Protecting Kids Online

As a follow up to my last entry about Parents, Kids, and the Internet, I want to comment on an article with a great (but ridiculously long) title: Parents, Get a Clue: What Teens are Really Doing Online Plus: Tips on How to Talk to Your Teen about Internet Safety (and a Guide to Using Myspace). Well, there’s a mouthful and half for you – say that without taking a breath.

I can’t believe the number of teenagers who run away with people they meet online. What makes them think that is a safe thing to do?

In addition to the obvious problem of teens meeting strangers online, the article also brought up another modern problem – identity theft based in the information teens put in social networking files as well as the info they may give out in chat sessions.

Another problem is the diary and confession type information that kids are posting online. No doubt the proliferation of supposed “reality” shows on TV has fueled this phenomenon since that is what these programs are all about – private lives on public display. The TV participants are making a choice to expose their lives for money or 15 minutes of fame. Kids don’t realize that they are in a very different position than the people they see on TV when it comes to the pros and cons of telling the world their business.

The text of the original article is here and includes easy instructions for parents if they want to check up on their teenagers use of MySpace.

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