Kids of every generation have had to endure bullying and all manner of meanness, even outright intimidation and threats. Sadly, the internet has only exacerbated the problem.
Once a bullied child could escape its effects by simply leaving the playground or schoolyard, but bullying now follows kids home digitally. From a laptop to their smart phone, kids can literally take cyberbullying with them wherever their devices are. In today’s digitally-dominated world, it can feel like there is simply no escape from its impacts.
It’s no wonder that so many children are experiencing serious emotional, even psychological harm, from cyberbullying. The good news for parents is that there are concrete steps they can take to help their kids navigate and mitigate this unfortunate part of their growing-up.
What You Can Do
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce cyberbullying and help your child deal with its fallout.
1. Notice Changes in Mood or Demeanor
You know your kids and can often sense their emotions, so trust your instincts when you think something may be wrong. Perhaps they seem less enthusiastic about activities they typically enjoy, or are suddenly quieter than usual. You may notice signs of lack of sleep, or that they’re complaining of more frequent headaches or stomach issues. Try to notice a pattern in changes in mood and demeanor after they’ve been using their digital devices.
2. Sit Down and Talk
Reach out to them and ask them to share what may be happening, taking care to do so as gently and warmly as possible. Often kids feel that their parents may be unhappy with their
“overuse” of digital devices and become defensive, so try to be mindful of avoiding an accusatory tone in order to encourage disclosure and open-dialogue.
3. Take Screenshots and Keep Records
Once you’ve identified the source of the cyberbullying, do not forget to document it! Screenshots of the offensive messages can serve as key evidence later when dealing more directly with the problem.
4. Blocking and Reporting the Offensive Conduct
In response to this pervasive problem, many apps have reporting mechanisms to remove the offensive content and even suspend or ban offenders. You can also “block” the cyberbully from viewing and interacting with your child’s social media page. If the cyberbullying is happening at school, learn your school’s reporting requirements and use its resources to safely and appropriately confront the problem.
5. Be Supportive at Home — and Online
Practice empathy and understanding, without minimizing the very real pain your child may be experiencing. Gently remind them that these problems pass with time, and so does the pain. And take the time to post supportive comments on their pages, and encourage other positive friends, peers and family-members to post favorable comments, too. That can serve to drown out negativity and even drive bullies away.
The internet is also a source of great connectivity that can bring people together to learn and share, so don’t forget its countless benefits, too.
Be sure to follow Medina Fiber’s social pages for more tips and advice on navigating the internet safely and productively.
The ability to instantly access information and communicate with personal networks has become a must-have in modern life. Regardless of industry, a key driver of success is customer engagement, which can be achieved easily and cost effectively through free customer WiFi.
A better connection for your customers means better brand visibility for your business. Influencers want to curate and share their content quickly, without burning through their personal data plans. Customers waiting for service are happier and more patient if they can easily access games, streaming content, or social media to pass the time.
In short, if you want to encourage great reviews, increase brand awareness, and solicit valuable feedback, provide a fast and reliable connection for your customers. Here are four tips to help your Medina County business avoid common challenges when offering free customer WiFi:
1. Set your business up for success.
A slow connection is worse than no connection at all. Customers expect fast and reliable internet service. If you are experiencing unreliable speeds and connectivity, there could be a number of culprits: old equipment; out-of-date firmware; signal interference; placement of access points; or your router’s location. Take out the guesswork and contact Medina Fiber for a WiFi consultation, and ensure your customers connect quickly and easily every time.
2. Bandwidth matters.
The more customers you need to support at any given time, the more bandwidth you need. This is increasingly true with the popularity of file sharing, video chatting, streaming content, and telecommuting. Medina Fiber is equipped to help you estimate your bandwidth needs based on the flow of traffic at your business.
3. Secure your network.
In order to protect both your customers’ personal data and your business data, your WiFi network(s) must be secure. If your customers’ data is compromised while using your inadequately secured WiFi network, you’ll face both legal ramifications and a PR challenge. Set yourself up for success by working with Medina Fiber to set the highest security protocols.
4. Create a separate customer network.
If your Medina County customers access WiFi through the same access point (AP) and network that your employees use to conduct business, you could be compromising your own confidential data. You can wall off your business network from your customers by creating separate access points via a virtual fence with Service Set Identifier (SSID) technology. You could also opt to install a WiFi hotspot that is completely separate from your internal network.
Dog and cat parents are a special breed. We just love our canine and feline companions, and see them as part of the family. Like any other family member, we simply want the best for them.
