Toni Birdsong is a Family Safety Evangelist for McAfee. She is an author, speaker, and cyber savvy mom of two teenagers (much to their dismay). As a family safety evangelist for McAfee, she focuses on online safety and often speaks to educators, parents, and teens about dodging the dangers online. She is the co-owner of Birdsong Creative, a Nashville-based web design company, where she specializes in social media and brand strategy.

Her writing background includes a journalism career in Los Angeles where she specialized in technology, business and politics. Toni also spent nearly a decade as a Sr. Communication Specialist for The Walt Disney Company writing extensively about the people and the technology behind the magic. She is an Apple products fanatic, mobile app addict, and when she’s not blogging or reading Mashable, you will find her unapologetically stalking her kids online.

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Family Safety

Less is More: 5 Ways to Jumpstart a ‘Digital Minimalist’ Mindset  

Editor’s Note: This is part II of a series on Digital Minimalism in 2020. Is this the year you rethink and rebuild your relationship with technology? If so, embracing digital minimalism may be the most powerful way to achieve that goal. We learned last week in our first post on ...

Family Safety

Digital Minimalism: Is It Time to Overhaul Your Relationship with Technology?

Editor’s Note: This is part I of a series on Digital Minimalism in 2020. When Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone in 2007, he called it the “best iPod ever,” and said it would be a “very cool way” to make calls and listen to music. Little did he know that ...

Family Safety

Lessons Learned: A Decade of Digital Parenting

Give yourself a high-five, parents. Pour yourself a cup of coffee or your favorite celebratory drink and sip it slow — real slow. Savor the wins. Let go of the misses. Appreciate the lessons learned. You’ve come a long way in the last decade of raising digital kids, and not ...

Family Safety

10 Thoughtful (Free) Holiday Gifts to Give Your Digital Friends Year ‘Round

Just a quick poll. What feelings do these digital scenarios evoke: being ghosted, getting trapped in a group text, being left on ‘read,’ or someone blowing up your phone with a million messages? Did you cringe a little or drop your phone like a hot potato? You wouldn’t be alone. ...

Family Safety

Parents: You May Want to Pay Closer Attention to the TikTok App

You aren’t imagining things. Everyone is talking about the popular video-sharing app TikTok. That’s because it has simultaneously become both a source of entertainment for kids as well as a source of concern for some adults. The social network, owned by Chinese parent company ByteDance, recently reached 750 million downloads, ...

Family Safety

7 Tips to Make Sure Your Smartphone Use Doesn’t Ruin Holiday Gatherings

The gravy wasn’t the only thing steaming at the Thanksgiving table this year. Grandma wasn’t happy. It turns out that those shapes that looked like socks draped over the living room furniture were actually teenagers glued to their smartphones — teenagers Grandma had repeatedly asked to set the table. And ...

Family Safety

7 Ways to Wreck a Cybercrook’s Holidays

’Tis the season for giving and who better to give a giant headache to than the digital scammers working overtime to wreck our holidays? Can we spot and unravel every scam out there? Probably not. But, by taking a few minutes to get equipped to click, we can dodge common ...

Family Safety

Could Your Child be Sexting? Signs to Look for and Ways to Respond

Oh, what we wouldn’t do to travel back in time to the days before smartphones kid-jacked our families, right? But here we are. Our kids are forever connected. And, it’s up to parents to help them navigate the risks — one of which is sexting. Ouch. Even reading the word ...

Family Safety

Sadfishing, Deepfakes & TikTok: Headlines You May Have Missed

Technology trends move fast and the digital newsfeeds run non-stop. No worries, we’ve got your backs, parents. Here are three important headlines you may have missed about some of the ways kids are using their devices and how you can coach them around the risks. What’s Sadfishing and is Your ...

Family Safety

Helping Kids Think Critically About Influencers They Follow Online

When I was a teenager, my role model was Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton. I admired everything about her. I cut my hair like hers and brushed my teeth three times a day, determined to get my smile to sparkle like hers. I even started eating Wheaties when she endorsed ...

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