Facebook, Myspace and other things you should understand "For the Children!"

If you have children that spend time on the computer, no one can tell you enough that there are weirdos lurking on the internet and it is up to you to parent and know the details of where your kids are going when they are on line, just like you know the details when they are going out on a Friday night with their friends.

Computers in bedrooms where kids can remain on line for hours with little or no supervision is a bad idea no matter how SAFE the computer is. Kids need to interact with humans – person to person and not use the “tube” as a playmate. Also, there could be bullying on line from someone at school and you need to know that too! (The preceding link helps you understand issues with cyberbullying.)

Software subscriptions may be purchased (just like virus subscriptions) and here is a link to a website that gives you reviews of the different kinds available and how they work. Don’t forget before you choose one to buy, make sure you know if you want it on a PC or a MAC or if you use Internet Explorer or Firefox, as these matter.

Also remember that your kids may have Myspace accounts, or other social networking sites or even aol’s instant messenger, that you may want to watch and understand how they use it and who their friends are. Just when you think your kids Super Mario game is safe, did you know that Nintendo DS is a wireless gaming center that predators or bullies can instant message your kid from across a playground!

You can be sure of two things: Your kids will know more about how these work than you do, and the predators will know more than they do.

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