Did you know there is a whole world of information and helpful tools available as apps for your smartphone and tablet to help you be a better pet owner and improve the quality of life—and quality of time—you have with your pets?
Well, with a high-speed fiber internet connection from Medina Fiber and the handy apps we recommend below, you can stay better connected to your pets’ health and well-being!
We break down our list into several categories below to help you find the apps you need the most.
General Pet Health
Pet First Aid — American Red Cross: This free app, created by the American Red Cross, offers crucial first aid guidance for pets, including cats and dogs. It’s the go-to app for cat and dog urgent health and medical care needs.
AskVet: Looking for more personalized health care advice for your pet? AskVet’s customizable features tailor health and wellness tips to your individual pet and its needs.
PetDesk: PetDesk is a great way to keep all your pet’s medical, health, and dietary information and needs in one place. It gives you reminders for medications, and helps create appointments at the vet, even coordinating with many participating veterinary offices for scheduling.
Toxins and Other Dangers
Petoxins: If you’re like many dog owners, we know your dog loves to chew on…well… everything. Petoxins is a convenient and informative app to keep on hand to help identify dangerous plants your pets may have consumed, and what steps you should immediately take to help them.
PupTox: Another useful app for helping detect poisonous and toxic materials your pet may have ingested is PupTox. It covers many common household chemicals and dangers and unlike Petoxins, it’s available for both iOS and Android.
Dogo: With a built-in “clicker” to facilitate your dog’s learning, Dogo offers adaptable training programs and exercises to help your dog become more obedient and better behaved. The “quiz” available at the start of the app helps customize the training regime specifically to your dog’s current age, behavioral issues, and training progress.
Puppr: Puppr offers step-by-step photos and videos and other tools to help improve training outcomes for your canine companion. You can also choose and bundle different features according to your training needs and your dog’s development.
Other Helpful Pet Apps
BringFido: If you frequently travel with your pet, BringFido can be a lifesaver. It helps you find hotels and other overnight-stay options that are pet friendly. Over 250,000 locations are currently in its network, so you are sure to find a place to stay that will accept your companion and make everyone feel at home!
Rover: From pet-sitters to dog-walkers, Rover can help you identify reliable, caring, and enthusiastic service providers for your pet. It also has an awesome GPS feature, which lets you track and view your pup’s walk in real time!
We hope you’ve discovered something new in this little roundup! Remember to contact us to get the speed you need to power all your favorite apps and smart home devices. Because at Medina Fiber, we’re proud to keep your whole Medina County family — including those with paws — connected.
For many Medina County business owners, maintaining the technology needed to run the company is a financial burden and significant risk.
Maybe you worry about a costly system crash cutting into profits, struggle to keep your computers up to date, or worry about data security. For many businesses, addressing these concerns means hiring one or more IT professionals, or paying for hourly help when problems arise – two imperfect solutions. Managed IT Service offers a flat-fee solution that is cost effective and reduces risk.
Managed IT Service Saves Money
Although Managed IT Service may appear expensive at first glance, the savings are significant when compared to the expense of an equivalent in-house IT staff or, worse yet, the high price of downtime.
You want to make sure your IT capabilities are reliable similar to what you should expect peak performance from business internet providers like Medina Fiber.
For many small and medium businesses, building an IT team is cost prohibitive. Salary and benefits for just one full-time IT employee can cost significantly more than the annual rate for Managed IT support, and those costs don’t factor in the additional expense of maintaining multiple certifications and staying up to date on emerging technologies. Opting to contract Managed IT support gives you access to an entire team of IT professionals trained in multiple disciplines, certified to handle a broad range of issues, and equipped with the necessary monitoring and diagnostic tools.
A study conducted in 2017 by Resource One, Inc. examined the variance in IT expenses when businesses switched from hourly, as-needed IT support to Managed IT Service. This study revealed that 96% of the businesses that made the switch cut annual costs. In fact, 46% of those businesses saved at least 25% on IT expenses annually, and 13% of those businesses saved 50% or more.
Business leaders tend to underestimate the amount of IT support required annually, and budgeting exercises often undervalue the financial benefits of proactive support. Contracting Managed IT Service at a flat fee makes budgeting easier by keeping IT expenses predictable, eliminating costly surprises.
Proactive Support Protects Business Continuity
Just as the cost of preventing an illness by adopting healthy habits is cheaper than treating an illness once it has developed, maintaining up-to-date, secure technology infrastructure saves your business the high price tags that come with emergencies and downtime.
