Where Kids Fly Safe Online?

I simply couldn’t find time to blog this week, on my personal site. Busy week at the office, with the Consumer Electronics Show—and I didn’t even attend! I feel for my boss, who traveled to Las Vegas and soon goes onto San Francisco for Macworld.

My first catchup post is followup to my two posts, “What Kids Reveal Online” and “Minimizing Kids’ Online Risks“. Jan. 16, 2006, Business Week has a story about new online social network, Yfly.com, which opens on February 1. Apparently, Jessica Simpson’s soon-to-be ex-spouse Nick Lachey is behind the venture, which seeks to provide teens a safe place to socialize online. 

According to Business Week, “When teens enter personal info, a button pops up, promoting them to consider that parents, teachers, or predators might be reading in”. The danger is real. The story cites a December Polly Klass Foundation teen survey that “found half [of respondents] exchanged messages with someone they don’t know”.

The disturbing results are actually, well, more disturbing. According to the Polly Klass Foundation study, one-third of tweens and teens talked about meeting someone they only knew from online. One in 10 have encountered a situation where an online acquaintance turned out to be an adult posing as a kid.

In the Spring, the Foundation plans to release a free Internet Safety Kit, which is available for preorder. My advice: Order if you’ve got tweens or teens online.