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8 tips to nurture healthy internet habits for kids

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Have you realized that as technology takes a more active role in our lives, your kids are more likely to be the victim of a digital crime than a physical one?

Today, the internet is a huge part of kids’ lives: Apps, streaming TV, wearables, social media, game consoles, even their nightlights can be connected to the internet!

But sadly, the same old – and still dangerous – scams are everywhere. Kids don’t approach using the web with the caution that we do.

When a stranger looks and acts just like a friend, they can be hard to spot. Kids only see a screen that reacts to their button taps, innocently unaware of the invisible risks at play.

Your kids will be using the internet their entire lives. As parents, you’ll want them to cruise the cyber highways confidently educated in the ways of the digital world and empowered to protect themselves.

Talk to the little ones in your life by using these safety tips for nurturing healthy internet habits.

1. The internet is forever

Everything you post online is permanent, even if you delete it! Think twice before uploading pictures, videos, and posting comments that you, your family, or friends may regret later.

2. Be kind. Be respectful

You’re entitled to sharing your opinions and beliefs. When you share, don’t be rude. Respect people when they share. It’s too easy to be mean online, always take the high road.

3. Be careful who you trust

Not everyone is who they say you are. It’s easy for bad people to pretend they are someone else. Never make plans to meet with someone you don’t know without involving your parents.

4. Avoid oversharing

Be extra careful to never share any personal information online. This includes your full name, home address, email address, date of birth, current location, and phone number.

5. Protect your privacy

Learn where the privacy settings are on each website and app you use, and adjust them all to their highest settings. Get in the practice of always doing this.

6. Keep your passwords secret

Never share your passwords with anyone other than your parents. Use a trusted password manager program to help organize and remember your online user IDs and passwords.

7. Always be cautious

If you see or hear anything online that makes you uncomfortable, stop interacting with the app or website, and speak to a trusted adult about it right away.

8. Security is essential

Even when we do everything correctly, it’s still possible to fall victim to digital criminals. You’re safer if they can’t see what you’re doing online or take control of your devices. Use a security and privacy app to keep your activity and devices secure.

Use these tips as springboards to ongoing conversations with your children. Check in on their digital life as you check in on their school days and other aspects of their lives. Show them that this is an area of serious concern, but one that can be easily managed with proper online habits, smart choices, and good communication.

... 8 tips to nurture healthy internet habits for kids ... .

Lifestyle

Can you cheat on someone you love?

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The truth is Love isn’t always enough. Oftentimes, people cheat in relationships even when dating the love of their life.

Today, we’ll discuss a few reasons why this happens.

What can cause cheating in relationships?

There are a few neglected things that can drive one into becoming unfaithful to his/her partner. Let’s talk about a couple of them.

1. Lack of self discipline

You can love your partner to death, but if you lack self discipline, lust, greed, and other emotions will sway you.

It takes a strong mind to turn down advances from affluent, handsome young men, just as it takes a lot of self discipline to turn down highly attractive women. Staying devoted necessitates a great deal of self-control. You may be head over heels in love with your partner and want to show them the world, but if you’re not disciplined, you’ll end up ruining everything.

Sex plays a key role in relationships. It fuels true intimacy and love. The ability of partners to satisfy each other sexually is paramount but most times this point is overlooked. Bedmatics and openness of each partner to learn new sex styles can keep the other partner in check.

A bad or hurtful relationship damages the psyche of a faithful and committed person. The fear of being cheated on by someone you love, unknowingly gets deep rooted in your innocent mind. Thus, on the inside, you’d secretly struggle to be committed in your next relationship.

In addition, most people desire a taste of what it’s like to cheat on someone else because they’ve been cheated on before.

A sudden change in behavior from either partner is bound to have a ripple effect on the relationship. If your partner becomes cold and distant all of a sudden; if they start to withhold their attention and care from you, it’s only a matter of time before another love interest creeps into the relationship.

Without proper communication, what good is love in a relationship? You pay attention to your partner if you have deep and beautiful conversations. When you have deep conversations, you can find out what they’re thinking about, and you can get answers to your most troubling problems.

Imagine having a disagreement with your partner and not being able to resolve it. It gradually becomes a greater problem, which can open the door for other love interests into your life.

Toxicity is not a romantic gesture. A nagging partner will never fathom what peace of mind means or does to sustain a healthy relationship. It’s vital to know that every relationship has a psychological effect on people, both negative and positive.

