Wednesday, October 10, 2007

You hear the frequent horror stories of how some teenage girl ran away with a sexual predator that she met on Myspace. I believe that with a few precautions, those children and parents would never have had such a heartbreaking experience.

Myspace, Facebook and AIM instant messaging do have security measures. And with the added accountability of a family those sites can actually be safe.

Here are some precautions we take:

· “no secret” policy. I know your password you know mine. If you’re not willing to share what you are writing you will lose your privilege.

· the computer is in the living room or another public room

· myspace has private settings that only allow your approved ‘friends” to view your page or to message you

· facebook—only your approved friends can see your page and talk to you

· AIM instant messaging – you are the one to approve or deny a message

· my boys are instructed never to speak to a person they don’t know or accept them as a “friend”

· use good judgment on the sorts of things you allow others to see (don’t post your address or phone number or other personal information)

· I check my kids’ pages daily.

Do you have some good precautions to add?


HomeSchool Mommy said...

Good ideas! My daughter is not old enough to be on the internet yet, but I'm sure it won't be long. She LOVES the computer!!!

My parents kept their computer in the living room, so the whole family could just look over from the couch or whatever and see the screen. It kept us accountable, for sure.

I thought it was interesting that the kids know your password. I would definitely require to know theirs...just never thought to give them mine.

Robin Meadows said...

Thanks for the comment. On the password issue, I just figure it's good for all of us to have accountability. I think they would find my e-mail and messages quite boring! ;)

Anonymous said...

There are also free stealth programs (can't remember the name right now)but, they will filter your child's IM's etc from MySpace. They email you with the entire conversation that was questionable. Pretty great!

Another thing we do is to have a younger sibling (snitch) working right next to the computer. :)