How do I avoid unwanted contact on MySpace?
I've been slowly getting into MySpace and am finding that it's cool, but every so often I get a friend request from some weirdo or jerk who I not only don't want to be friends with, but would prefer didn't know I even existed. Are there some tips on how to avoid the oddballs on MySpace?
I asked my colleague Kevin Farnham about this, as he's just recently published the book MySpace Safety: 51 Tips for Teens and Parents. Here are some great tips and thoughts he offers:
Interacting with friends using the MySpace.com site is a part of normal life for millions of teens today. There are many benefits to the site, including sharing original music with peers, meeting new people from far away who share similar interests, learning some web technology, and just plain having fun.
However, it is unquestionably true that, despite recent safety-related improvements, people with malicious intent who would prey on teens still lurk on MySpace.com. The question for MySpace teens and parents is: what actions can be taken to prevent unwanted contact from these people?
In our MySpace Safety book we identify five key safety practices that parents can teach to their teens to protect them from unwanted contact by a potentially malicious adult. Many teens will not think about safety practices on their own -- they're too busy having fun online with their friends. For this reason, we strongly recommend that parents share the MySpace experience with their teens by getting a MySpace account and becoming their teen's MySpace friend. It's much easier to get safety-related points across to your teen if you can talk using specifics and examples, rather than generalities.
Five Important MySpace Safety Practices
If you're really jumping into MySpace, or are trying to protect a child from the bad influences on MySpace, I would recommend that you check out Kevin's book MySpace Safety: 51 Tips for Teens and Parents.
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