children-1931189_640“With great power comes great responsibility.”  

You probably heard that saying first from the Toby Maguire Spiderman movies… But, this is so true with today’s technology.  One mistake on the internet, or on social media, can alter your life dramatically.

The age of children owning smartphones is getting younger by the minute.

From TechCrunch:

  • The average age for a child getting their first smartphone is now 10.3 years
  • Tablets have surged from 26% to 55% usage as kids’ device of choice during car rides. Smartphones trail at 45% (up from 39% in 2012).
  • 64% of kids have access to the Internet via their own laptop or tablet, compared to just 42% in 2012
  • 39% of kids get a social media account at 11.4 years. 11% got a social media account when they were younger than 10.

Questions to ask before purchasing the phone:

How will you monitor your child’s use of the phone?  Will you allow them access to social media apps where they can share images or videos?  What ground rules will you set?

Monitoring:

A quick Google search of “monitor children’s iphone” brings up a bunch of solutions, such as teensafe, mspy, phonesheriff, and netsanity.  Most of these require an additional monthly subscription to monitor.  The device that stood out is a net monitoring/ time management system from Disney.  This device hooks up to your home network for $99.  This offers not only usage monitoring and time limits, but also rewards.

Meet Circle:

CircleGo is a monthly subscription, up to 10 devices, that extends the monitoring to wireless networks.

 

Managing, Sharing and Tracking with iPhone:

From Apple.com

Apple offers Family Share, when setup, you can track all devices in a family and also makes you ‘approve’ every app purchase (even free) when your child goes to download from the App Store.  Read more about Family Share here: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201088

 

******

 

Kids as young as 8 are getting on social media.  

From Parenting.com, “The digital world is an evolving landscape that parents have to learn to navigate,” says Kathleen Clarke-Pearson, M.D., an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill and coauthor of the report. Tweens in 2011 socialize more and more on line, rather than at a friend’s house or the mall, and even though Facebook and other sites have age limits—technically no one under 13 is supposed to have a ‘page’—30% of parents admitted on Parenting.com that they allow their tweens to log on anyway.”

Personally, I gave my kids ‘the talk’ before they went online… Essentially, the internet can be a fun place, you have a world of information at your fingertips.  However, you should be more aware of dangerous people online.  Surfing the internet can be more dangerous than walking to school… be aware of your surroundings.  Do not give out personal information and really think about what you post online.  One mistake can lead to a lifetime of problems… Things posted online, do not disappear.  (And people online, may shame you, if you make a mistake.)

Good luck… and we wish you and your family safe and happy navigating the online world.

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Ottawa, Illinois is getting a community low power FM radio station.

They asked for people to submit shows.

2017-01-20 13_39_41-Talent Search - WRWO 94.5 Community Radio - - Gmail

Promoted the station in the local newspaper.

2017-01-20 14_13_52-New Ottawa radio station announces call letters _ Local _ mywebtimes.com

So, we put ourselves on it… and made a show about using smartphones.  We talk about passwords, restarting your phone, Find My iPhone, the future of smartphones, and smart accessories (like the Apple Watch.)

This demo show features Toby Walsh, Jacki Salzman, Jenna Mann, Bobby Kaminski, Bob Hauge and me, JC Heerdt.

We are still looking for a name for the show.  Any suggestions?

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(Marseilles, IL)   — Illinois Valley Cellular, with retail locations throughout north central Illinois, plan to gather thousands of pounds of food for area food pantries during this season of giving.   Forover 25 years, IVC has been a leader not only in wireless voice coverage, but community action through giving to programs like the March of Dimes, Easter Seals, college scholarships and campaigns like “Charity Begins at Home.”

IVC has taken part in local food pantry campaigns in the past, including the “Freezin for a Reason” campaign at Handy Foods in Ottawa, which the corporate office brought in over 500 pounds each year, for the last two years.  This year, IVCis hoping to break records for food donations for the entire 8 county region they support, by offering a $10 gift IVC card to anyone who brings in 5 or more non-perishable items through December 9th, 2016.

“We hope you will join us in bringing food to those who really need it,” says Melissa Rauh, COO of IV Cellular. “IV Cellular has always viewed this community as one big family.  And we hope you will join us in providing for our own this holiday season.”

