Sep 17, 2020

Norton 360 Deluxe's Parental Control is a godsend for Parents worried about their kids' online security

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 Advertorial


Running a desktop or laptop at home without a competent antivirus program installed is like heading outdoors without a mask these days. The threat of being infected with a virus - both of a COVID & Digital nature - is very real because one will never know when they are lurking around the corner. 



And how about installing antivirus software for our smartphones? Considering the amount of time spent on our mobile devices, it feels a tad reckless not to do the same. Because with the proliferation of using our phones for everything from ordering food, shopping, transport, working, banking and learning, these online activities also come with the heightened risk of malware, spyware, phishing, and identity theft. Even more so in today's world, no? As a result of the pandemic, most of us have been working from home with our kids having home-based learning lessons more frequently as well. All these means we are using our electronic devices more... which makes it even more crucial that we secure our digital devices and protect our online personal information.


Personally, I have been using Norton's antivirus software for the longest time and I think it is true when I say that Norton is a brand that’s almost synonymous with cybersecurity. But antivirus is only one form of cyber defence because now that I have kids who have their own mobile devices, the levels of threat gets multiplied substantially. In short, the poop just got real. 😅



So, if you have kids who are using electronic devices at home - phones, computers, iPads / tablets - I strongly recommend Norton 360 Deluxe. It is by far my favorite cybersecurity software for keeping my kids and their devices safe.


I won't go into the details of the usual Anti-Spyware, Antivirus, Malware & Ransomware protection that it offers because that is actually standard fare. But what sets Norton 360 Deluxe apart from the rest is its excellent Parental Control feature, which is so easy to implement and monitor the online activities of my kids.



Norton 360 Deluxe Parental Control


Norton Parental Control gives you tools to see what videos they watch, websites they visit, terms they search for, and mobile apps they download, including GPS location monitoring for Android & iOS, content filtering for PCs, and more. Parents can install an app on each monitored device to enforce rules and monitor activity, which can be viewed from a web console as well as apps for Android & iOS.



Getting Started


One thing that caught my attention was the program's ease of use. Norton has definitely streamlined its dashboard over the past years, making it more user-friendly.


The first thing to do when you launch the Parental Control dashboard is to create individual profiles for your kids. To add a child, enter his/her name, select an avatar or upload a profile photo, and specify a restriction level (Low, Moderate, High, and Very High). 



As you can see from the table below, the web supervision levels vary for different ages for obvious reasons.


Next, you specify the device on which you want to install Norton Parent Control and follow the corresponding instructions.




Ale has been using the iPad frequently for her Home-Based Learning as well as playing games, so naturally, it was added to her profile.

Setting House Rules


The great thing about Norton Parental Control is your kids will be AWARE of the restrictions being put in place. These restrictions are spelt out clearly in a set of House Rules like "Websites that I visit can be monitored" and "My time on the computer can be restricted", all of which the kids will be able to see and easily understand. This keeps everything transparent and helps to facilitate positive parenting and engage on important topics proactively with our kids.




Web Filtering


The most critical component of all parental control tools is controlling and monitoring the content that our kids are exposed to on the web. This is especially so for young kids. 

Norton Parental Control's content filter offers fantastic customization options which range from categories (37 of them!) like abortion, suicide, tobacco, pornography, and drugs. You can also add specific websites to block or allow websites that your child needs to access but are blocked because it falls under one of the categories.




From the 'Activities' tab, you can view a child's most active categories and every site they access, as well as sites that were blocked.





Time Supervision


Not only can you monitor how much time your kids are spending on the devices, you can also dictate the amount of time they can spend on the devices too. The dashboard allows you to block out the hours in a day that the device cannot be used and should they bust their time limit, the device will be locked.



Location


In addition to keeping your kids safe online, Norton Parental Control also allows you to monitor your child's real-time location to ensure he/she is safe. Now that I have 2 teens, this is an extremely useful feature for both the wifey and me because knowing where they are - especially after school hours - will give both of us a peace of mind when we are at work.

