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    MySpace, MySafety: Keeping your Family Safe on this Increasingly Popular Website

    By Sara Richmond Walls     

    It seems innocent enough: individuals carving out a tiny place on the World Wide Web to call his or her very own. They can post pictures, chat with friends, send e-mails, and blog about anything and everything. It’s a place of sharing interests, from fashion and faith, to music and poetry. Where is this place where people can express their innermost identities? It is called MySpace, and in many ways it is becoming a teenager’s dream and a parent’s worst nightmare. Read more on the many things MySpace members use the site for, the safety concerns involved, and what you as a parent need to know about the site before letting your teenager logon.

    Who Uses MySpace?

    MySpace is composed of a diverse body of members and users. Many individuals use the site as a way to develop friendships, and to get to know people who they wouldn’t meet under normal circumstances. Yes, there are those who use MySpace to find a relationship, and those who wear very little on their profile photos. Individuals can search for men or women of any sexual orientation. Still, there are those who are simply seeking out others who have similar interests. There are MySpace groups focused on everything from scrapbooking to scented candle collecting.

    Then there is the professional side of MySpace. The site is a constant billboard where artists of all varieties can advertise their talents. These include writers, graphic artists, and musicians; all who strive to promote their products and services. So, while there are those who use MySpace for chat and socializing, there are those who view the site as a way to endorse themselves professionally.

    What are the Safety Concerns?

    Regardless of how individuals choose to use MySpace, there are definite safety concerns. The most pertinent of these concerns revolves around that one thing that users of MySpace most strongly embrace: identity. MySpace users are asked when they sign up for the service to create a profile, and while most of the questions are harmless, some individuals are choosing to add sensitive material such as addresses and phone numbers. There are not fields for these items provided by MySpace, but in fields such as “Hometown,” some people are finding ways to sneak this info in. Today, with identity theft so common, this is not a responsible thing to do.

    What does MySpace suggest?

    MySpace recognizes the dangerous aspects of their service, responding accordingly with tips for users and parents. Individuals under the age of 14 are prohibited on MySpace, and profiles from such individuals will be deleted. MySpace urges people to keep their personal information such as address, phone number and real names off their profiles. MySpace also recommend refraining from replying to spam and using firewall, ad-ware, and anti-virus programs for further computer safety.

    In short, MySpace allows people to connect, but as with everything, parents must make sure that their children use caution.

    Note: To create a free family safe site, go to www.familylobby.com

    Written by Sara Richmond WallsRate this article:

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