Reasons for Online Safety
This is an older story but it gets the point across.
… The Good News …
The good news is that MySpace has reached an agreement with over 45 states to help protect kids from Internet Predators that lurk on the popular social networking site. One of the enhancements made to the site is the ability for parents to list the email addresses of their kids and prevent them from making profiles. Our worry is knowing how easy it is to set up multiple email addresses using GMail or MSN the kids will just use a different email address to make their profile(s). Nevertheless, it is still a step in the right direction. Kudos to MySpace for the attempt.
Another measure taken is to mark all underage profiles as private so their can be no unwanted contact from Internet Predators. The irony is that most teenagers seem to make their profile private anyway. There is no sense making the profiles private if they willingly allow unknown users into their Space. MySpace has made several enhancements in their attempt to protect the children including:
Allow parents to submit children’s e-mail addresses to MySpace to prevent anyone from misusing the addresses to set up profiles.
Make the default setting “private” for 16- and 17-year-old users.
Respond within 72 hours to complaints about inappropriate content and devote more staff and resources to classify photographs and discussion groups.
Strengthen software to find underage users.
Create a high school section for users under 18 years old.
These changes are constructive steps that should help to avoid some of the countless thousands of juvenile MySpace users. We are still skeptical about the savvy teens that have the means to find ways around the regulations.
…The Bad News…
On the same day that MySpace and the attorneys general for over 45 states announced the agreement to help stop Internet predators from going after your children, we found this story; “Another MySpace Predator Caught Going After Children “. Our belief is that this will continue to happen without firm vigilance from parents to find out what their kids are doing while they are on the Internet.
This particular Internet Predator met two girls, aged 12 and 14, through MySpace, met up with them, and sexually abused them. He is 37-years-old. Thankfully, one of the girls confided in her parents and he was arrested when he tried to re-contact the girls. The damage was already done.
…More Bad News…
There are other social networking sites like Facebook that children can meet Internet Predators. In this story from TheDenverChannel.com ” Custodian Allegedly Assaults Girl He Met In Chat Room ” the chat room was a site called Mocospace.com. The custodian was arrested for having sexual contact with a 12-year-old girl. Apparently they had chatted several times before he drove to the girls house and sexually assaulted her on two separate occasions.
A quote from District Attorney Scott Storey: “We have to remain diligent in trying to keep up with what kids are doing on the Internet as well as with trends online”. Keeping the Kids Safe
Keeping the Kids Safe
The above quote from the District Attorney says it all. Keep the Kids Safe!
Online Safety Tips
Get to know Facebook and other social networking sites. Familiarize yourself with the sites and use the parental controls that they offer.
You are not invading your child’s privacy if strangers can see it. There is a difference between reading a diary tucked away in a sock drawer and checking Facebook.
A reminder to self: “I’m still the parent!” If kids don’t listen or follow rules, take the computer keyboard or power cord with you to work. The walk to the library will do them good.
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See some more of our recommended Computer Monitoring Programs Here
See More Reasons to Monitor Internet Use