This week Myspace.com announced that they had found and deleted the profiles of over 29,000 registered sexual offenders from their site. This is an encouraging step, of course, but there is no way for Myspace or any other social networking site (Facebook, Friendster, Orkut, etc) to fully police their network, because anybody can use a fake name and a throwaway email address to sign up for these services. Parents and teens alike should remain vigilant to the threat of online impostors and sexual predators. Chase and Sam recommended the following tips on tonight’s Fox 6 Tech Check:
View the video here: CLICK HERE
1. Always set your Myspace or Facebook profile to private so only your friends can see your information. Here are step by step instructions for making your Myspace profile private: CLICK HERE
2. Don’t accept invitations or friend requests from people who you do not know. While this might seem counterintuitive to the goal of building relationships online, it is the safest stance to take, given the ease of presenting a false identity online. If you do choose to accept friend invitations from people you don’t personally know, it is a good idea to only do so with friends of friends - and not total strangers.
3. Avoid putting personal information (like full name, city, address, phone number, etc) on your profile. Here are instructions on how to change your profile if needed: CLICK HERE
4. Avoid issuing desperate pleas for friends, boyfriends or girlfriends, either through a bulletin or public blog. Doing so encourages those who might prey on those who are lonely and desperate to target you (or your son or daughter).
Parents, educate yourselves on Social networking sites like Myspace and Facebook. You can find a fairly good list of tips for parents here: CLICK HERE
MSNBC.com article from last year on social networking safety: CLICK HERE
WiredSafety - A large collection of safety and security tips for online interaction. CLICK HERE
United States Government (FTC) tips on social networking safety: CLICK HERE
Myspace Safety Tips Blog: CLICK HERE
Facebook Safety Tips: CLICK HERE