All the services that SafetyWeb tracks allow your child to interact with other people in a variety of ways. When your child signs up for a website, some personal information is required. On social networking sites that information can include: name, address, birthday, age, sex, religion, etc. After a person is a member on a site, they can also often post photos, videos, and comments.
On social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace, a user signs up for an account, enters personal information, and becomes friends with other people on the same website. On a social networking site such as Twitter, a user enters “tweets” or comments and pictures that are sent to a public forum. On a site like Photobucket, a user can post photos, videos, and comments, but their personal information is not available to others.
All social networking websites have privacy settings to limit the information that others can see, and most social networking sites work on a “friend” basis. If your child has privacy settings enabled, your child must accept a friend request from someone before that person can see personal information that your child has entered in their profile. There are varying degrees of privacy that can be enabled, and if your child has not enabled any privacy settings, anyone on the site can see the information your child posts.
Additionally, most information posted to any social networking site is never removed, even if the user deletes their comment or picture. The Terms of Service on most social sites specifically state that information you post is not really yours to control. Plus, employers are using social networking sites to see what potential hires are up to, and it’s possible that predators are looking for children who post too much information about where they live and go to school.
SafetyWeb monitors an extensive list of services. Each link below opens a page that provides a description, (condensed from the website’s About page and Wikipedia), links to the privacy and terms, the URL, and traffic and demographics data, for the service. Some pages may not display traffic or demographic data if the service has blocked the display of that data.
Click a service name to view its details: