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Partner Spotlight: Re.Use.Full

AllianceNow is working hard to ensure the safety and well-being of children everywhere which can only truly be done through community connection. Building strong partnerships in Kansas City (and beyond) is one way that AllianceNow is fulfilling its mission.

Our partnership with Re.Use.Full is one way we are building our community network.

Re.Use.Full’s mission

The organization Re.Use.Full helps the community in several ways. Its goal is to connect people with stuff to give to the nonprofits that can put that stuff to good use. Re.Use.Full’s work helps community members get rid of their unwanted items, keeps stuff that can be reused out of the landfills, and ensures that nonprofits in the area get the supplies/donations that they need.

It seems so simple, right? Re.Use.Full’s mission encourages people to live sustainably within their own communities while also providing for those in need.

Meet Leslie

Re.Use.Full was founded, under the flagship Do More Good project, by Leslie Scott.

Leslie is a well-connected professional dedicated to the nonprofit sector. She is committed to bringing about positive change in Kansas City through mentoring and entrepreneurship. She is also on a mission to increase digital literacy and improve tech training in the public education system.

To achieve her goals, Leslie draws on her experience in nonprofit management, education, and workforce development. Plus, she always seeks to view problems through the lens of intersectionality.

In addition to founding Re.Use.Full and serving on the Code for KC core team, Leslie is also an author of the children’s book Forever and Ever, a dog mom to her four pups, and can often be found experimenting with ways to upcycle empty dog food cans.

She is always looking for a new opportunity to use her extensive network for good — to be the change she wishes to see in the world.

How Can You Help Re.Use.Full?

Nonprofits and organizations like Re.Use.Full rely on community members to achieve success. If you would like to help Re.Use.Full and Leslie achieve their goals, there are several ways that you can help make a difference.

Donate your gently used items.

Next time you are cleaning out your closets or garage, consider giving your gently used items to Re.Use.Full instead of dumping them in the nearest trash can. Leslie and her team will find the perfect home for them, and you can feel good about living more sustainably!

Donate your time.

If you have time to spare, you can volunteer for Re.Use.Full. Contact Leslie and the Re.Use.Full team to see where your skills can best be used.

Interested in Partnering with AllianceNow

AllianceNow is always looking to grow its community network through mutually beneficial partnerships. If you have a business or nonprofit that you think aligns well with AllianceNow’s mission, please reach out. Founder Jess’s inbox is always open!

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The Rise in Homeschooling Due to COVID

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of kids in the U.S. who are homeschooled has almost doubled. While fear of exposure is a big concern, some parents are also jumping from the public school ship due to losing faith in the system.


According to a report from Bellwether Education Partners, 2.6 million kids switched to full-time homeschooling over the course of the pandemic, bringing the total to nearly 5 million in the country. Census data estimates 11% of American households homeschool their children.

COVID Exposed Flaws in the System

Months of virtual learning in 2020 allowed many parents to get a closer look at exactly how and what their children are learning. Many parents found it a bit lacking.


A senior analyst at Bellwether thinks that many parents want a more individualized approach for their children. Plus, many children need a more attentive educator. Teachers often have too many children in their classrooms to give individualized attention to each child.

Safety is a Concern

The pandemic and its associated health risks are an ongoing concern for many parents, especially in areas with no mask mandates or a high number of unvaccinated people. However, there are some indirect safety concerns as well.

Many families of Asian descent had to deal with rising levels of discrimination and, in some cases, violence.

A Desire for Diversity

For families of color, another reason to leave the public school system is dissatisfaction with how the schools handle social justice topics. After the protests of 2020, many schools are either doubling down on avoiding the subjects of race and racism.

A mother of three in Virginia, Torlecia Bates, explains, “As an African American, I didn’t like the way the school was addressing some of the cultural things going on.” She started homeschooling her kids during the pandemic and isn’t sure when they will return to the public school setting. “Someone asked me when I’ll return my kids to public school, and I said, ‘When I show up in the textbooks, and I’m represented well and accurately.'”

Interested in Homeschooling?

If you are considering making the switch to homeschooling your children, AllianceNow has resources to help you succeed. You can find our homeschool resources here.

