You have probably heard of the popular social networking website Myspace. If you haven’t, it’s a sure bet that your children have. The word Myspace has easily found its way into most teen’s daily lives and vocabulary.
With the help from sites like Myspace, the internet has allowed so many people to connect who would have never had the chance before. Countless relationships, both good and bad, have begun over the internet. Advances in online social networking are changing and evolving so quickly that it can be difficult for a parent to keep up.
Myspace is one of the fastest growing websites in the country (more than 50 million members and counting). With a network this large it is no wonder many parents have fears about what their teens reveal to strangers, and anxiety about the possible sexual predators lurking on the other end.
These fears are only heightened after the all too common reports of sex crimes being linked to the site. The problem has gotten so bad that just recently law enforcement officials in eight states asked the website’s operators to hand over lists of convicted sex offenders who are currently members.
So how can you find out what your children are doing on the internet? The Polly Klaas Foundation (a child safety group) offers some of the following safety tips for parents of internet and Myspace users:
• Ask your child to show you what they do online
• Let them know from the beginning that you will be monitoring them on the internet
• Use blocking and monitoring software
• Let them know that they can come to you if they need help or are in trouble
What do you think of social networking sites like Myspace?
Do you think that with proper parent supervision a site like Myspace is safe enough for a teen to use?