Mobile Apps Supervision


Norton Parental Control lets you view which mobile apps your kids have downloaded on their Android devices. In addition, it allows you to record time usage spent on these apps and block them, if necessary. Admittedly, this feature does not work on iOS devices as they come with their own inbuilt function for this purpose.


Search


You can also view a complete list of the things that they searched online.




And should your child attempt to search for inappropriate content, you will be notified. 


Speaking of notifications, you can configure them based on your preferences. And you can also create another 'Parent' profile for your spouse.


Instant Lock


Now this is probably the most extreme measure to take 😅 but at least know that you are able to instantly lock your child's device should the situation call for it.


Other Features

As mentioned earlier, the entire Norton 360 Deluxe comes with Anti-Spyware, Antivirus, Malware & Ransomware protection. But in addition to all those - and Parental Control - it is also bundled with cloud storage (PC Cloud Backup), a Password Manager, secure Virtual Private Network (VPN) access, and webcam protection (SafeCam for PC)!

I don't know about you but I currently don’t use VPNs enough to justify paying for it as a separate subscription so it’s cool to have this feature included in the package.

On top of everything, did I mention that I love the interface of the Norton 360 dashboard?


Everything is laid out in such a clear manner. Want to turn on VPN? Hit that button. Want to back up your data on cloud? Hit that button. Want to see your child's online activities? Hit that button.

Pricing

For ALL of the features mentioned above, how much would you pay for the Norton 360 Deluxe subscription?

I remember just a few years ago, an annual antivirus subscription cost close to $100 and that was for one computer.


And that is good for up to FIVE devices - which means it only costs $1.15 PER MONTH, PER DEVICE!

(There is the Norton 360 Standard plan which costs $49 per year but that is only for ONE device and does NOT come with Parental Control)

For $69 per year, you get a peace of mind for five devices with the following features:

- Anti-Spyware, Antivirus, Malware & Ransomware Protection
- PC Cloud Backup (75GB)
- Firewall for PC and Mac
- Password Manager
- 100% Virus Protection Promise
- Parental Control
- Secure VPN
- SafeCam for PC
- And the best part, 60-Days Money-Back Guarantee on all Norton plans!

It is super COMPREHENSIVE, if you ask me!


So, is Norton 360 Deluxe the best antivirus software for families?

After using it for close to a month, I have to say YES.

Besides being one of the most easy-to-use and efficient antivirus software on the market, it offers more than just antivirus protection – it is the best all-around one out there currently and gives the best value in terms of the different features it comes with for one pricing.

Above all, it provides parents with a complete parental control solution by having search and site age-appropriateness filters, excellent screen time management, activity monitoring, and the tools needed such as SafeCam for PC, to protect your kids against cyberbullying or web predators.

And the outlay for this peace of mind?

$1.15 per month, per device.




BUT HURRY! The price of $69 PER YEAR for Norton 360 Deluxe won't last forever as it is currently on promotion, so hop over to Norton to make your purchase, or you can just click on the image below!

Norton 360 all-in-one protection protection for your devices.




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Sep 11, 2020

The first 2-storey Decathlon Orchard opens and it's packed with new features!

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Decathlon opens its first Duplex Experience store at The Centrepoint and it's full of exciting new features not found in other Singapore branches!



Taking over the space vacted by Robinsons, the new 2-storey store spans a total of 3,200 square metres and features a wide variety of sporting goods, modern technological systems and even Virtual Reality test zones - a first for the brand.



In case you don't know, Decathlon is like the sports version of IKEA as it is well-known for its affordable prices and mega stores which encourages customers to try out its products before purchase.





And there will be tons of products to try because Decathlon Orchard will be offering more than 5,000 products across 60 indoor and outdoor sports developed and manufactured internally by Decathlon Group.




All these... over two massive floors!