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5 Tips for Teaching Gratitude

5 Tips for Teaching Gratitude

The holidays are the perfect opportunity to teach young children a valuable life lesson about thankfulness that will last far beyond the season.

Gratitude is a difficult concept for infants and preschoolers to grasp. In their early years and phases of development, they are inherently self-centered. However, as children’s thankfulness grows, they become more aware of others’ needs and feelings.

So, how can we instill gratitude in our children? It begins with a conversation with them about thankfulness, not simply for tangible items but also acts of compassion performed by others.

Here are 5 tips that will help teach your little one a gratitude mindset.

Say Thank You

Teach children to express gratitude to those who assist them. It’s as simple as saying thank you to a restaurant waitress, a brother or sister who helps them pick up toys, or a friend who gives them a birthday present.

It would be best if you also modeled the behavior yourself by thanking your child when they assist you.

Express Your Gratitude For Them…

Tell your children why you appreciate them regularly. Make it clear to them that they are unique and cherished, saying things like “I am so grateful you helped your brother tie his shoes,’ for example.

…And For Others

Don’t wait for Thanksgiving to express your gratitude for other people and things. You can make it a regular dinnertime conversation. Some families keep a gratitude journal which they add to every day.

Be Charitable

Contribute to a philanthropic cause or organization. Whether you’re donating clothes or toys, taking part in a food drive, or making cookies for a new neighbor, talk to your kids about what your actions mean to the people who benefit from your generosity.

Stay Consistent

Just like any habit or skill, staying consistent is the only way to develop it. Building a gratitude mindset will take time and practice.

The first few years of your child’s life are an excellent time to help them build the abilities they’ll need later in life. According to studies, those who are grateful are more hopeful. They’re also happier and less anxious.

By teaching our children to value what they have and what others do for them, we are not only building a gratitude mindset but also assisting them in becoming happier and healthier individuals.806

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Generosity

Whether we volunteer or donate to charities, we all know that giving helps others. Did you know, though, that the warm and fuzzy feeling you get from helping others is also beneficial to your health?

Giving has been shown in studies to improve your physical and emotional wellness.

It can have various health advantages, whether you are helping at a soup kitchen or committing to raising funds for a specific charity.

People who are generous and provide assistance to others have a lower blood pressure than those who do not, according to research. Supportive interaction with others also aids recovery after cardiac episodes.

Researchers also found that persons who volunteer their time to help others in the community have higher self-esteem, less despair, and lower stress levels than those who do not.

Does Generosity Help You Live Longer?

One study found that persons aged 55+ who volunteered for two or more groups were 44% less likely to die over a five-year period than those who didn’t — even after controlling for age, activity, general health, and harmful habits like smoking.

Another study indicated that older adults who helped friends, family, and neighbors or provided emotional support to their spouses also lived longer than those who did not.

Make You Feel Happier?

Giving can produce a “warm glow” in the brain, stimulating areas related to joy, connection, and trust. It is why you feel good driving home from a volunteer activity, or why giving a present to someone else makes you feel close to them.

There is evidence that “feel good” neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin are secreted in our brains during generous actions.

When scientists examined the functional MRIs of people who donated to various charities, they discovered that giving activates the mesolimbic pathway — the brain’s reward area. Basically, generosity produces endorphins and causes the “helper’s high.”

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Communities are Positively Impacted by Nonprofit Support

Whether they know it or not, everyone in the U.S. benefits from nonprofits in one way or another

There are over 1 million charitable organizations in America, and they do everything from feed people to enlighten them. Nonprofits can be found helping people of every race, gender, socioeconomic background, and age group.

Nonprofits not only foster community engagement but also drive economic growth. They allow people to come together for the betterment of all. Through volunteering and monetary contributions, anyone can further the mission of nonprofits.

Charitable organizations are vital in building thriving communities through the services that they provide. Leaders in the nonprofit sector often give voice to those whom they serve, and they often understand the pain points in a community better than anyone else.

A nonprofit that has proper resources can build strong community relationships, contribute to the stability of the population, and even help lawmakers create legislation that addresses the needs of the people.

AllianceNow: Empower. Encourage. Educate

AllianceNow believes that keeping children safe is the top priority, and it will take strong community connections to protect them. By providing resources that bring awareness, educate, and promote a sense of togetherness, AllianceNow is working toward its goal.

