Over the past two decades, technology has slowly begun to occupy a ubiquitous role in our everyday lives. It’s practically become part of our culture, with words such Google becoming a common verb that’s inserted itself into our informal lexicon. Since technologies like the Internet permeate our culture and lives so deeply, we have to wonder about the norms of usage associated with that technology.
Just like how parents have to teach their children how to brush their teeth daily, go to bed early, and behave properly in public, it might not be so far-fetched for parents to start teaching their children basic competency skills for using the Internet. In fact, there’s definitely a set of tools or extensions that we all download onto a newly installed browser before we really start surfing the internet. Here are some of the most popular tools that are essential to the smooth user experience of the Internet.
AdBlock Plus or UBlock Origin
The use of ad blockers is one of the most fundamental parts of a smooth web browsing experience. It’s doubly relevant for children who often don’t know how to avoid malicious advertisements aimed at manipulating people into downloading harmful software onto their computers. AdBlock Plus and UBlock Origin are lightweight and unintrusive extensions that can really help out with the reduction of unnecessary adverts while your child browses videos on YouTube or checks out miscellaneous websites in general.
FireEye Malware Analysis
Malware infections are one of the most significant risks that come with letting your children use online resources for an extended period of time. The chance that your child unintentionally downloads malware that installs and writes itself on important registries in your operating system increases over time. Therefore, malware analysis and removal programs are a must have insurance policy due to their ability to execute deep forensic examinations on your computer and to report system-level OS and application changes to vulnerable files, memory, and registries.
After the revelations of NSA’s PRISM surveillance program along with the sophisticated efforts on the part of advertisers to capture the interests of consumers through their browsing habits. It’s important to protect your children from exposure to these efforts. Ghostery is an ideal program that’s designed with a comprehensive list of trackers from different advertising agencies in its database. It works behind-the-scenes after installation to erase your presence and protect your privacy from the peering eyes of others as your browse.
There’s an actual app named Focus for OS X systems that aims to increase productivity by helping you block distracting websites for a set amount of time. Distracting websites are often social in nature - like Reddit or Facebook - and users tend to scroll through site content without realizing how much time they are wasting. Having an app like Focus can help teach your child discipline and help them develop a sense of when they are browsing the web for research and for leisure.
The information age has exerted its influence on our society and culture for more than a decade already, which means that we need to adapt and respond to the changing nature of information processing and sorting. We won’t always be able to remember which information is relevant and helpful and the names of all the domains that we visit during certain browsing sessions. Therefore, a tool like Notational Velocity which allows you to organize all of the notes you’ve made through a centralized processing and search system can have significant impacts on your productivity.
A tool that serves the same purpose of making social media less distracting is Buffer. However, Buffer goes about a solution to this problem in a different way - it attempts to streamline and organize all of your social media channels into one organized display. With Buffer, your child can avoid the distractions that arise from needing to check and post on five or six multiple websites at a time.
Blossom’s main function is to help you track the progress of your personal projects in an intuitive manner. The tool allows you to interface in a way that feels like you’re posting and rearranging notes on a physical board. You can better organize yourself since the virtual positioning of these notes will help aid your recall of different pieces of information as well as aid you in arranging your priorities since all of them will be available and easily comparable in one space.