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Monitoring your Children`s Online Activity with SafetyWeb
By: Joe Eitel
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    Monitoring your Children`s Online Activity with SafetyWeb

    (Page 1 of 3 )

    Teenagers have taken to the Internet and social networking like ducks take to water. Unfortunately, when it comes to thinking about what they put online before they put it there, they're showing the judgment of, well, teenagers. Fortunately, for parents hoping to keep their not-quite-adult children safe online, SafetyWeb offers a service that can help.

    Having children in the technology age provides more than its fair share of nail biting moments. Making matters even more unsettling, it seems as if instances of grave online privacy abuse are reported in the news every week. Whether itís Google's lapse in judgment for their Buzz service or the seemingly never-ending drama surrounding Facebook's privacy issues, itís become abundantly clear that parents have a lot to worry about when their kids are online.

    With teens flocking to social media sites to express themselves and connect with friends out of school, some are learning all too well the dangers of letting it all hang out. Rochester High School in Springfield, IL, suspended some students from athletics and other extracurricular activities after they posted on Facebook pictures of themselves engaging in underage drinking.

    Even President Barack Obama has weighed in on the privacy debate, expressing concern this past fall that teens werenít doing enough--if anything at all--to protect their online privacy. When it comes to social networking sites, teenagers are singlehandedly putting themselves at great risk by posting compromising pictures of themselves on Facebook or by revealing too much personal information with little thought put into the consequences.

    During a meeting with students in Arlington, VA last September, a student asked President Obama how he became president. "Well, let me give you some very practical tips,Ē Obama said. ďFirst of all, I want everybody here to be careful about what you post on Facebook because in the YouTube age, whatever you do, it will be pulled up again later somewhere in your life. And when you're young, you make mistakes and you do some stupid stuff. And I've been hearing a lot about young people who--you know, they're posting stuff on Facebook, and then suddenly they go apply for a job and somebody has done a search."

    Many believe it is the responsibility of parents to find out what their children are doing online and with a new service being offered, it will make the process easier than ever before.

    SafetyWeb and Privacy

    Some parents may argue that thereís a fine line between keeping their kids safe and snooping, but chances are most people would err on the side of safety when it comes to their children. This is exactly what Michael Clark and Geoffrey Arone are counting on. Clark was a senior vice president at Photobucket and Arone was behind the dance video website DanceJam with MC Hammer. The two savvy businessmen are hoping that their service, called SafetyWeb, resonates with parents who are becoming increasingly concerned with the various privacy risks online, from the dissemination of their childrenís private information, to the possibility of online predators.   

    Essentially, SafetyWeb is an online subscription service created by the technology entrepreneurs that collects any publicly-available information, and then reports it back to parents to let them know exactly what their kids have been up to online. SafetyWeb costs $10 a month (or a discounted $100 a year) -- a small price to pay to alleviate any fears busy parents might have about their teenís risky online behavior, cyber bullying, or any other uncomfortable circumstances they may encounter.

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