Would you like to join the cause? There are multiple ways that you can help AllianceNow in their mission:

  • Make a donation — either one time or monthly
  • Attend our upcoming New Year’s Day event
  • Share AllianceNow’s message with friends and family

It will take all of us to keep children safe. Thank you for your support.

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Care Mental Health

Each year the World Health Organization celebrates World Mental Health Day with the objective
to raise awareness about the necessity of mental health. It also focuses on ways that care can
be given to people around the world

Mental Health and COVID

Mental health is an even bigger issue this year since the world is dealing with the lasting
impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the pandemic has taken its toll on everyone, there
are some people who may be really struggling such as frontline medical workers, teachers,
those with pre-existing health conditions, those that have lost love ones, and those that are
dealing with COVID related disability. Still, others may have had a disruption in their mental
health care.

The silver lining is that governments and societies around the world are finally recognizing the
need to improve mental health services, and some countries “have found new ways of providing
mental health care to their populations.”

Dignity in Mental Health

WHO decided the theme for 2021’s World Mental Health Day is “Dignity in mental health.” Their
goal is to raise awareness of how certain mental health conditions can lead to discrimination,
marginalization, or even abuse. Another issue they hope to tackle is the lack of mental health
professionals in many areas of the world as well as the lack of quality care due to facilities that
are subpar.

Everyone deserves dignity, and WHO is looking to governments to enact policy that is human
rights-oriented and that prioritizes mental health treatment. They are pushing for proper training
of mental health professionals and informed consent policies.

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The Importance of Community Involvement in Keeping Our Children Safe

“It takes a village to raise a child,” the National Education Association says. “The whole community has an essential role to play in the growth and development of its young people.”

Just like parents and family members have an essential role in a child’s life, the community also plays an all-important role in the safety and well-being of children. According to Lakia M. Scott, Ph.D., an assistant professor at Baylor University’s School of Education, children who are the most at-risk of being trafficked lack access to education, are homeless, grow up in lower socioeconomic backgrounds, or come from single-parent households. 

Parent Education Programs

Parent education programs advocate positive parenting practices that help reduce the risk of child abuse and neglect. They also promote permanency, well-being, and safety for children and their families. Excellent parent education programs will have the following objectives:

  • To help parents learn where they can get support from within the community by outlining available services.
  • To teach parents how to develop and practice positive discipline techniques.
  • To promote positive interaction between parents and children.
  • To teach parents the various child development milestones that should be expected based on age and ability.

Parent education programs are a core prevention service that a community can provide to decrease the risk of child maltreatment. Better educated parents can help build healthier families and communities. 

Teaching Children: ‘Who Is Safe’

Teaching children which adults in their community are safe should start at home. However, the community should offer support in this endeavor. 

Teaching children about the possible dangers they may face can be a double-edged sword — it alerts them to potential safety hazards. Still, it may dampen their curiosity to explore the world. 

According to the National Center of Missing & Exploited Children, it is more important to help children build self-confidence and self-esteem so that they can feel empowered to keep themselves away from potentially dangerous situations.

Community talks with parents and children should be age-appropriate when discussing “what if” scenarios. However, these discussions should start at a young age, and the content can then be adjusted as the children get older. 

The following are strategies that can be employed with kids of different ages: 

Preschoolers

Children younger than five are naturally curious and more focused on themselves. They can be more easily fooled by adults. 

Preschoolers should be taught basic information about their names and addresses. By using role-playing games, they can be taught about expected behaviors.

Elementary Children

Young children, elementary-aged, naturally want to be cooperative and please adults; this makes them easier to manipulate. Teaching basic safety rules is best done through repetition, role-playing games, and by offering concrete examples. 

Tweens and Teens

As children age into young adulthood, they become better judges of potentially dangerous situations. They must go into this stage with a solid foundation as they are more likely to be left without adult supervision and are also more heavily influenced by their peers. 

No matter their age, it is crucial to open up the lines of communication between children and the safe adults in their lives. 

Keeping the Community Aware of Human Trafficking Risks

The more people aware of human trafficking, the safer a community will become. Every community should have at least one active anti-trafficking resource within its midst. 

The local library is often an excellent source for resources to help educate parents and children. Multiple training events are held each year by various groups advocating for the safety of children. 