And if you think you have seen-one-and-seen-all Decathlon stores, think again... because Decathlon Orchard allows you to camp inside the store... virtually!



In a first for a Decathalon store in Singapore, those who want to dabble in the experience of camping can do so right in the store itself. With Virtual Reality technology, shoppers can simulate an immersive camping experience in Decathlon’s variety of tent options in day or night settings.



Some of the tents sold will include one of Decathlon’s innovation products, the Arpenaz Fresh & Black, which guarantees 99% darkness inside the tent for privacy and a good night’s rest. It will also feature Decathlon’s award-winning 2 Seconds tent, which gives the same quick and fuss-free experience for setting up and folding the tent.



Also, in keeping with Decathlon's promise of allowing everyone to try out every product that is available before commiting to a purchase, there are also dedicated test zones provided to ensure that it mimics the sport as closely as possible – from basketball hoops to running tracks!









Do keep a lookput for the first Innovation Wall in Decathlon Singapore too, as shoppers will get to learn more about the various innovation products pioneered by the French brand. Find out interesting facts about the Easybreath (the world’s first ever snorkeling face mask), or the Rollnet, which allows users to set up and play tabletennis in 10 seconds!



Decathlon Orchard will also feature various new technologies, like a 3 morphological machine situated at the running aisle - a first for any Decathlon store in Singapore!



Users can get accurate, personalised 3D measures of their foot size and gait in order to purchase the right shoe for their sports practice.



It is really pretty cool. Check out how it was able to recoommend the correct shoes for hiking according to my feet type after scanning them.




Of course, there is also a communal space where free sports sessions can be held (after the pandemic is over).


 


Oh, and I have to give a special mention to this Decathlon bot that you may see making its rounds while you are there.



This bot moves around the store and surveys the items that are in need for replenishing. Through the use of RFID tags in all products, the bot will be able to pick out items that are running low on stocks and will prompt staff to replenish the aisle racks. This cuts down the need for staff to manually walk along the aisles and checking the items one by one.



In addition, the first storey of Decathlon Orchard only allows customers to check out and pay via users can only check out via the Decathlon App through its Scan & Pay function. This means that it'll be hassle-free because there isn't any need to queue!



Another place to bring the family, no? 😁



Grand Opening Promotions on 12 September 2020

Decathlon Orchard will open its doors at 10am on 12 September 2020, and the first 100 store visitors will receive a free goodie bag!


There will also be a Spin and Win contest for users who spend $80 and above in a single transaction via the Decathlon App.



Useful Information


Decathlon Orchard

Address: 176 Orchard Rd, #01-14/15/16/17, #02-07 & #02-11, The Centrepoint, Singapore 238843

Opening Hours: 10am - 10pm daily

Website



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Sep 10, 2020

HydroDash is a new massive Inflatable Water Park at Palawan Beach, Sentosa & it's Super Fun!

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Media Invite

If your kids love splashing good fun, then they will go crazy at HydroDash, Singapore’s very first floating aqua park at Sentosa!


Floating in the sea just off Palawan Beach, HydroDash is an inflatable playground on water where kids and adults can climb, slide, leap and bounce to their hearts' content... if they can keep their balance!


And once the monkies knew we would be paying HydroDash a visit, they were so looking forward to it. (Actually, me too)


To be honest, I was half-expecting the water obstacle course to be pretty small because after having experienced a few similar water parks in other countries, I realised that everything got a little bit boring after 30 minutes.


Well, not so for HydroDash.



The entire water course is HUGE, and it is made up of four zones with varying difficulty.



Suitable for kids aged 5 and up, HydroDash has a special zone (Level 1) dedicated for kids aged between 5 and 8 years old.



Here, the water obstacles are less challenging and are easier for the younger kids to clear. However, do note that all kids have to be accompanied by an adult at all times in this zone.



As for kids above 9 years old as well as adults, they are free to take on any challenges in the Levels 2, 3 and 4 zones.



Which was what we did.





