“Growing number of child molestors using MySpace to arrange meetings with minors”
“Teenage girl kidnapped by older man she met on MySpace”
The recent media blitz regarding MySpace has snowballed in the recent months. Parents, teachers and othe school officials all over the country are calling for the banning of MySpace. Will they succeed?
Why not? Because MySpace is free, fun… and everyone is doing it. MySpace is not anymore dangerous than any school, mall or neighborhood park.
Still this doesn’t mean that MySpace users couldn’t benefit from a little common sense while navigating through MySpace. The surprising thing is that MySpace offers tools and options for users to take control of their profile. Many users just don’t know that those options exist.
I’ve compiled a list of options/tips that you can use to protect yourself on MySpace and take control of your profile.
1) Private profile
Yes, MySpace allows users to have a private profile. Having a private profile means that only those users on your friend’s list will be able to view your profile. Unfortunately, this privacy option is only available to MySpace’s younger users. That being said, some adults simply change their age under Edit Profile-Basic Info to use this feature. Be warned – MySpace has a policy about adult users doing this. Yet, it’s a good to know that it is available for younger teens.*
2) Require Last Name/Email Address To Add As Friend
Tired of getting random friend requests from strangers? Change this setting and users will have to enter either your email address or last name to be able to complete the add process. **
3) Hide Your Online Status
Don’t want other users to know when you’re online? Change this setting and the “Online Now” icon won’t appear next to your photo when other users see it. **
4) The ‘About Me’ Survey
This popular survey is posted on many users profiles as a way to introduce yourself. It’s all in fun… except for a few questions. The survey asks for your full name, birth place and date of birth. Do not post this information! Anyone viewing this information could use it to piece together your identity and find your address, phone number, social security number, request a background check, even break into your email. Never reveal this information to anyone who you don’t already know.
*Changes can be made under Edit Profile – Basic Info Read MySpace’s policy regarding this option.
**Changes can be made uner Account Settings – Privacy Settings.
Want more tips? Stay tuned for Part 2…