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Myspace a worry for Parents


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http://business.bostonherald.com/technolog...rticleid=127076

 

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - On MySpace.com, teenagers can find kindred spirits who share their love of sports, their passion for photography or their crush on a Hollywood star. They can also find out where their online friends live, where they attend school, even what they look like.

 

And so can adults.

 

Parents, school administrators and police are increasingly worried that teens are finding trouble online at sites like MySpace, the leader of the social-networking sites that encourage users to build larger and larger circles of friends.

 

 

 

Police in Middletown, Conn., are investigating recent reports that as many as seven local girls were sexually assaulted by men in their 20s who contacted them through MySpace pretending to be teenagers.

 

 

 

One girl allowed a man into her room while her parents were home, police said, underscoring just how in the dark parents often are about one of the most popular Web activities for teens today.

 

There are other reports like these scattered around the country, prompting some parents and schools to equate the likes of MySpace with the Internet’s red-light district, even as many experts believe that the worries are greater than the actual dangers.

 

Joseph Dooley is among those who has heard it all before. A retired FBI agent who supervised the agency’s first undercover Internet task force in New England, Dooley remembers when America Online chat rooms were the rage. Teens posted detailed profiles of themselves and chatted with any of AOL’s subscribers.

 

Chat rooms soon gave way to services like MySpace, but Dooley said the rules haven’t changed and parents need to become more engaged.

 

"Let the kids know, on the Internet, you don’t know who you’re talking to," Dooley said. "Parents aren’t the friends of their kids. Parents needs to know and observe what their kids are doing."

 

That can be daunting for working parents. Keeping tabs on the kids used to mean knowing where they went after school, not whom they talked to in their bedrooms

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Guest human_*

When my nieces, and nephews come over to visit they Find that my computer settings are so HIGH

that they can't freely surf the net like they do at home, and I tell them that the reason why is that the

Internet is a very dangerous place.

 

I tell them however that they CAN download WHAT EVER games that are out there to their hearts content,

but I don't let them use aim, or irc, no message boards, nothing at all when it comes to typing to other

people for when they are visiting me.

 

They can call their friends using the cell phones that I got them, and THAT IS IT.

 

I figure that once they turn 18 then they can do as they please. Well Almost as they please.

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Guest human_*

You should look at my post on education, I posted on there the education grants directories, as well

as the diseases and conditions board here on dcpages<~~~~~~ on that one I think I also posted the 1-800

health numbers that are put out by the government.

 

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quote name='Guest_Jen_*' date='Feb 20 2006, 11:27 PM' post='15187']

I am going to to put Myspace.com on my parental control list. Thanks. The web is so scary.

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  • 1 month later...

Relax people. Jeez. Put the computer in the living room and pay attention to what your kids are doing. IM and Myspace are no more dangerous than the rest of the world, which can admittedly be a scary place. But sheltering a teenager is not going to prepare them for the real world. An 18 year old or freshman in college can be just as endangered as a 14 year old.

 

My 14 year old has a myspace account and so do I. I am one of his friends so I can watch not only his board but his friends. I don't get too nosey, but I DO make sure that all the kids on the pages are traceable. So his friends in CA are friends his best friend made at camp, not random people he met on the internet. When I saw something concerning on one friends myspace I actually discussed it with my child then went to the friend I was concerned about then to his parents--it was nothing but this way we made sure.

 

And a 14 year old looking for a relationship with an adult will find one, internet or no. THe girl that just resurfaced after a 10 year disappearance met her captor at school for heaven's sake. All of this hair pulling and panicking over myspace is in my opinion an "easy button." "Oh, if we just don't let our kids on myspace they will be safe and I don't have to do anything." WRONG! And don't forget about the COLLEGE STUDENT who was murdered by someone from myspace (allegedly). Perhaps if there had been some education about the dangers before she left home this wouldn't have happened. Or maybe someone else would have been murdered that this guy stalked on the street.

 

The more parents panic and block access to one or two forms of internet communication, the more they will be lulled into a false complacency.

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