My daughter wants a Facebook account so she can play Farmville, not to communicate with friends … yet. I admit to being very concerned about allowing my children to use social networking, and yet how can I do that, considering they see me constantly using Twitter, Facebook, and blogging. It’s my job!
My two biggest concerns about social media is safety (a practice I’m already trying to instill in them) and bullying. There are too many stories of cyber-bullying and I’m fully supportive of any organization working to prevent it!
When it comes to both of these items, I’m all for signing up for a company like SocialSheild. They announced that they have launched a new technology aimed at keeping children and teens safe on social networking sites like Facebook. The service uses patent-pending “Safety Engines” to look for inappropriate, dangerous or otherwise suspicious content or behavior. When it finds questionable material, parents are alerted immediately via email.
Why do I like this? Well, for one thing they probably have a better engine to find suspicious data. For another thing, I’m not constantly spying on my kids (wait, who am I kidding? I will totally be spying on them … but they’ll know it). And lastly, I’d rather find out this data immediately, rather than wait for when I have time to keep Googling their “friends”.
SocialShield works across a number of databases – including LinkedIn, Costco.com’s customer list and lists of registered sex offenders, in order to determine if a child’s friend is who they say they are. One hundred different data points are used to in these comparisons.
Also included in the $99/year subscriptipon are tools to detect cyber-bullying. Parents receive alerts if their child is a victim, and also assistance on how to report the incident.
As if that isn’t enough, the National PTA (of which I am a board member for our school) has partnered with the partnered with the site.
So, I’m curious to know – parents how do you monitor your children and their social media usage? Do you monitor it? Do they know you monitor it?