Understanding the Dangers of MySpace.com

MySpace is a social networking site…meaning it’s an Internet site where people meet to chat, socialize and share information online.  Other popular social networking sites are Facebook, YouTube, and Xanga.myspace-dangers.gif

Someone new to MySpace.com would start by creating their screen name and personal page where they get to describe their various likes and dislikes, such as favorite TV shows or music.  Members can upload photos, music and the like as well as give information about themselves, such as their age and sex.

They can tell their friends about their MySpace page, plus allow strangers to sign up as new “friends.”  They can chat with each other.  They can post and respond to surveys.  And they can become victims.

It’s the sharing of information with strangers that can lead to trouble, particularly since it’s hard for teens to understand that someone they chat with all the time online is still a stranger, not a someone they know, unless they knew the person previously in the real world.

Even kids who think they’re being careful can use bad judgment on MySpace.  They may not reveal their name, address or phone number on their page…but the name of their high school and team name, where they work, the links to their friends, even the photos are all clues for a predator.  Not only that, but teens often don’t think twice about filling in surveys…and revealing personal information that way.

Worse, most kids don’t restrict what they write, but list all kinds of information without thinking.  Their likes and dislikes.  Their experiences, whether true or not.  Their relationship with their family.  And all this can be used by a predator to establish a relationship. 

Spector Pro Parental Monitoring softwareYou can monitor your child and their activities on MySpace by using software like Spector Pro or Capture MySpace. These programs can be installed secretly on your child’s computer and you can review the emails, private messages and profiles they visit on MySpace.com, Facebook.com and other social networks.

Predators often aren’t even sneaky about their age and goal of having sex.  Sadly, many teens suffer from low self-esteem, so turn to sites like MySpace.com for friendship.  The attention of an older man, even if for sex, can be very appealing, particularly if he has taken the information the teen provided and used it to manipulate the teen, showing “compassion” and “understanding”.

Social networking sites like MySpace.com are good sites and serve a good purpose.  But make sure your child truly understands the dangers.

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One Response to “Understanding the Dangers of MySpace.com”

  1. teen with myspace says:

    this is srsly the most sick thing i have seen in my life i know parents are only trying to protect their kids but gimme a break, reading their PRIVATE emails is just like reading their diary. if you really want to kno whats going on ASK THEM!!!! if you need to sneak in and read their stuff i guess that goes to show how “close” your relationship is. get to know your kid 🙁

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