Thursday, May 19, 2011

MinorMonitor: Protecting Our Children Online


As a homeschool parent, I am lucky in some ways. For instance, I have complete control of the amount of time my children spend online - and what they are looking at. But I know it is only a matter of time before they enter the technological age and are web "savvy."

Enter a friend of mine, who made a remark on Facebook the other day about how she had sat in on a safe cyber life talk for teens... and how badly it scared her. She also commented to her friends with children that she was often able to see pictures of their teens'/tweens' accounts. A major no-no.

And even though Facebook rules say that no one under the age of 13 is allowed on FB, a Consumer Reports study revealed that approximately 7.5 MILLION users are underaged. They are signing up using fake birthdates to get an account. And most don't have a clue about privacy settings, so that very personal information is out there for the whole world to see.

Another friend of mine who is the editor of a teen newspaper. She has also been carefully monitoring this situation and shared with us a new program that officially launched this week.

Minor Monitor is a free web-based tool that allows parents to monitor their children's online activity on Facebook. This user-friendly program gives parents an opportunity to watch for suspicious behavior or profane words, alerts, photos and messages, as well as suspicious friends.

Minor Monitor was developed by Infoglide, a 15+ year technology company that developed deep security and fraud analytics that monitor and manage online reputations, and screen and detect  suspicious activities, behaviors for government (such as the Department of Homeland Security TSA screening program), law enforcement, banking, and other big business customers.

So if you have a child who is 13 or older, head on over to Minor Monitor's website and take a look. Don't take chances. Protect your children on Facebook.

My children are far too young to be on Facebook. But if any of you do have older children, and you decide to try this tool, please share with us what you think of it.

Con mucho cariño...

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