting – or ‘whizzpopping’ as we call it – is funny, end of.
Obviously, there’s a time and a place to fart/not to fart and we try our best to teach our boys this valuable etiquette. For instance, try not to fart in public and if you do, apologise (where appropriate) and try to get out of there quickly without laughing, and never fart under your duvet unless you 1) don’t mind retching and passing out or 2) don’t like the person next to you in the bed.
Regardless of whether you personally find farts funny or not, they will happen so get used to it and learn to tolerate the little people that do.
2. Willy fascination will start early
Boys practically play with their willies from birth. It’s there, it’s dangly and it’s flexible. What more could they ask for?
For the rest of his life, this could be your son’s best and most treasured friend (why do you think we have pet names for them?). Don’t worry about this early fascination. It kind of never goes away (it’s his manhood after all) so be thankful that your son is inquisitive and no doubt thankful to you for his ‘dangly donger’.
Unfortunately no matter how fascinated they are with their ‘little soldier’ it’ doesn’t compute to them learning how to pee in the toilet properly…aka. the Tinkle Sprinkle
3. Get used to the Tinkle Sprinkle
Boys will sprinkle when they tinkle – i.e. urinate – on the toilet seat or bathroom floor etc. You’ll have to get used to this. In fact, boys and pee go hand in hand (pardon the pun). Pee can go and will go everywhere and anywhere – e.g. floors, walls, plants, toys, shoes etc.
The older they get, the better their aim becomes, but with age comes greater range which in itself can be a problem. Keep wipes beside the toilet and whatever you do DON’T keep a toilet rug.
4. Safety standards go out the window
OK, so I’m the type of Dad that laughs and shouts ‘hooray’ when one of my boys falls or walks into a table, door etc. I don’t do this because I’m mean or I enjoy seeing them hurt themselves. No, quite the opposite actually. I do it because like most kids, as soon as your child has an accident they turn around to see what your initial reaction is. And if it’s a reaction of horror, angst, worry, or a complete overreaction, well then your child is going to overreact too – and most likely burst into tears.
I instead pretend it’s a game, so that my reaction when they look at me is one of fun and silliness. No, it doesn’t always work. Yes, your kids will most likely cry anyway, but your reaction will help massage the perceived seriousness of the accident.
Boys will be rough and tough. They’ll climb furniture and trees. They’ll jump off chairs and tables. They’ll shoot each other with Nerf guns and most likely give each other wedgies when they are older. This is part and parcel of being a boy regardless of how odd and weird you think it is. Rethink your safety standards and try not to wrap your kid up in cotton wool, unless he needs it obviously.
Just keep the Band-Aids handy.
5. Accept the Full Monty
This goes hand-in-hand (sorry again) with the ‘Dangly Donger’. Boys love to parade around in the nude – well at least my boys do anyway – whether it’s the full monty or just panning out watching RTÉjr in their boxer shorts.
As soon as they are able to dress and undress themselves, their inner Chippendale is released and unfortunately there’s no going back. Embrace it and let them have fun.
Just don’t ask where they got it from.
6. Don’t compare Apples to Oranges
Boys tend to be a bit slower and lazier than girls when reaching milestones. Apparently, I was 21 months old before I started to walk and guess what – Thing 2 was 18 months old too. My goddaughter was only 12 months before she started to walk, so give your little man all the the encouragement, support and time he needs.
This goes for potty training too – we still have a nappy loving 3-year-old who hasn’t cottoned on.
7. Compare Apples to Oranges
…when it comes to drama and tantrums.
Boys, just like girls can throw the ultimate hissy fits over the smallest of issues. ‘That’s my ninja turtle’, ‘no that’s my Ninja turtle’ or ‘I wanted to sit there…’ etc etc.
A tantrum is a tantrum and my boys are experts at stomping, shouting, door slamming, crying and ‘you’re not my friend-ing’. True, boys can be more easy-going and agreeable but don’t let anyone fool you into thinking that they aren’t dramatic.
8. Stock up on food.
Boys are active. Active boys get hungry. Hungry boys get cranky. Parents hate cranky. Cranky loves food… this is an endless cycle.
As your boys get bigger and bolder, they become little eating robots and they’ll want to eat more and more. the fridge will be continually raided so keep it stocked up and keep cranky at bay.