If we have a nagging partner, we will find ourselves journeying to the one who gives us peace of mind and will then cheat on our partners.

Being committed requires our mental recognition and acceptance of what we’re in for. To be loved and to love is a daily effort we should strive for. Cheating is the order of the day but you can still choose to be deeply committed and faithful to the one you love. Text that special someone today, every single act of love counts.

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Lifestyle

Do you know excessive use of mobile phone could lead to memory loss?

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Psychologists have maintained for long that stress can cause amnesia or affect the memory adversely. But that is not the only reason. Excessive use of mobile phones, apparently, can cause memory loss in humans.

When cyber security company Kaspersky Lab conducted a survey of 6,000 mobile phone users, it found that 71 per cent of them can’t remember the phone numbers of their children and 87 per cent can’t recollect the phone numbers of their children’s schools.

According to some of the respondents, losing their Smartphone will cause them to forget what they’ve been up to.

Welcome to the era of ‘digital amnesia’ where our brains are fast losing their ability to remember as we become increasingly reliant on technology to retain data.

Link between smartphone and memory loss

Distraction is one of the key factors that make memories more difficult to form. When we are busy multitasking on our Smartphones and quickly looking for information in multiple apps and notifications, we are only half-focused on learning a new skill. Hence, the information is unlikely to get stored in our long-term memory.

Smartphone addiction can interrupt sleep. We need deep sleep to detoxify our brain. It is only when we are in deep sleep that the brain engages in synaptic pruning—making room for new information by pruning old information. When we have interrupted sleep, synaptic pruning cannot take place, thus, impairing our ability to retain new information and form new memories.

Not just sleep, increased screen time also reduces our IQ significantly, according to the Institute of Psychiatry at the University of London.

Memory loss in teenagers

Increasing exposure to mobile devices negatively affects the figural memory of adolescents, revealed a recent study by the researchers at Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH). Figural memory, which helps us make sense of images, patterns and shapes, is located in the right hemisphere of the brain. Hence, teenagers, who hold their phone next to their right ear, are the most affected.

The researchers, who did this study on 700 teenagers, claim that a young developing brain is more susceptible to phone-wave-induced changes up to 15 years of age. They found that on an average, a teen is exposed to 858 mJ/kg of radiation per day when their average call time is 10.6 minutes.

How to overcome digital amnesia?

  • Ensure that you do not carry your mobile phone to bed at night. Keep any such devices out of your sight before sleeping.
  • Turn off notifications and uninstall all non-essential apps.
  • Instead of using GPS everywhere you go, print Google direction maps and try to get to the destination.
  • Observe a screen-free day at least one day a week. On this day, try to avoid using phones for anything else other than making or receiving calls.
  • If you want to do something radical to get rid of Smartphone addiction, get a landline.
  • Potential risks to the brain can be minimised by using headphones or loud speaker while calling, especially when network quality is low and the mobile phone is functioning to its maximum potential.

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Lifestyle

Where does Cape Town rank on list of most livable cities in the world?

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Cape Town has been voted as the best city in Africa and the Middle East in the latest edition of Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards.

As South Africa’s embattled tourism industry looks ahead to the reopening of international travel – with pressure on source markets to drop pandemic-related restrictions – Cape Town stands ready to benefit from its recently won global acclaim.

Being voted as the best city to travel to in Africa provides a much-needed confidence boost to Cape Town and the international tourists who are looking to visit the Mother City. This adds to the positive signs of Cape Town International Airport showing the quickest post-lockdown rebound in passenger volumes.

As part of its annual World’s Best Awards, Travel + Leisure relies on its readers to vote across 11 categories. The survey was open for voting between January and May 2021, “as destinations around the world were lifting Covid-19 restrictions.”

But for South Africa, restrictions have remained tight throughout the year, spurred mainly by fears over the Beta variant. Luckily for South Africa and Cape Town, respondents have been allowed “to reflect on their travel experiences over a three-year period.”

Although Cape Town is ranked as the 20th best livable city in the world – out of 25 detailed by Travel + Leisure in between Triesta in Italy and Tokyo in Japan – it shines in the regional rankings.

In the Africa rankings, Cape Town comes first, followed by Marrakesh in Morocco. Fez and Essaouira, both in Morocco, also feature in the top ten, while Cape Town represents the only city in South Africa.

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