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The Facts About MySpace
Author: Kimmy Powell
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The Facts About MySpace
April 11, 2006

Parental Involvement

Increasing surveillance or outright banning your kids from using MySpace may seem like a safe bet, but it can breed rebellion and worse. Kids with existing accounts can hide profiles so that parents can’t access them. If your child wants to access MySpace, your child will find a way. So, how do you prevent your kids from becoming unwitting victims to the murky waters of MySpace? CyberTipline, an organization that works to prevent the exploitation of children, recommends establishing lines of communication and trust with your teen and educating yourself about the world of MySpace. In fact, awareness is the key to prevention.


• Make sure kids are aware of issues of online safety. Discuss with them what they can and cannot do online.

• Provide an open environment where your children can share and report what they encounter online. If you react negatively and take away their Internet privileges at the slightest infraction, you’re not creating a place of trust. Kids will be afraid to come to you with legitimate concerns if they feel they cannot trust you.

• Be reasonable and try to understand the issues your children are facing. Remember, parents were once children too.

• Tell your children to avoid putting personal information onto profiles or online blogs. Let them know that leaving too much personal information can come back to haunt them.


• Find out everything you can about MySpace. Educate yourself on the features and potential hazards of having an account.

• Monitor what your kids do online. Search on Google by email address, name, nicknames or school names and see what you find.

• Turn the online experience into a family adventure. Ask your children about the latest happenings online. Have them show you the hotspots on the net and what topics they’re currently interested in.

• Don’t believe the person behind the profile. Make sure your child understands that anybody can create an account on MySpace and lie about who they really are.

Communication with your children is the best way to make your child aware of online dangers. Most kids avoid doing things online that draws unwanted attention. Instead of banning children from the site when they do something wrong, sit down and talk about common sense. By keeping open channels of communication open on both sides, you’ll be happier for it.

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