Managed IT providers offer proactive support, protecting you from problems that could cripple your technology infrastructure and compromise your data security. They ensure your business applications and customer data are protected from the latest threats, and they keep your systems updated, making minor adjustments to prevent small issues from growing into major concerns.
Waiting to react to problems as they arise can put your business continuity – and your business – in jeopardy. With Managed IT Service, your operation gains a team of fully certified IT professionals utilizing industry best practices to ensure your business applications remains at peak performance.
If emerging infrastructure issues do arise, the team can solve these problems before they grow large enough to affect the business. In most cases, emerging issues can be remedied remotely, so your Medina County employees have on-the-spot, immediate support.
We know that managing your kids’ screen time is one of the more stressful aspects of parenting today. But you also know that we live in a veritable “golden age” of online content that both entertains and informs.
So how can you expose your children to the internet’s best online content without them having to spend too much time in front of a screen or television?
We have a suggestion: podcasts.
A podcast is like a radio show, often focused on a theme or topic that features discussion, interviews, music, or performance. Developed by passionate creators, podcasts are a great way to learn and be entertained without sitting down in front of a screen. Some podcasts dive deep into a specific subject, while others focus on a broad range of topics.
They are also great for road trips!
With high-speed, reliable fiber internet from Medina Fiber you and your family can enjoy a break from the screen and discover the delights of listening and learning through podcasts.
There are thousands of podcasts of all kinds on virtually every topic. It can be challenging to navigate this terrain, especially when finding a podcast suitable (and appropriate) for the whole family.
So, we’ve put together a list of family-friendly podcasts that everyone can enjoy! Though focused on children of various ages, there is enough entertainment and educational value in these podcasts that any listener will be engaged and informed!
Educationally-Focused Podcasts about Science, Technology, and History
Wow in the World
The Wow in the World podcast will delight curious young minds and lifelong learners alike. Focused on nature, science, and technology, it simply exudes enthusiasm for its topics. Produced by National Public Radio (NPR), Wow in the World is a must for anyone interested in science and the natural world. In fact, we’d be surprised if you didn’t enjoy it as much as your kids!
Brains On! is an educational but highly entertaining science-based podcast. Brains On! answers questions submitted by elementary and middle-school students. Listeners will grow their curiosity and increase their scientific knowledge through highly engaging episodes! Of course, grown-ups are sure to learn a lot from the great questions and thoughtful responses, too!
Stuff You Missed in History Class
History buffs—and anyone with a curious mind—will be riveted by the Stuff You Missed in History Class podcast. It’s impossible not to learn something new! Diverse topics include fascinating moments in British history and how Disneyland attractions began. There’s even an episode on how candy companies develop their sweets!
Stories and Fiction-based Podcasts
Remember the heroic legends from Greek Mythology? Or Aesop’s Fables? The Storynory podcast features the talents of professional voice actors performing entertaining adaptations of classic tales. Educational as well as amusing, Storynory can captivate listeners of all ages. One of the oldest podcasts on this list, Storynory features hundreds of episodes to sample or binge!
The Story Pirates podcast presents fiction written by kids as young as four years old. A lively cast performs each story, which will keep the whole family amused while inspiring up-and-coming writers to develop their story-telling skills!
Humor is at the heart of the Ear Snacks podcasts—and so is the music! Each episode is centered on a unique theme, including songs and clever story-telling. Ear Snacks’ episodes are crafted by lead creators Andrew Barkan and Polly Hall (bonus, they’re parents, too!).
This talented duo’s celebrated musical and story-telling work was featured on Nickelodeon and Sesame Studios’ productions. But be careful—you might have trouble getting the catchy tunes out of your head!
Bedtime and Relaxation
Storytime is a podcast that will help calm down and lull your little one each night before bedtime! Think of it as a new way to do traditional bedtimes stories. Each episode consists of brief (around 15-minutes) but complete stories. Both entertaining and relaxing, Storytime’s episodes are designed to do what bedtime stories were always meant for—to settle everyone down into a deep, restful slumber!
Our final recommendation focuses on cultivating calm, mindfulness, and relaxation—something all of us could use sometimes! Peace Out was created by the same team behind the Storytime podcast. But Peace Out also teaches valuable coping skills, including meditation and visualization techniques to help anyone live a more mindful, less stressful life.
For more tips on making the most of the fast internet in Medina County provided by your friends at Medina Fiber, be sure to follow our social pages!
After holidays have passed and friends and family have returned to the routines of daily life, the reality of the “less-festive” parts of the long winter season often sets in.
It can be a struggle even to stay warm. Throw in the dark, short days, chapped lips, and inclement weather. No wonder we often feel gloomy during winter!
And with higher energy costs from increased demand for heat, it can be difficult—and quite expensive—to keep your Medina County home and its inhabitants warm in winter.
Now, you may be wondering if there is any technology that will help keep you warmer when it’s connected to reliable fiber internet from Medina Fiber.
The answer is ‘Yes!’
Below are four suggestions for smart gadgets and gear to help keep you and your family cozy and contented through the remaining months of winter.
1. Emerson’s Sensi Touch Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat
Our first recommendation is a “Smart Thermostat,”—and we suggest the Sensi Touch Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat from Emerson. It’s easy to install; it only takes about 30 minutes for most people. The Sensi Touch lets you control the temperature in your home from almost any Wi-Fi accessible device, including your smartphone, tablet, Apple HomeKit, Alexa, Samsung SmartThings, or Google Assistant.
You can also monitor and regulate the temperature of your home when you’re away, including raising the temperature remotely before you and your family arrive home. A smart thermostat is simply essential to any smart home and—when used correctly—will greatly improve your home’s comfort level and energy efficiency.
2. Dyson’s Pure Hot + Cool
Are you interested in keeping a small area of your home warmer?
Sleek-looking and impeccably engineered, Dyson’s impressive (but pricey) all-in-one heater, fan, and air purifier is an excellent device for making the air quality in your home healthier and more comfortable.
It can simultaneously heat a large room and remove impurities from the air via its built-in HEPA filter. Dyson is well respected for innovative, savvy home devices and products.
Dyson’s Pure Hot + Cool features technology circulates warmer, cleaner air more widely than most purifiers and simple space heaters.
Because it’s wi-fi-enabled, you can control it with your voice on Alexa or from your fingertips on your smartphone or tablet. This is the most expensive gadget on this list, but you may also find it does more for your home than any other item.
3. Sharper Image’s Wi-Fi Ultrasonic Humidifier
Using the heat more during the cold winter months produces dryer air in your home—and all the discomforts associated with it. You can feel the overly-dry air affecting your skin, your lips, and even the way you breathe.
Humidifiers can help fight off those effects and improve the comfort of a home in winter.
And with this Wi-Fi-controlled Ultrasonic Humidifier from Sharper Image, you can better monitor and regulate the amount of humidity in your room through your smartphone. One device can humidify a room up to 500 square feet, providing outstanding coverage and reducing the negative impact on your skin.
Our final recommendation doesn’t heat a room or improve air quality. But it just might help you feel better—literally—during the winter.
Given the short, dark days, and lower UV exposure from the sun, too many of us find ourselves in glum moods during the winter. And some people suffer from Season Affective Disorder due to the lack of sunlight.
Qsun is a wearable device to help keep track of your exposure to sunlight and even helps monitor your vitamin D levels, which contribute to improving your mood.
By connecting to your smartphone, Qsun provides useful data about the amount of UV and sun exposure you receive. It helps you stay healthy and happy during the darker days of winter. It’s also useful for the summer when too much sun can cause you different health issues. Qsun can even remind you when to apply and reapply sunscreen!
The above suggestions are just a few of the smart gadgets available to help keep you warm and comfortable during the coldest, driest parts of the winter season. And being connected to the fast fiber internet of Medina Fiber gives you more control over the comfort and warmth of your home than ever.
Be sure to follow Medina Fiber’s social pages for more helpful tips on creating a smart home and making the most of your high-speed fiber internet.
Now that you’ve gotten those fun new electronic gadgets for Christmas, you’ll need to dispose of your old ones. You can’t just toss them in the garbage and start fresh with the latest iPhone since they’re full of your photos, emails, banking information and other important information.
Luckily, you can safely get rid of your old cell phone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer, then start enjoying those new devices with internet from Medina Fiber.
Back It Up
The first step is to back up your information. Backing up your data regularly — even when you’re not getting rid of your device — is a good habit to get into. Whether it’s music you’ve downloaded, documents you’ve typed or pics you’ve snapped, backing up is a form of insurance in case your computer ever crashes or gets hacked.
When discarding an old device, think about what you want to keep. Some people back up everything and sort through it later, and there’s nothing wrong with that! But if you’ve owned your device for a while, backing up every single file might be a lengthy endeavor. You might prefer to pick and choose what you save.
Either way, you have three options for backing up your device. Data migration is a techy-sounding term for when data gets moved from one location to another. In this case, we’re talking specifically about storage migration, when information is changing storage mediums.
