SOUTHLAKE, TX - Parents should educate themselves about social networking sites like MySpace.com to better protect their children, according to youth ethics speaker Chuck Gallagher.
"Parents need to be aware of what social networking is to begin to comprehend how to protect their children," Gallagher, 50, motivational speaker and founder of the Choices Foundation in Southlake, Texas said. "It's easy for kids to fall prey to (online) fraud, and hard for parents to monitor."
The non-profit foundation educates young people on the importance of ethics and the consequences of bad choices to make more productive adults in business, according to the foundation's internet site.
In a Jan. 18 press release, Gallagher saluted MySpace.com for reaching an agreement with the attorneys general of 49 states earlier this month to better protect young adults from online predators and fraud.
MySpace is the most popular social networking site with millions of members worldwide, according to the site. Facebook is another popular site that allows members to share pictures, videos, journal entries and music.
I henhold til avtalen vil MySpace utvikle retningslinjer som gjør at foreldre kan sende sine barns e-postadresser, slik at MySpace kan forhindre at noen bruker disse adressene fra å sette opp profiler, og gjør standardinnstillingen "privat" til profiler av 16- og 17-årige, lovende To respond within 72 hours to inappropriate content complaints and commit more staff and / or resources to review and classify photographs and discussion groups.
"This agreement is a promising step towards a industry gold standard for social networking safety," Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said in a Jan. 14 release announcing the agreement. "I agree with others, social networking sites, technology companies, nonprofits-to support these principles and join the task force."
Prior to the changes, such sites created a "perfect storm" for sexual predators and others engaged in online fraud to prey on users, Gallagher said.
The three components perpetrators use to commit offenses consist of a need, opportunity and rationalization for committing the act, Gallagher said.
"MySpace is working to eliminate the opportunity," Gallagher said.
In order to better prepare children to cope with Internet security, Gallagher suggests parents come out of their comfort zones to learn about the sites and how their children use them.
"Parents teach by recalling the experiences they had (growing up)," Gallagher said. "Det er ikke engang sammen med pre-teen og teenageforældre (i deres late 30s og tidlige 40s) at der er noe å snakke om."
Children can be especially duped by online fraud because they experience a false sense of security as they interact with others online while in the safety of their own homes, Gallagher said.
"They assume they are safe and feel (interacting online) is safe," Gallagher said. "That is where the difference is."
Gallagher said offering logical advice about talking to strangers, as you would send a child out into the physical world, could provide the best defense against those online looking for easy prey. Visit this website for more info
"(Perpetrators) are fishing and are using the best bait they can find in a pound stocked with fish," Gallagher said. "The pound has changed (from the past) and the lures are much different."
Simply banning young people from using the sites or going online may end up backfiring on parents as kids attempt to engage in a taboo activity like previous generations have, Gallagher said.
"It may be placing a greater importance on being online than it deserves," Gallagher said.
As de jongere generatie wordt ouders, zullen ze beter kunnen voorbereiden hun kinderen voor de uitdaging van online veiligheid omdat ze het medium meer zullen begrijpen, volgens Gallagher.
"As time goes on, (a new generation of parents) will be aware of the technology and the ways it can be used," Gallagher said.
Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut Attorney General-www.ct.gov