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The Online Mom provides internet technology advice and information to help parents protect their kids, encourage responsible behavior and safely harness the power of technology in the new digital world. Social networking, photo sharing, video games, IM & texting, internet security, cyberbullying, educational resources, the latest on tech hardware, gadgets and software for kids 3-8, tweens and teens, and more.
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FRIDAY, APRIL 18, 2014

Helping Prospective College Students Clean Up Their Acts Online



By Stacey Ross

Do you have or know a student who is applying for college in the near future? Well my, how times have changed! Findings from a Kaplan Test Prep survey that came out in 2013 indicate that a quarter of college admissions officers now include Google or Facebook reviews as part of the applicant evaluation process.

One eye-opening statistic from the survey: 35 percent reported discovering information that "negatively impacted  prospective students’ admissions chances," a three-fold increase from the prior year! Topics that were unfavorable to the prospective students included essay plagiarism, vulgarities in blogs, alcohol consumption in photos, illegal activities, and things that made the admission officers “wonder” (hmmm….).



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7 Apps for a Greener Lifestyle



Next Tuesday is Earth Day, a time for everyone to reflect on the fragile nature of our planet and how we can better protect the environment and provide a healthier future for our children.

While major issues such as climate change and deforestation have to be addressed by corporations and governments, there are lots of areas where individuals and small communities can also make a difference. Whether it’s energy conservation, recycling, or more informed food choices, we can all take small steps that lead to a greener lifestyle.

And if we are talking about a lifestyle change, then our mobile devices can surely help! There are dozens of apps that can contribute to environmental awareness and put us on the right road to a greener planet. Here are just a few of our favorites:



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The 7 Best Features of the New Samsung Galaxy S5



The new Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone has been described as more evolution than revolution, with Samsung eschewing radical design changes to concentrate on perfecting the features than consumers value the most. The result is a gadget-lover’s delight – a device that strikes just the right balance between novelty and practicality.

But even with so many new and improved features to choose from, a few still stand out above the rest, further separating the S5 from many of its high-end rivals. Here are just a few of our favorites:



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Standing Up Against Bullying



By Tracey Dowdy

Whoever said “Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me” was either deluded or a liar. At some point in our lives, we’ve all been on the receiving end of hurtful or hateful words. We’ve all been bullied.

“Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.”stopbullying.gov



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5 things parents need to know about mobile gaming



There was a time not so long ago when it was easy to tell when your child was playing a video game; they would either be in the family room with a controller in their hands or in the back of the car with a Nintendo DS.

Not anymore. With the rise of casual gaming and mobile apps, games can be played at any time on almost any device. Smartphones, iPads, Kindles, iPod touches – all of them provide easy access to thousands of games, which can be downloaded in seconds with just a Wi-Fi connection and a few clicks.



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