9. They will adore you.
When our friends heard that we were having a third boy, nearly everyone sympathetically patted me on the back and said that my wife lucked out and that she would be spoiled by ‘her boys’ for forever and a day. Me, on the other hand, would be tossed to the ‘old-age scrapheap’ because I don’t have a daughter and thus I’d be feeding off scraps for the rest of my life.
A slight exaggeration of course (I hope) but my three boys absolutely idolise their Mum (and rightly so) and there really is no bond like it.
I’ll no doubt be relegated to the point where I’m being bought crappy socks for Christmas and my birthday while mum gets pampered but I’m OK with that, kind of.
10. Expect the goofy
If you watch Modern Family, then imagine a mini-Phil Dunphy. Boys will be goofy, quirky, weird, and eccentric – and that’s perfectly OK. Be prepared for it. I guarantee you’ll be called (or have been called) poopy head, poopy pants or smelly pants at least once. Am I right? Sure I was called Moo-head (a first for me) only last week by Thing 1 because I forgot to put a spoon in his lunchbox. Silly Daddy.
Boys will have the oddest conversations with other kids and they’ll play the strangest games but again that’s OK. I love quirky. I love eccentricity and you’ll find me laughing all day long at home (and even joining in) with my crazy boys.
Vigilance is a word often used when discussing parenting because the key role for any parent is to safeguard and protect your kids as best you can from the inherent dangers that life throws at them. The internet is no different.
The real world is one thing but the digital world – an ever-changing landscape – opens up your kids to a new wave of potential vulnerabilities and threats.
Instead of continually worrying about it, or worse, worrying your kids about it, my advice as a parent is to immerse yourself in the digital world, educate yourself and in-turn, educate your kids.
I’m a father of three and already I’m teaching my 5-year-old about the internet – what it is, how it works, how to use it and what’s good and bad about it – and like a sponge, he’s soaking up everything.
I believe in educating rather than scare mongering so here are some of my tips for educating and securing (as best you can) your kids online.
Step Into Their Digital World
Get involved – the internet is a digital playground and it’s inevitable that your kids will want to access it so find out what they are interested in and what are the best websites and apps for their respective ages and interests.
Be their co-pilot and learn about what they are doing, what they have access to, and what they like doing. Guide them and teach them about the rights, the wrongs and the dangers of using the internet and instil in them a sense of responsibility.
Show them that you are open, interested and enthusiastic about their online hobbies and interests and you’ll find that they’ll be much more responsive to you. As they get older, let them ‘fly solo’ but frequently check in on what they are doing.They are kids after all.
Note: There’s a multitude of free parental control mobile apps available to download that protect your child from accessing potentially harmful content online.
Establish House Rules
Decide how much time you’re comfortable with your children being online and which sites or apps they may go on. I introduced mobile apps to my children when they were three.
I allow them 30 mins of shared time on my phone each day – mainly Lego, driving games and puzzles – and an hour of shared time at the weekends. This is all on the proviso that they have behaved themselves during the day and that they have completed their chores.
Talk about the rules and explain them to your children but don’t be averse to negotiation.
We do not under any circumstances allow our kids to go online unaccompanied or without our permission. We have multiple devices in our house but we have them all set to forget our Wi-Fi password so that they cannot get online without either my wife or I present.
Teach Your Kids to Protect Their Privacy
Depending on their age, children won’t really understand the consequences of sharing or revealing personal information online. Sure even adults struggle with this so from an early age educate them on the ‘Dos and Don’ts’ of sharing information and make sure that they know the following:
Never to give their name, phone number, email address, password, postal address, school, or picture without your permission
Not to open emails from people they don’t know
Don’t accept friendship requests from people they don’t know
To verify requests if they look to be coming from someone you do know
Not to respond to hurtful or disturbing messages
Never agree to a private chat with a stranger
Not to arrange to meet up with anyone they “met” online.
Educate them early and educate them often.
Beware of Strangers Baring Gifts
From an early age, children understand the concept of ‘cops and robbers’ so if explained simply to them they too will understand the concept of a hacker being a type of ’burglar’ that breaks into your house via the computer rather than through the window.
My kids are too young to have email accounts – we’re still at the Jolly Phonics stage – but kids are always thought never to accept sweets, gifts or lifts from strangers so it shouldn’t be a big leap to educate them on the dangers of accepting ‘gift’s from strangers online. Gifts in this instance could be unsolicited email attachments such as viruses, worms, phishing applications and so on.
