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Old 12-15-2008, 10:12 AM
 
Location: The Big D
14,874 posts, read 23,887,208 times
Reputation: 5787

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Since this came up on another thread I thought I'd post a few things I've learned and some tips on how as a parent you can help your child see the dangers of sites like myspace. Here is the link to the other thread we were discussing this on: Have you heard this one yet?

Anyway, as I mentioned there I found out and I've heard about this as well. But kids are also making up FAKE myspace pages for people they don't like. One group of high school kids got busted for making a fake myspace page for a teacher they did not like. If I remember the story correctly the parents were upset their kids got into so much trouble as they thought it was "harmless". Um, NO! This is MESSING with peoples lives and a TEACHER at that and could very well risk them losing their job or not getting one. Not only are colleges looking up sites like myspace and facebook but so are employers. Want to get a college acceptance or job offer recended pronto......... have something bad on these sites. A mom I was talking to over the weekend told me about a 6th grader that recently got kicked out of their school for making a fake myspace page up for a group from the school and putting up and asking for rude and crude comments that were sexually explicit.

Your local police departments have officers that are SOLELY dedicated to internet crimes. Have one come visit a PTA or some other meeting for parents to show just how dangerous these sites are. As one mother gave an example of such a meeting the other day. At the start of the PTA meeting the officer asked a few questions: What high school and junior high did kids from this school feed into? That was ALL he wanted to know. At the conclusion of their 20 minute meeting he found PLENTY of local kids that had posted things about drinking parties and all on their myspace & facebook pages. One girl even put....... hey, girls met me at the "north entrance" to Nordstrom's at ____ Mall on Sunday at 2:00. The officer said all he would have to do is be there at that time and go up and call this girl by name and say, "I know you were drinking at that party and if you come with me now I won't tell your parents". Every time he says the girls WILL go with them. They don't even know if the person is a cop or NOT! Just that this person KNOWS their name and KNOWS they were doing something they should not have been and they don't want their parents to find out.


I've told my own daughter to give me 1 persons myspace page that I don't know. I would not know where they went to school or anything. Just give me their myspace page. From there I can find out exactly what their name is, where they live, go to school and church, sports or other extra curriculiar activities, names of their sports teams, time & place of practices & games, what their uniforms look like, what their number on their jersey is, their hobbies and interests, names of their siblings (putting YOUNGER SIBLINGS at danger), their parents, possibly even what kind of car they drive color and all (pictures they post), etc. And I'm NOT a "computer whiz" and I can find this stuff in NO TIME! Then think of the person out there that DOES know how to dig deep into computers (IP addresses and all) AND they WANT to find this person for real.

Another thing that has come up w/ myspace & facebook are PARENTS LOSING THEIR JOBS over what their kids put on their own sites. This story was aired on the local news earlier this year and I recorded it for my dd to see. Not that I'm at risk to lose my job (sometimes I wish someone else could do the laundry around here) but I wanted her to see how SERIOUS this stuff is and how dangerous what is put on there can be. That it is NOT "Private" no matter what setting you use or anything.

Now, there is 1 reason why I've come to let my own dd have a myspace page. I use it to see if the friends she is wanting to spend time with have parents that MONITOR what their kids are doing. As someone else mentioned your own kid doesn't need a myspace page for an inappropriate pic of them to turn up. Their friend can put such on their own site. So I can visit their friends sites and see their pics and read their bulletins and know if their parents ARE actually being PARENTS and KNOW what their kids are doing be it online or not.
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Old 12-15-2008, 08:28 PM
 
1,671 posts, read 4,182,156 times
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There are dangers with the web in general. As parents, we could put up blocks and limit computer time. My 16 year old does not have full access to her laptop. I put so many locks and blocks that she could only do homework and have email. She could not IM, view myspace or any site I deemed too risky. I do allow her three hours on the weekend to IM and update her facebook or myspace. But I have a big brother looking over her. Its called Spectorsoft. This program allows me to monitor her every move.
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Old 12-16-2008, 09:02 AM
 
3,379 posts, read 5,849,109 times
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That it is NOT "Private" no matter what setting you use or anything

There are ways to make your page unviewable by people you don't know. I have a Myspace page (3 years plus now). I am willing to prove this. IM me and I will send you a real MySpace link... if you can figure out the boys name, age and where he lives, I will retract this statement. But the fact is, you can't and teens know it. When you speak to your teen and only use part of the truth, they tend to tune you out, because now they know you DON'T know everything... and they begin to suspect you know nothing.

The dangers do not occur with pages parents know about either. The one they let their parents monitor is generally a "dummy page"... one they created to lull their parents into a false sense of security.

