Site Accountability for Safe Kids

There are several things a parent can do to keep their children safe on the Internet, such as bringing the computer that the children use into a common area, such as den, living room or kitchen, where someone else is either present or nearby. 

A parent can also make the Internet service providers or sites that allow these predators access to children accountable for what happens. One way of doing this is, of course, to complain to the firm. The other is to hit them where it hurts – in their wallets. The best way for a parent or guardian to do this is to reach out to the sites’ advertisers and express dismay at what they are participating in. This can, and does, make a difference. 

Just about everyone has heard of MySpace.com . One of the 200 most visited sites on the Internet, this social network site is very popular with pre-teens, teens and young adults – the age groups most predators target. Big name national brand advertisers have either pulled their advertising or shunned the site due to the complaints of parents and guardians of children. 

Just this past week MySpace.com announced its efforts to keep children safe on its portal. Effective immediately anyone 18 years of age or older must know either the full name or the email address of any member under the age of 16 in order to talk with that minor. Members can now set their profiles to allow contact only within their age group or set to private, thus allowing only contact with designated friends.

This is one of many examples of how the voice of parents and guardians and the revenue loss of boycotting can make the ISPs and site themselves help keep children safe on the Web.

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