Toni Birdsong

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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More from Toni Birdsong

Family Safety

5 Ways to Safeguard Your Child’s Instagram Bio

It’s a small loophole but one that definitely poses a threat to your child’s online safety. While your child is able set her Instagram account settings to private and only accept “followers” and “friends” she knows, her Instagram bio is still public by default and short of deleting it altogether, there’s ...

Family Safety

The Dilemma of Anonymity and Dangers of Ask.fm

Anonymity affords a precarious, irresistible power to teens online. Ask.fm is one app that’s exploding in popularity by allowing users to ask and answer questions to one another anonymously. While Ask.fm is used by many teens as a digital playground to flirt and just have fun (and confess crushes), the ...

Family Safety

5 (Kind) Reminders for Overly Nosy Parents

Last night I sat next to my teenage son as he played video games. It did not take long before I was abruptly reminded that he and I may look like fellow humans but we are definitely from two very different planets. I also learned that there’s a possibility that ...

Family Safety

Q&A: What is ‘Path’ and Is It Safe for My Child?

Q: I overheard my son telling his friend to message him on Path. What is Path and should I be concerned? A: Good question and hats off to you for paying attention to what your kids are doing online. Path is a new(er) social network app specifically designed for smart phones. ...

Family Safety

Helping Kids Understand Their ‘Digital Footprint’

It’s easy to talk in general about an important topic and apply a catchy phrase to it without our kids really ever understanding it. When it comes to explaining the weight of  their digital footprint kids can quickly glaze over and check out if we fail to speak in terms that ...

Family Safety

7 Tips: How to Raise a Leader in a ‘Follower’ World

Leadership training isn’t exclusive to adults. And in today’s online culture of “following” and digital profiles, it’s never too early to teach a child (aka digital native) how to think, act, communicate, and process information online with a leader’s perspective.  Oh—and don’t get discouraged—they may roll their eyes when you ...

Family Safety

Have You Taught Your Kids About the Dangers of ‘Catfishing’?

You may have overheard your kids talking about “catfishing” or someone getting “catfished.” No, they aren’t talking about gills, hooks, or vacationing on the lake. Rather, catfishing is a new digital sport that’s taking place online. The Urban Dictionary defines a “catfish” as “someone who pretends to be someone they’re ...

Family Safety

Twitter Drama and What Parents Need to Know

With more teens flocking to social networks outside of Facebook, it’s more important than ever for parents to understand—and coach their kids—through the rapid-moving, drama-filled environment of Twitter. Twitter has become a hot spot for teens, many of whom view Tweets the same way they view texts. They tweet quickly ...

Family Safety

What Parents Need to Know About KIK Messenger App

We write a lot about new apps on this blog because apps are hot in the very mobile teen world. Kids use apps to stay connected to the outside world and that’s where you as a parent need to be looking when it comes to threats to their personal safety. ...

Family Safety

Taking Your Teen’s Phone: Know the Pros and Cons

Many parents shudder at the thought. Some even experience a shortness or breath and heart palpitations when they imagine what might really happen if they took their teenager’s phone away as a consequence for poor choices. When you consider a teen’s sheer dependency on their phone for a social and ...

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