IV Cellular has nine Wireless Solution Centers, in Peru, Princeton, Ottawa, Streator, Marseilles, Pontiac, Henry, Wyoming, and Watseka.   The food collected will be split among the food pantries in each city.

Please help IVC Pack the Pantry this year!  

 

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(Marseilles, IL) — If you have experienced dropped calls in areas north of LaSalle-Peru recently, we apologize for any inconvenience.  We have been experiencing interference on our cellular signal.

At IVC, we do not take these occurrences lightly, and will do whatever needs to be done to fix this situation.  Our network team pinpointed the interference and we have been working with the parties involved to get the issue resolved.   We appreciate them devoting as many resources as we need, to get this fixed as soon as possible.

Our network team has over 50 years of combined wireless experience, they are local, and understand that every customer is important.  Over the past two weeks, they have been combing the area with equipment to discover this interference.  Cellular boosters, UHF/Digital amplifiers, microwave antennas, and cellular towers on adjacent frequencies can malfunction and ‘bleed over’ into licensed frequencies.  When this occurs, it dramatically impacts wireless service for cellular customers. Discovering it can be like ‘finding a needle in the haystack.”

We will update you with more information as we get close to a resolution.  Again, we apologize for the disruption of service, and we appreciate your patience as we get this resolved.

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(Marseilles, IL) — Friendship House, Angel Bears of Hope, and Pet Project are the recipients of Illinois Valley Cellular’s Ottawa Difference Campaign.

During the month of March, IVC’s Ottawa Wireless Solution Center collected donations for charities and organizations in the Ottawa area.  Our customers nominated and voted for charities that “make a difference” in their community.

IVCfriendshiphouse

Bob Hauge and Angie Lowe with friends from Ottawa Friendship House.

Ottawa’s Friendship House was nominated by Judie McConville.  She says she nominated them because “ this community has supported the village for many many years. They need the money to help the disabled get jobs and support themselves.”  The mission of the Ottawa Friendship House is to “improve the quality of life for adults with developmental disabilities through informed choice and empowerment, continued education, recreation, paid work training, living supports, community integration, and community employment.”Friendship House was the highest vote getter in the campaign.

After making a trip to the facility, IVC’s East Retail Director, Bob Hauge said, “It was amazing to see what Friendship Village does for those with disabilities.  It was an eye opener and I encourage many people to visit and support this cause.”

 

Jackie Boaz (center) with Maralee Halterman and Shelley Threadgill

Jackie Boaz (center) with Maralee Halterman and Shelley Threadgill

Angel Bears of Hope was the second highest vote getter.  Nominated by Judy Soulsby, this organization donates “Angel Bears to patients who are suffering from life threatening diseases to give them hope and courage throughout their battle with cancer. The Angel Bear will be there with them during treatments, at night when they are alone, during tests, and any other time they need comfort giving the gift of hope one bear at a time.”

ivcpetproject

Angie Lowe with the staff of Pet Project and their furry friends.

 

 

Nominated by Amy Jo Smith, Pet Project of Marseilles, was the third highest vote getter.  Smith says she nominated Pet Project because it is important “to help the animals that humans can no longer care for or abuse, neglect or just don’t want.”

llinois Valley Cellular is a wireless phone carrier, serving customers with limitless nationwide mobile phone service in an 8-county area in northern Illinois. Visit www.IVCellular.com for more information.  

http://www.ottawafriendship.com/
http://angelbearsofhope.org/
http://petprojectinc.org/
For More Information:

Contact: Bob Hauge
Phone: 815.795.0052
Email: bhauge@ivcel.com

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UPDATE 5/20/16:  Our network team has resolved the 1 sided call issue. 

Our network team has pinpointed an issue with phone calls where you can’t hear the person you are calling, or they cannot hear you.

We apologize for the inconvenience this is causing you, and we are working diligently to correct the issue as quickly as possible.

Thank you for your patience.

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Got this from our musician buddy and IVC tech superstar, Marc.

