Using MySpace has become one of the most popular social networking sites among teens to socialize and find friendship. There’s no need to meet friends in the mall or spend time at the movies anymore. Most teens can be found at home behind their computers networking with the hundreds of other teens found on MySpace. Hiding friends on MySpace is becoming increasingly more popular. People want their privacy and so there are several web sites out there that will give you codes to help you hide your friends from others seeing them. The dangerous part occurs when kids and teens start abusing those codes and find ways to hide friends on MySpace from their parents. Here are some ways your child might be hiding friends on MySpace and how to keep them safe from predators.
Ways your child can hide friends on MySpace
• Lying about the age of their friends. One of the easiest ways to hide friends on MySpace is the lie about their age. Most parents won’t allow their teen to have friends that are in their 30’s to be friends with their child. So to get around a parent, teens will lie about the age and add them to their friend list. Parents can check their friend list and ages of friends, but may not think twice about questioning whether or not they are all actually teenagers on the list. Parents take caution and be sure to check out who, and how long your teens are talking with friends online and who they are sending messages to.
• Lying about conversations and messages. If you’re not familiar with MySpace and have never visited your child’s profile you child can hide friends by editing or deleting risky conversations. It’s now possible to delete and edit messages off your profile page so no one can read them; even a parent.
• Using codes. Since many of the MySpace users wanted more privacy with their accounts, a number of web sites have offered up codes to help hide their friends so others can’t see them. When this feature is used wisely it can truly help keep you and your friends private. When abused by a teenager or child however it can be extremely dangerous. If your child knows how to do it, they could hide a potentially harmful friend from you.
How to avoid these problems
While we might like to shelter our child and keep them from ever using social networking sites like MySpace, it’s impossible. They’re bound to find a computer somewhere. You can however take some cautionary steps to help avoid potential problems:
• Be aware of what your child is doing. Don’t be afraid to visit their profile page to see who they’re talking to and what kind of messages are being sent back and forth. Ask them questions and be honest with them.
• Check out their friend list to make sure you recognize everyone they have added. If you don’t recognize someone then ask them about it. Talk about the potential dangers of adding friends they haven’t actually met in person before.
• Install monitoring software. If you’re really worried about it you can go out and buy some monitoring software. It can be installed without your child ever knowing and you can keep track of everything they do online. A bit drastic, but if you fear for their safety then it’s a good way to check things out.
We’ve only discussed a few ways your child could be hiding friends on MySpace. There are certainly others way to do, so make sure you keep the lines of communication open.