Device to Device
Some devices, like desktop computers, will allow you to transfer data between devices. Using Migration Assistant for either Mac and Windows, you can even transfer between the two different systems – although the process can be a little tricky for the less tech-savvy.
In this case, your external storage device will be the middleman. You start by transferring all your data to a separate device. Depending on how much data you have, your drive could be as small as a USB flash drive or as big as an external hard drive.
The cloud is the current favorite for data migration because it’s super easy and doesn’t require any extra hardware. This transfers all your data to the cloud via the internet. Once complete, your files can be accessed from any device. It’s fast, simple and secure, making it the optimal choice for data migration beginners.
Do a Final Cleanup
Before you toss your old device, be sure to log out of all your websites, wipe any saved passwords and unpair your devices. Finally, erase the computer’s hard drive. You’re washing your digital fingerprint from the device and protecting yourself in the process. Most computers and mobile devices can be restored to factory settings through built-in utilities.
Toss It Without Hurting the Environment
Because empty devices are filled with electronic components and substances like lead, mercury and cadmium, they’re hazardous material and shouldn’t go into a landfill. Take it to your local hazardous and electronic waste depot. If it still has some life in it, consider donating it to someone else who might enjoy it!
Now you’re set to enjoy your new gadgets! Don’t forget you’ll need great internet to get the most out of them. Call Medina Fiber today to learn what’s available in your area.
Is your personal online data safe from the growing security threats that, regrettably, are a part of our online world today? It’s a question every internet user needs to ask themselves.
Given the threats of phishing, ransomware, and other scams, it’s worth taking stock of your current online security and considering additional measures you can take to protect yourself.
Below are several tips to help you and your family better secure your online data and navigate the online waters more safely.
1. Invest in Quality Anti-Virus Software
Antivirus software is an essential tool in your digital toolbox. It can help protect you and your family from threats that could steal your personal information, login credentials, and other sensitive data. Popular programs include McAfee Antivirus Plus, Norton Antivirus Plus, Bitdefender Antivirus Plus, and Kapersky Antivirus.
2. Review and Activate the Privacy Settings on All Connected Devices
Most devices like computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones come equipped with security features and privacy settings designed to protect users from digitally sharing personal details, such as your name, email address, and location while browsing online. Though none of these settings are totally foolproof by themselves, they can be a helpful first line of defense against many common threats. Be sure to review the privacy settings on each device and choose the level of protection with which you are most comfortable.
3. Share Personal Information Carefully and Sparingly on Social Media
People naturally use social media to share details of their lives. From birthdays to anniversaries to new addresses, social media pages can be a treasure trove of personal information that can tip off hackers to passwords and security question answers. Think carefully about what information should and shouldn’t be shared—especially when filling out those seemingly innocuous “copy and paste” surveys. Talk to your family about posting wisely but not widely.
4. Check Privacy Settings on Other Apps You Use for Log-ins, Such As Your Facebook and Google Accounts
Let’s face it—when installing a new app or logging into certain e-commerce or other websites, it’s just easier and faster to login in with our Facebook or Google accounts, rather than reentering our personal details for the umpteenth time. But that means you need to be careful with the data and information Google and Facebook share with the other Apps. Be especially attentive to the “permissions” you grant Facebook and Google through their privacy settings, as they connect your accounts with these other Apps.
5. Install Adblockers and Tracker Blockers
Although some of the programs listed in our first tip about Antivirus Software include them already, if you do not have them, consider installing Adblockers and Tracker Blockers. Ads are annoying, but they can also “take” some information from your devices that you would rather not share with an ad you didn’t want to see popup in the first place. Similarly, Trackers can “follow you” around the internet as you leave a trail of your online activity. Adblockers and Tracker Blockers can often be installed directly onto your web browser, and help provide protections against privacy exposures from ads and trackers, as well as reduce your overall privacy risk.
6. Establish a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Finally, consider establishing a Virtual Private Network. Now, we know that sounds a bit technical, and maybe even scary. But VPNs can provide extra layers of protection and privacy on top of the other measures you’ve already taken above. A VPN moves your data through a “tunnel” to a separate, secure server first, and then encrypts your personal data before it “hits” the web, shielding and even hiding sensitive aspects of the data, such as your location, from potential threats. There are many VPN service providers, including NordVPN, ProtonVPN, CyberGhost, ExpressVPN, and SurfShark. Another option, TunnelBear, is a less edgy, more user-friendly option for first-time VPN users.
The tips above are a good start to protecting your privacy and online data. And by employing these and other safeguards, you can use the fast fiber internet from Medina Fiber confidently, as well as reliably!