 

I found a new app for iOS that focuses on musicians that can quickly record and idea when inspiration strikes! The Music Memos App allows anyone to quickly record a song idea before it gets away!

http://www.apple.com/music-memos/

The cool thing is… after you’ve recorded a sample… The iPhone analyzes the chords and music structure and suggests bass lines and drums… even gives you a sneak peak of a completed track.

musicmemos

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foxnews_flashlight

[Note: The opinions in this piece are from the author.  They do not reflect the opinions or views of IV Cellular.]

It’s a viral video which just won’t go away.  My thought, it’s partly due to Fox News’ Bret Baier’s Special Report branding…

Got an email this morning from a Wireless Solutions Specialist…

“Don’t know why but this last week I have had multiple people worried about their flashlight app. I googled it and all the articles I found were from a couple years ago. This there something new with security problems with flashlight apps that customers should be concerned about?”

No.

Number one… Most manufacturers put the flashlight right in the software.  Have an iPhone?  Swipe up from the bottom of the phone.  The flashlight is there in the quick settings.  Android?  Swipe down from the top of the phone… scroll over… it’s there in the quick settings. (see below)

iphone-quicksettings

This guy should be more concerned about people airdropping him questionable stuff than a flashlight app.

Samsung-S6-Flashlight

This is a Samsung Galaxy S6 Notification Area. This is a US model obviously… because it says flashlight not ‘torch.’

Dissecting this viral video… Whenever a ‘security expert’ compares a free smartphone app to a highly contagious and deadly disease… at that point… his views are immediately questioned.

The Cable News Media = Fear mongering organizations looking to capitalize on viral content, through sharing and fear, for profit

Source:  I used to work for the news media.  They constantly take things and blow them out of proportion for the purpose of ratings and ad revenue.

Did some digging on this… Here’s a couple of sources:

SNOPES: Flash and Grab
The Daily Dot: A closer look at the company behind flashlight app fear-mongering

From Snopes:

It is indeed the case that a number of flashlight apps can and do request access to permissions and data on users’ cell phones that seemingly has nothing to do with the ordinary functioning of the app, and that such permissions could theoretically enable criminals to obtain sensitive personal information from cell phone users. However:

  • Having a flashlight app on your cell phone does not necessarily mean someone is stealing your personal data. (Realistically, any kind of app could be exploited for this purpose.)
  • Just because an app requests permissions it may not need does not mean the app is being used for nefarious purposes. (Many, many apps request more permissions than they seemingly need.)
  • Nothing about a flashlight app makes it inherently more susceptible to criminal exploitation. (Flashlight apps just happen to be one of the most common cell phone apps.)

SnoopWall’s “threat assessment report” suggested that flashlight apps are more prone to requesting access to unneeded permissions and data than any other category of app, but as Wired noted, many other types of apps “want access to information they probably shouldn’t,” and the fact that a given app has access to data doesn’t necessarily mean the app is actually stealing that data and transmitting it to international cybercriminals. It may be the case, though, that you’re paying for your “free” app by unwittingly allowing your personal data to be shared with marketers: 

Bottom line.  Nothing is free.  You are sacrificing data on your online habits to marketers for advertising in exchange for free apps.  Marketers don’t care about you as an individual.  You are grouped into a category and sold… In the meantime, you get ads that are customized to you.

However, Snopes does point out…

One flashlight app developer, Goldenshores Technologies (makers of the “Brightest Flashlight” app for Android), settled a complaint with the FTC in 2014 over their collecting location data and unique device IDs from users’ devices and sharing that data with advertisers. So when it comes to apps — even “free ones” — caveat emptor. 

From The Daily Dot:

The closest thing SnoopWall is able to provide as proof of any wrongdoing is the FCC’s case against the makers of Brightest Flashlight, an app which was found to be collecting users data against their wishes. But there’s a big difference between what SnoopWall alleges and the case against Brightest Flashlight: The app’s creators weren’t sharing user data with an enemy of the state or a seedy cybercriminal, they were sharing it with advertisers for ad purposes….

The end goal here is to score licensing deals with app makers to include the company’s Privacy Shield software in their own apps. Just like the flashlight apps using you as ad fodder, SnoopWall wants your support which it can leverage in order to pay the bills. Companies need paychecks too, after all. 