It is also essential that communities elect leaders who make the needed policy changes to end child trafficking and abuse. It takes everyone in the community to keep its children safe.

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The Importance and Meaning of Child Safety

Children in every nation of the world have the right to feel safe in their homes, schools, and communities. Yet, millions of the planet’s kids go unprotected on a daily basis. They face discrimination, exploitation, neglect, and abuse. 

Being left so vulnerable is detrimental to their entire lives. Children who aren’t safe are less likely to pursue their dreams or develop to their full potential.

For any child, the first line of defense is the family. Parents, grandparents, and other caregivers are the ones initially responsible for creating a protective environment. Later in life, this responsibility also falls upon daycare centers, schools, and the community as a whole. 

A community that is dedicated to the health and safety of our children will always offer

  • respect
  • active listening
  • consideration
  • assessment of concerns
  • safe and loving spaces
  • accessibility for those differently-abled
  • inclusiveness

The Facts About Safety

The goal of this article isn’t to scare you with a bunch of frightening statistics, but half of the battle is in knowing what you are up against. It is essential to understand the risks so that you can adequately prepare yourself and your children to face them.

Child trafficking affects more than 1 million children per year, and more than 200 million are sexually abused or exploited. About 22% of children around the world will receive some sort of physical punishment at home. 

But willful violence against children is not the only danger that lurks. Kids are especially vulnerable to accidents. Each year, about 1 million children die due to accidental injuries, and it is one of the leading causes of death for children in the U.S.

Children are also particularly vulnerable to receiving grievous injury or death in a car crash — especially when not properly restrained in an age-appropriate safety harness. Playing sports without the proper equipment can also result in serious injury for kids. Plus, upwards of 3,000 children are treated for injuries due to falls out of a window each year.

What Can Parents Do?

Luckily, there are ways to keep our children safe from the dangers listed above. However, to truly protect all the children, it will take strong community involvement as well as parental vigilance.

Big picture things that can help expand the safety net for our children include voting for lawmakers that understand the importance of child safety and who support legislation that will put an end to child trafficking and exploitation. Supporting community groups and initiatives like AllianceOne is another way to protect kids.

On a smaller scale, parents should teach their children the difference between a safe adult and one who is not — where they should go to seek help and who they can trust. Children should also be taught basic safety precautions such as staying away from the medicine cabinet, wearing proper gear when participating in sports, and practicing good water safety at the pool. 

Please don’t feel like you have to go it alone; there are a plethora of resources available to help parents and kids navigate the world so that everyone can live a safe and happy life.

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Child Trafficking – stopping the act using reliable Technology

Nothing causes more pain to parents than having their little ones missing due to child trafficking. No parent should have to endure such emotional distress. But here we are; criminals are all over looking for ways to oppress the helpless, often raking billions of dollars annually in illegitimate profits. 

Luckily, thanks to progressive technologies like big data, IoT, and analytics, we could soon see an end to all these. Researchers and data experts can leverage these technologies to understand the child trafficking cycle, hence informing law enforcement accordingly. Like most other businesses in today’s digital era, traffickers rely on the internet (marketing and communication) to keep a steady demand and supply cycle. 

In other words, child trafficking is typically a supply chain where traffickers use a network to conduct their illicit business. While doing so, they leave a data trail, no matter how discretely they try to make their moves. And that’s where technology comes in. Curious to learn how technology can combat child trafficking? Let’s jump right in!

Anti-Child Trafficking Technology-Based Solutions

Child trafficking takes many forms. Including trafficking for labor and sexual exploitation, forced criminal activities, begging on the streets, forced early marriages, children as child soldiers, and organ removal. This section expounds on some of the technology tools to stop these child trafficking actions. Let’s go!

Tool #1. Victim/Trafficker Identification

Target User: Law enforcement officers

Law enforcers mostly use the victim or trafficker identification tool to track and identify child trafficking victims and traffickers. They can also be used by community members, NGOs, actual victims, and potential victims to rescue and report child trafficking incidences. 

So the big question is, how do victim/trafficker identification tools work? Previously, we mentioned that traffickers usually use the internet to run their shoddy business. Which sets the base for their tracking and identification by law enforcement. Since they use thousands of online platforms to facilitate their activities, it’s practically impossible to browse and analyze each of them manually. 