If it looks suspect then it usually is. For example, while I write this I received the following text message from ‘Irish Tax’ with an accompanying web link
Teach Your Children to Log Out
Simple I know but you’d be amazed at how many people forget to log out of their computers. This is particularly relevant if they use a shared computer or device.
Logging out will prevent siblings or friends from posting or emailing from their account, even if it’s done as a joke.
Be Careful What You Post or Say
Children (and adults to some extent) need to remember that the online world is the real world. Just because a screen separates you from the people that you’re talking to or the sites/apps that you’re interacting with doesn’t make it any less real. Think of Donald Trump’s use of Twitter!
Teenagers, in particular, should be regularly reminded that everything they do over the internet is captured forever and could come back to haunt them at a later date. Nowadays, schools, universities, and employers look at social media profiles when researching candidates.
So make sure that your children understand from an early age that anything that is put online should assumed to be permanent.
Some Rules For Securing Yourself Online
So now that your children are online how do you protect them from hackers, cyberbullies and identity thieves? In truth, there’s no single or simple answer to this. Everything within reason can be hacked so again you just need to be vigilant and follow a few basic rules.
My advice is to put down the ‘Nasa’s Encryption Techniques for Dummies’book and focus, instead, on the mundane everyday stuff that you might not realise you should focus on.
Here are a few simple tips to get you started.
Secure Your Wi-Fi Network
Start with your entry point to the internet.
WiFi Encryption – First and foremost make sure you’re using WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protection Access) encryption on your Wi-Fi network. WPA2 provides government grade security by implementing various encryption algorithms. If you are using WEP security I’d recommend changing it so refer to your user manual for making the quick change.
Router Password – A Wi-Fi password is one thing but make sure your router is password protected too. Change the router’s default password (usually ‘password’) so that you don’t give someone access to it. With access to the router, a person could change your router settings, including viewing any security keys. Refer to your router manual for making the necessary changes.
Disable remote administration – If you never plan on wirelessly connecting to your router, I recommend disabling remote administration. Again, refer to your user manual for making this simple change.
If someone has access to an open Bluetooth connection they can potentially switch on your phone’s microphone and listen to you. Most people think that hackers have to be within a close range to do this, but in some cases, they can be within a mile radius.
Again just be vigilant. If a device that you’re paring with is giving you the standard 0000 code then it’s vulnerable. If it’s giving you a unique code then it’s a lot more secure.
Secure Nanny Cams
It’s horrible I know, but if you have an unsecured Nanny Cam (or any connected device for that matter), hackers can potentially gain access to it and spy on your little ones. According to security experts the two most commons methods of gaining access to cameras are:
Google Dorking – This is just using regular Google searches to find open cams. For instance, if a camera always has a public URL + camera number, hackers can run some quick queries and search for more open URLs. There’s even a search engine for internet connected devices called Shodan which has a section that lets users easily browse vulnerable webcams.
User Manuals – Another simple, but overlooked way to get access. Every camera owner is going to forget their password at some point, which is why manufacturers put that reset info in the manual. Now those instructions are sitting on their site waiting to be exploited.
To protect yourself from this type of hacking, look for a camera that has the following features:
Administration settings – Get a camera with a lot of administration settings and change the username and password as soon you set up the device.
Remote shutdown – Get a camera that will allow you to shut it off remotely without being physically there.
Private URL – Get a camera who’s URL isn’t public. If you’re able to easily watch your kid online, chances are other people can do it too.
Geotagging is the act of tagging your photos with geographical information about where a photo was taken.
By default, the camera application on your smartphone has the ability to add GPS coordinates to the image file so potentially this could put your children at risk. For example, let’s say you post a picture on Facebook of your child’s first day at school, a hacker can now scrape that photo for information and tell exactly where the photo was taken.
The easiest way to prevent this is to turn off or change your location settings on your phone.
Hopefully, this article has informed you of some of the risks associated with being online. Could you get hacked? Sure. Are you likely to be hacked? Not particularly but there are always opportunists waiting to strike so it’s better to be vigilant than ignorant…
If you have any comments, tips, stories or you like/don’t like what you’re reading feel free to get in touch. Likewise, if there are any topics that you’d like me to cover please feel free to ask.