The best course of action is to monitor computer time, don't let a teen (or pre teen) have a computer in their room, unplug any wireless modem before you go to bed, don't allow a them to have access to internet via their cell phone, etc.
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Old 12-16-2008, 09:14 AM
 
Location: Chicago 'burbs'
1,022 posts, read 2,243,228 times
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Can anyone tell me how to set parental controls? Do you have to buy a program?

My kids are getting a laptop from their Grandma for Christmas and I want to set it up with STRICT parental controls, but I'm not that great on the computer. Any advice?
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Old 12-16-2008, 08:10 PM
 
Location: Jonquil City (aka Smyrna) Georgia- by Atlanta
16,249 posts, read 11,825,052 times
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Under 14, watch the activity but any teen over 14 should know the pitfalls of the web and act accordingly.
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Old 12-16-2008, 08:12 PM
 
Location: Jonquil City (aka Smyrna) Georgia- by Atlanta
16,249 posts, read 11,825,052 times
Reputation: 3587
Quote:
Originally Posted by arussell View Post
There are dangers with the web in general. As parents, we could put up blocks and limit computer time. My 16 year old does not have full access to her laptop. I put so many locks and blocks that she could only do homework and have email. She could not IM, view myspace or any site I deemed too risky. I do allow her three hours on the weekend to IM and update her facebook or myspace. But I have a big brother looking over her. Its called Spectorsoft. This program allows me to monitor her every move.
If your child is 16, believe me, she will find ways around any lock or block you have but she ought to know how to use the web in a responsible way. After all, people trust 16 year olds with cars which are far more dangerous.
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Old 12-16-2008, 08:23 PM
 
Location: Hampton, VA
287 posts, read 353,384 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevK View Post
If your child is 16, believe me, she will find ways around any lock or block you have but she ought to know how to use the web in a responsible way. After all, people trust 16 year olds with cars which are far more dangerous.
I agree with this. My brother has figured out ways to hide his comments and things like that even from people that are on his friends list. Luckily I know the way around that also, so I can still see them.
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Old 12-16-2008, 10:34 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
38,755 posts, read 39,181,351 times
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No matter what you do, your kids can go to the public library and post pretty much anything they want. Or they will find friends whose parents don't monitor their computer use.

So, what do you think ought to be done to deny the public the right to post freely on the interent? Do you think EVERYBODY ought to have their internet freedom taken away, so a few abusers won't slip thorugh the cracks?

"When they came for kids on MySpace, I was not a kid on MySpace, so I said nothing."
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Old 12-17-2008, 04:42 AM
 
Location: Arkansas
2,383 posts, read 4,109,245 times
Reputation: 1079
My daughter does not have internet access unless she has a project due and there is zero time to go to the public library. She has friends with myspace pages that are set to 'private' but she is still way too young to have a myspace page, in my opinion. I just think that as a parent you have to monitor myspace, facebook and other sites just like the television.
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Old 12-17-2008, 09:22 AM
 
Location: North Florida
414 posts, read 1,105,730 times
Reputation: 324
I opened this post just out of curiosity but thought I'd share my story as a warning to parents. I'm 25, and when I was 14 years old, I was really into this rock band. I went to their website and joined their fan forum/chat room. My parents set strict limits on the amount of time I spent on the computer, had it in a public place and constantly checked in on what I was doing.

I was a straight A student ranked 9th in my freshman class, played two sports and was very active in student government; I was a good kid! But, I was a late bloomer and i didn't receive much attention from the boys at school. Through frequent chatting on this website, I befriended a boy from Georgia (I lived in Florida). He gave me the attention I thought I needed from boys at school. Our conversations escaleted and moved from the chat room to e-mail. I gave him my home phone number and we talked almost everyday on the school payphone so wouldn't get caught by mom and dad. Eventually, I slipped up and my dad got into my e-mail account. Because of the nature of conversations and e-mail, my dad thought I was being stalked by a pedophile. He contacted our police dept and they too had an internet crimes division. The officer came out to my house and spoke to me of the danger I had put mysef and my family in. The leads on the case led them to the young man I had been communicating with and he turned out to be in fact the 17 year old boy I had been talking to, but it could have been so much worse.
I posted this to scare you and to face reality that not only are there people looking to harm your children, but your kids are making it easy for these people to gain access to them. Your daughters are being pressured by the media and their friends to grow up so quickly, sexually and emotionally. Please have conversations with your kids, be aware of what they're doing, talk to them about sex, as uncomfortable as it is (and not just the birds and the bees), praise them, empower them and give them good self esteem. Kids that are confident with themselves are not going to go looking for fulfillment from something else. And lastly, as my parents did, love them when they screw up and use it to teach them. My parents were so wonderful when all of this went down and even though I faced punishment, they always enforced their love for me and that they just wanted me to be safe.
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