And that’s where IoT and data analytics integration come in handy. The technologies can help analyze regional and global patterns within a few clicks. By easily accessing the largest human trafficking datasets. These tools enable law enforcers and data analysts to reach the target via the channels they’re already using. And even go as far as tracking specific individuals and conduct further surveys in various locations and times for more informed analysis.

Tool #2. Supply Chain Management

Target User: Business owners

Businesses also have a role to play in combating child trafficking. By noting red flags in their global supply chains and reporting to the relevant authorities. Child trafficking in the supply chains can take various forms. One of the most common incidences is where traffickers target vulnerable workers to fill labor shortages across the entire supply chain. And it all begins in the grassroots. For instance, the bread on the shelves may be made with wheat harvested using forced child labor. 

Sometimes, business owners may get the urgency to hire many employees due to anticipated demand increase. This may force them to depend on agents and labor recruiters. Creating a disconnect between the employer and the employee, making it hard to establish any lousy hiring practices or exploitation. The examples are endless.

But is there a way out? You bet! The first measure businesses can take to prevent child trafficking in their supply chains is implementing anti-trafficking policies to address the risks involved. But one thing’s for sure; unless a tangible action is taken, mere policies can barely work. 

Businesses have to go out of their way and leverage technology-based solutions to ensure that no child trafficking occurs in their supply chains. Using IoT applications for supply chain management can help track or monitor every process. Right from sourcing raw materials to the transportation and shelving of products. For instance, if you’re in the jewelry industry, you can leverage IoT trackers to confirm that your supplier doesn’t use children in the mines (a common phenomenon). If that’s true, then you can report to law enforcement. 

Tool #3. Privacy/Personal Identity

Target User: A variety of stakeholders seeking various purposes, e.g., child trafficking victims anonymously seeking help. 

Sometimes you might not want to come out publicly to seek help or report a child trafficking case, and that’s okay! Luckily, technology has created a means of realizing that feat while still preserving your privacy or personal identity. 

There are several technology-based approaches that law enforcers, good Samaritans, and relevant NGOs can leverage to accomplish this mission. These may include smartphones, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth devices. According to former victims, the only time they find space away from their oppressors is when they enter public bathrooms. And that’s where IoT-enabled tools can come in handy identifying the criminals plus the victims. 

The first step is installing Bluetooth-enabled trackers in various public places suspected to be hot zones for trafficking and connecting them with good Samaritan’s smartphones. The victim only needs to squeeze the tracker to turn it on. Allowing it to broadcast its unique identifier to the volunteer’s smartphone in real-time. This information then gets relayed to the law enforcers and victim assistance NGOs. Giving room for a rapid response to pin down the traffickers and free the victims. 

If a rapid rescue isn’t possible, the IoT-enabled Bluetooth devices should record and transmit location data for further tracking. IoT can fish out higher-resolution data of the haunts and routes used by traffickers for grade-A analysis and future rescues. 

Side note: This is still a pilot program whose effectiveness and success would require maximal awareness-raising, collaboration, and education. The key target areas would be vulnerable communities (low socioeconomic status), schools, densely populated regions, and more. 

Final Remarks

These are just a few IoT-enabled tools that different stakeholders can leverage to stop child trafficking. Others may include securing payment methods, youth engagement & empowerment, ethical shopping, and data trends & mapping. We chose to expound on the three because they address issues concerning child trafficking like forced labor and sex abuse. The others fit in the general category of human trafficking. 

Are you a tech-enthusiast specializing in the manufacture of devices like the ones discussed above? If YES, then we are the right partner to help add value to your device through top-class connectivity, data access, real-time monitoring, and visualization for effective decision-making. Get in touch with our team today, and let us help you manage your device more securely and faster. 

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Children using Technology: how to find the right balance?

Without a doubt, the world cannot run without technology. The internet is almost a basic need not only for our children but everyone in the world. Through technology, we can communicate, learn, and be entertained.

However, there is always a flip side–usually not very pretty. In as much as our children need the internet to prosper, they can also be harmed by the same platforms that they visit every day.

So how do we make technology, and more so the internet, safe for our kids? Find out what our experts have to say about protecting children using technology.

