The Hidden Dangers Your Kids Face on MySpace, Part 2

Dennis Faas's picture

In a previous article, I detailed the hidden dangers your kids face on Specifically: the web site's age verification system requires no proof, thus making it easier for sexual predators to access your child's personal information.

Just recently, MySpace landed itself in a lawsuit. A 14-year-old girl has sued the company because she was sexually assaulted by a 19-year-old man who lied about his age and status on his profile in order to "gain access" to her web page.

According to the lawsuit, MySpace has "absolutely no meaningful protections or security measures to protect underage users."

That mirrors exactly what was written here in Part 1 of this piece.

MySpace issued this statement in response to the suit:

"We take aggressive measures to protect our members," said Hemanshu Nigam, chief security officer. "Ultimately, Internet safety is a shared responsibility. We encourage everyone on the Internet to engage in smart Web practices and have open family dialogue about how to apply offline lessons in the online world." (source:

Nigam is right on the money about one thing: parents and their children do need to be more proactive about Internet safety.

Here are ten tips to help safeguard your child against online dangers:

1. Don't ban your kids from using the Internet. That might only increase their desire to use it, and they could attempt to get online behind your back.

2. Use filtering software: it blocks dangerous websites from your kids. It's not perfect though, so make sure to visit Web sites with your child whenever you can.

3. Do research and take classes to understand how computer and Internet technology works. The more you know, the better equipped you'll be to protect your kids.

4. Put your computer in a common area of your house where privacy won't be expected.

5. Talk to the parents of your children's friends. Most of them likely have computers, too.

6. Explain to your kids that the Internet is not private and they shouldn't post anything about themselves that they wouldn't want everyone to know about.

7. Also let your children know that they also shouldn't post any private information about their friends.

8. Tell your kids to let you know immediately if anyone has approached them or sent them inappropriate content.

9. If your child minimizes the browser window whenever you come in or receives phone calls from people you don't know, those are potential red flags. Be aware of them!

10. If you suspect that something is wrong, contact the authorities and your Internet service provider. (Source:

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