But that’s not the only thing that appears a bit hypocritical about SnoopWall’s agressive attack against “dishonest” app developers. In researching SnoopWall’s generically named Privacy App I found that users almost universally agree that the app simply doesn’t work.

While the app promises to “find all the apps that are spying on you,” the user reviews suggest it’s not doing much good. The entire front page of the app’s Google Play listing is filled with reviews saying that the app produces nothing but false positives. SnoopWall’s app highlights the Google Play Store app, the Google Maps app, and even proper antivirus software apps as being huge risks. If Google Maps is a virus, we’re all in big trouble. 

 

Here are the permissions of some of the most popular flashlight apps in the Google Play Store.  You can view the permissions required for the app when clicking to view the app in the store.  In Android, the app tells you the permissions required before downloading… You literally have to press ok to allow these permissionSo, if you don’t like what the app is asking access to…

Don’t download it.

Flashlight
WearMonster
Free
Version 1.2 can access:
Location
• approximate location (network-based)
Photos/Media/Files
• access USB storage filesystem
• modify or delete the contents of your USB storage
• read the contents of your USB storage
Storage
• modify or delete the contents of your USB storage
• read the contents of your USB storage
Camera
• take pictures and videos
Other
• control flashlight
• full network access
• view network connections
• control vibration

Super-Bright LED Flashlight
Surpax Inc.
Version 1.0.7 can access:
Camera
• take pictures and videos
Other
• receive data from Internet
• change system display settings
• modify system settings
• full network access
• prevent device from sleeping
• view network connections
• control flashlight

These are the guys who settled with the FTC.
Brightest Flashlight Free ®
GoldenShores Technologies, LLC
Version 2.4.2 can access:
Location
• approximate location (network-based)
• precise location (GPS and network-based)
Phone
• read phone status and identity
Photos/Media/Files
• modify or delete the contents of your USB storage
• read the contents of your USB storage
Storage
• modify or delete the contents of your USB storage
• read the contents of your USB storage
Camera
• take pictures and videos
Wi-Fi connection information
• view Wi-Fi connections
Device ID & call information
• read phone status and identity
Other
• disable or modify status bar
• read Home settings and shortcuts
• control flashlight
• prevent device from sleeping
• view network connections
• full network access
• install shortcuts
• uninstall shortcuts

By the way… Snoopwall made their own flashlight…
Privacy Flashlight
SnoopWall
Free
Version 1.3 can access:
Camera
• take pictures and videos
Other
• control flashlight

Why do you need access the camera Snoopwall?   So you can watch me whenever you want?  

Actually… The flashlight needs access to the camera to control the LED flash.

 

 

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Our Illinois Valley Cellular family is saddened by the tragic loss of our Wireless Solutions Specialist, Gina Masters.  Gina’s warm heart, compassion and kindness made her customers always feel welcome at our Wyoming Wireless Solution Center.  Please keep her family, friends and community in your heart.

“She will be remembered for her love of scrapbooking, reading, dancing and always wishing to help with any event for children. Her children were a large part of her life.

Cremation rites will be accorded. An Irish Wake and a time to share memories and tell stories will be held Friday, Nov. 13, 2015, staring at 6 p.m. at the Henry American Legion Hall. A bench will be erected in her memory at Stoner Park in Henry. A dedication service will be held at a later date.

Memorials may be made to the Henry Legion Auxiliary or to the Henry Library.

Calvert & Johnson Memorial Home in Henry is assisting the family with arrangements.”

– See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/pjstar/obituary.aspx?pid=176460763#sthash.hBDqrVQE.dpuf

 

Our Wyoming Wireless Solution Center will be reopens Monday, November 16th, 2015.  Wyoming WSC will be open with new hours on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays from 9a to 5pm

gina

Photo taken at the IVC 25 Grand Hoops Challenge at the  Henry-Senachwine vs. Marquette Academy Basketball Game last December. 

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Illinois Valley Cellular is dedicated to providing you with the best network in the area.   Over the past year, IVC has been adding LTE to its towers across northern Illinois.  Last night, during an upgrade, there was a problem that arose causing issues for those in the Peru area.   Our crews were able to quickly identify the issue and get it rectified.  We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

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