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

Parents: Are Your Kids Ignoring the Danger of Dating Apps?

The willingness to date a stranger is nothing new. Remember the personal section of newspapers? How about the TV show Love Connection or that well-meaning friend that set you up with the “perfect” guy? Along with the Internet came online dating sites such as eHarmony that quickly mainstreamed digital dating. ...

Family Safety

Yik Yak & Omegle: Two Apps Kids Need to Delete ASAP

So I’ve been trying to put myself in the shoes of people who can’t seem to get enough of using anonymous apps. I want to understand the strange attraction so if there’s actually a redeeming side to this discussion, I want to be objective and highlight that for our readers. ...

Family Safety

5 Destructive Digital Habits You Could Be Teaching Your Kids

One of the coolest things about being a parent is being convinced your child hasn’t heard a word you’ve said for at least five years, then suddenly one day he whips out a tool you’ve given him and uses it to help someone else. This happened recently when I overheard ...

Family Safety

How to Dodge Without Defriending Pesky Peeps Online

Opinionated, vain, get-under-your-skin-kind-of-people. You’ve come across them on Facebook from time to time and your kids’ world isn’t so different. A parent’s role comes in teaching kids the balance between tolerance and knowing the point when they should graciously disconnect without hurting someone’s feelings. I received a glimpse of my ...

Family Safety

So Are You ‘Hot or Not?’ App Rates Appearance

First, let me begin with the fact that I love apps. In fact, I am probably addicted to them. I frequent the app store like a chef frequents the produce aisle. I look for apps to help me be more efficient in my work, apps to get healthy, and apps ...

Family Safety

‘Whisper’ App: Teens Are Having a Blast but Parents May Gasp

Everyone loves a good secret. Tack anonymity to a whisper and the recipe for juicy fun spikes considerably. That’s the premise of the new mobile app, Whisper, a social network where personal “secrets” are shared—and responded to—anonymously. Popular with college students, messages are posted to the service in the form ...

Family Safety

Family Safety News: 3 Big Stories You May Have Missed

The news that produces a safer Internet for our kids is not always good but it is shaping the digital landscape in some very big ways. Here are three big stories you may have missed and some talking points for your family. Are Your Kids ‘Driving and Vining?’ Talking to ...

Family Safety

The Secret Tumblr Craze and What Parents Need to Know

Your kids have all but vanished from Facebook and their Instagram postings are becoming more and more sporadic. If this sounds familiar, chances are, they are posting to Tumblr, a micro-blogging platform that is a social cross between Twitter, Facebook, and a traditional blog. It is easy to understand why ...

Family Safety

Could Your Kids Be Doing Things That Make Them Bully Bait?

“Seriously, sometimes I think some kids are trying to get bullied,” she opined with a frustrated sigh. I stopped what I was doing and looked up. “What do you mean?” “They just do the dumbest things online,” my 13 year-old said without looking up and perusing her Instagram feed with ...

Family Safety

Instagram Direct: What Parents Need to Know

We’ve written a lot about Instagram and SnapChat; both are popular photo/video sharing apps for teens and both pose threats to their safety online if left unmonitored. Recently, Instagram (to compete with SnapChat’s popularity) upped its user-to-user sharing ability by adding Instagram Direct, which is simply direct messaging. With the introduction ...

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