We started out at Levels 2 and 3 first, where the obstacles consisted of slopes, mini towers and platforms with openings that we had to leap across.


Was it challenging?


Well, let me put it this way: you know how we often laugh at the Ninja Warrior and Wipeout contestants for falling or failing to clear an obstacle? I WILL NEVER LAUGH AT THEM AGAIN. Because it definitely NOT as easy as it looks!!! 😅


But funnily enough for the kids, they were relishing it!





Then it was time to tackle the Level 4 inflatable obstacles.


Consisting of much (x5) steeper slopes and more advanced obstacles, this area the monkies' clear fave for sure.



There are slopes to slide, walls to climb, gaps to jump over and even a sloping walkway to get to the other side - and everything is made even more challenging by the slippery floor!


One of the obstacles included this monkey swing bar, where you had to hold on to the bar and swing yourself across.


Definitely not as easy as it sounds. LOL.


A jump tower can be found at each extreme end of the water park, where one can leap off and enjoy a plunge into the sea. Pity that the monkies were not able to to try it as the sea level was not high enough when we were there. But at least there was the tall slide that they managed to go on... and that was adrenaline-inducing enough!


One of another fave obstacles of the monkies was this series of parallel inflatable tubes where one had run across using momentum.
 

I tried but failed miserably and ended up plonking into the sea.

Ash particularly loved this obstacle and he cleared it by his second try!




So what happens when you fall into the sea? How do you get back up?

Fret not, because scattered throughout the water obstacle course, there are plenty of yellow areas marked with an arrow (below) which has a step below. Just use the step and pull yourself back up onto the floating platforms.


If you still can't pull yourself up, don't panic. There are lifeguards on duty and they are positioned at all points of the entire course. So just give a shout, and they will come over to give you a hand.


Each play session is valid for two hours and you have to pre-book your slot online beforehand due to crowd control measures. And trust me when I say that two hours are MORE than enough because it can get extremely tiring... though my kids will be to differ. 😁


All in all, HydroDash is a great family-friendly place to bring the kids if you are looking for an extremely fun day out.

Because it sure cannot get more fun than balancing on floating platforms while clearing steep slopes and obstacles as one navigates the slippery obstacle course!


Planning to head down? Here are a few things to know:

- Play time is for a 2-hour session and costs $18 per person aged 9 years and above. For kids aged between 5 and 8 years old, the price is $10. There is a group purchase price of $60 for 4 persons.

- Children under age of 5 and below 1.1 metre are not permitted on HydroDash.

- Book online in advance to secure your time slot as there is a limited number of tickets available per session to allow safe distancing. There is NO onsite ticketing.

- At the point of purchase, you can opt to purchase Inclement Weather Insurance at $2 per person which will allow you an one-time flexibility to reschedule your visit to HydroDash to any other date or a refund in case of inclement weather.

- Do arrive 30 minutes prior to your time slot to allow ample time for you to get changed, attend the compulsory safety briefing and be fitted with a buoyancy aid.

- All participants will be fitted with a mandatory buoyancy aid and will need to be worn at all times.

- Re-entry is permitted during the allocated time slot.

- Limited locker space is available for rent and will be available on a first come first serve basis.

- The nearest toilets and changing rooms/shower facilities is a 2-minute walk away from HydroDash.

- No cameras, phones or other recording devices are permitted on HydroDash.

- No food or beverage stall within the area of Palawan Beach as at the time of writing, the area is under redevelopment. The nearest stalls are at Beach Station.

- Whatever mode of transport you are taking, make your way to Beach Station and walk to Palawan Beach from there. You will see a 'HydroDash' sign along the way.


Useful Information

HydroDash
Palawan Beach
Opening Hours: MONDAY to FRIDAY 12pm – 6pm | SATURDAY & SUNDAY10am – 2pm & 3pm – 7pm
Price (2-hour slot): 5- 8 years old $10| 9 years old & above $18 | Group of 4 persons $60


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