In recent years, the popularity of MySpace has waned, due to the rise of Facebook, but MySpace is still kicking and extremely popular with the 15-21 year old crowd. Most parents might be surprised to learn that their child had profiles on both websites. These two social networking sites have become the go to thing for many tweens and teens. The site start off as a social meeting place for young adults to meet independent bands, and it has mushroomed into an irresistible, free membership site where kids can easily meet new people, chat with friends, exchange gossip, pictures and more with the entire world. It is a safe bet that your teenage kid is one of the 80 million members on MySpace.com.
Although MySpace does their best to monitor 80+ million sites and remove inappropriate material, it’s easy to browse your child’s personal biography and find pictures, comments, and personal information on local teens or anyone else who has created a page.
MySpace is very easy to search. The browse function allows anyone – even non members – to locate all males, females or anyone in a zip code. You can even limit the search by age, school attended, etc. What is staggeringly frightening is that MySpace.com is a perfect site for sexual predators and pedophiles to browse and locate their next target. Not only do they usually get zip code and school info, but in most cases they get a photo of the member! As if that isn’t scary enough, they also get in many cases a detailed profile of your child’s tastes, likes, dislikes, hopes, dreams, fantasies and fears.
Let’s face it, most parents are out gunned in this game. Young adults live online. They can create dozens of email addresses. If they can’t access MySpace from their home – they have lots of friends who will gladly loan them their computer. Myspace.com can now even be accessed by cell phone! Because MySpace sites are very personal – it is the last thing they may want the dreaded parents to see.
Monitor their internet use and computer.
Don’t give your child their own computer, if you are really worried. Make them use a family one and keep it in the living room. That way you can see exactly what kind of pictures they have to upload to MySpace.
Check your child’s internet history.
Most internet browsers have easy ways of doing this.
Make them share their password. By knowing their password, you can get on their MySpace account and monitor who they are talking to and what information they are sharing.
You do not usually need to create a new account to view your child’s profile.