Parents are often concerned with social networking sites and the safety of their children. Online predators prey on young children that are unaware of the dangers of chat rooms and social networking sites. Enter KidSwirl: this social networking site was created to help kids, teens, parents, and others stay safe from online predators.
KidSwirl has been called ‘Facebook for kids.’ If you have been a Facebook user, it will be easy to adjust to KidSwirl. So what makes KidSwirl different from other sites? First, the number one priority of the social networking site is ‘Kid Safety.’ This means the web site is free from foul language, inappropriate/sexual/suggestive phrases, and other words and phrases that are deemed inappropriate for kids. Second, parents and other users of the social networking site have the ability to make suggestions about the content on the site and they can report things that seem inappropriate. Third, the parent control panel allows parents to monitor their child’s activity on the web site. If a parent is concerned about what their child is seeing or who they are talking to, they can control it. This allows you to keep predators away from your children as you can place restrictions on who they can accept as friends. Unlike Facebook, parents finally have the ability to control who is talking to their child online.
The creator of KidSwirl found that children under the age of thirteen are not allowed to create a Facebook page. After his children continued to ask for a Facebook account, he decided to create a safe social networking site that his children could use.
Now that KidSwirl is gaining popularity, some users have criticized it as a breeding ground for pedophiles. Children can upload pictures to their account, but some users have been able to hack into accounts even if they are not considered a ‘friend’ of the user and they can gain valuable information about the child. This has caused many users to delete their children’s accounts as they are concerned about their safety. KidSwirl has taken extra precautions to try and screen the site more, but there is not a formal background check to verify the identity of the individual that is signing up for an account.
Like any social networking site, you should proceed with caution. Do not upload pictures that show locations of your residence. Never provide personal contact information and use a nickname or code name instead of your formal name. Avoid adding anyone to your friend account if you do not directly know them. While the purpose of social networking is to build relationships with others, you still need to be cautious with the individuals you associate with. These simple tips will help to keep you and your children safe when you are online.
Many of the web site users appreciate the ability to interact with their friends, family, religious leaders, and other people in a safe and protected environment. This is the first web site that focuses entirely on keeping kids safe online. With parents and other users being allowed to have control over their children’s accounts, it is much easier for parents to feel at ease about their children’s online behavior.
Like other social networking sites, KidSwirl is completely free to join and to use. It is a smaller social networking site, which is why many families are turning to it to interact with their loved ones. With KidSwirl, you won’t be bombarded with a bunch of apps and advertisements. While advertising does occur in order to keep the site up and running, it is not going to blitz your account the way MySpace does.