Children Using Technology

A study by NetSmartz indicates that children as young as 4 years are using their phones to access online information.

90 percent of children between age 12 and 17 have personal smart devices while 73 percent of teens have active social media accounts where they upload their pictures and other personal information.

Most children access online content using their mobile phones, gaming devices, computers, and tabs.

What are the Effects of Tech on Children?

According to a report by UNICEF, tech has both positive and negative effects on children. While the positive impacts of technology on children are unlimited, the negative ones can have some devastating effects as well.

Technology exposes children to cyberbullying, phishing scammers, exposure to inappropriate content, and online violence. In other cases, children may post things with critical information such as their images that can be used to track their location and reveal important information.

Children, therefore, have to be protected by all means. Fortunately, the same technology can be used to protect them and their activities online.

How to Protect Your Children Using Technology

The dangers of the internet on children using technology cannot be ignored. To ensure that your child is safe, follow the steps below:

1. Manage and Monitor Your Child’s Access to the Internet

Start by installing parental control software on your child’s mobile phone, tablet, gaming console, or computer. This will allow you to manage how/when your child uses the internet.

With this software, you can also manage your child’s access to specific websites and applications. You can dictate how they use each and every internet platform, and you can review their activities later. This will allow you to make the right calls.

You also need to install antivirus software on your child’s mobile phone, tablet, or computer. The antivirus will ensure that your child visits only legitimate websites.

Additionally, with a quality antivirus, your child cannot download harmful content or malware software whether knowingly or unknowingly.  

You can also set your antivirus software to block unwanted visitors from your child’s drive-through encryptions.

2. Teach Your Children How to Create Strong Passwords for their Online Accounts

As a parent, you might not always be available to oversee every account that your child creates on the internet. While your children may not be creating accounts that are necessarily harmful, it is important for them to have strong passwords for their general safety.

For instance, a Facebook account is very easy to create. The social media platform in itself is not bad with the right regulations in place. However, strangers might target your child’s account. This necessitates the need to have a strong password to prevent hacking.

Show your children how to create strong passwords for their online accounts. If they are old enough, encourage them to use the vast internet security features available.

For instance, the two-step verification formula is one that most people do not use but can be extremely useful.

3. Let Your Children Know that Strangers are Not Friends

For children who are old enough to comprehend information, remind them that not everyone on the internet wants to be their friend. Some are bad people who are there to collect their personal information.

Teach them that fraudsters can phish critical information such as passwords, bank account numbers, and passwords.

Scammers can always spam their emails, social media, make phone calls or send texts asking for information that is private. Teach them not to open emails from strangers, not to click on suspicious links, and not to reply to spam messages.

4. Have Clear, Laid out Rules for Your Children

In a positive and calm way, explain to your children why you need to oversee their online activities. Explain to them the dangers of spending too much time on the internet and why it is important to be cautious with technology.

Set the ground rules, limit their online time, ask them to inform you before posting anything online, and tell them to be respectful with those they interact with online.

Ask your children to report any cases of misbehavior, insults, or violence.

5. Always Be Ahead of Your Children

Most children are aware of technology more than their parents. While it is true that some of the things that your child does on the internet might not interest you (for example gaming), it is important to have an overview of the same.

Always know the type of games that your children play online, the type of websites they visit, and the kind of people they engage with. Remember, ignorance can be very costly.

As a parent, always keep up with the latest technological trends. You don’t have to dive deep, you just have to know something about everything.

You can achieve this by spending some time with your kids and allow them to show what they do online, you will be surprised by how much they know.

The Key Takeaway

Technology is here to improve everybody’s lives. For children using technology, it helps them to get information, socialize, and be entertained. However, if not monitored, the same technology can cause devastating effects.

Fortunately, you can use the same technology to keep your children safe. Always have antivirus software installed on your child’s smartphone, tablet, or computer. This will ensure that your child can access legitimate content only.

Parental control software is also beneficial. It ensures that your child only uses the technological device during the designated times and for the right reasons.

For a very long time, it has been rare to find women being involved in the tech industry. However, this narrative is quickly changing.

For residents of Kansas City, MO, and its environs, you can schedule a demo with Hyprcubd. Read our blog and follow us on Twitter for more relevant information.