It's definitely a great step to take
New York, NY (PRWEB) January 18, 2008
Earlier this week, the popular social networking site MySpace signed an agreement with 49 state Attorneys General to take proactive steps in strengthening the protection offered to younger users, specifically against unidentified sexual predators using the site. But while many applaud and recognize the effort as a giant step forward, one company wants to remind parents that this is only one step down a long road.
"It's definitely a great step to take," says Pandora Corp. co-founder, James Leasure, "But for now it's just an idea."
Included in that "idea" are plans to develop stronger age-verification software, create a "high school" area for members under 18, and respond faster to complaints from members about other users. It will also allow parents to get involved by submitting the child's email address to help prevent fake accounts being set up in their real child's name.
"The fact is that unless you are verifying age by a social security number, which would be ridiculous for a social network site, anyone - from feared predators to the actual teens we are trying to protect - can still lie about their age," claims Leasure.
"Age verification and protection start in the home," says Leasure.
Pandora Corp. makes and sells leading monitoring software called PC Pandora. Working like a DVR for your PC, it records all content via screen capture.
"It allows parents to see everything their child does and gives them the chance to talk to them about it and correct the behavior," explains Leasure. "If your child is visiting sites that you feel they are not ready for, or are simply inappropriate, you will know about it and be able to do something."
In addition to monitoring capabilities, the program records instant messenger conversations, emails and keystrokes. It also contains a website filter system and has the ability to block programs from launching.
"We've also implemented a system that allows you to receive email updates on your child's activity when you are not at home," Leasure continues. "This is extremely valuable for every working parent who can't be there when their child gets home from school - which is universally when kids spend most of their time online."
The problem of sexual predators on MySpace and other popular social networking sites has been well documented. But experts agree the websites did not create the threats, rather they opened doors.
Sexual predators and MySpace, however, are not the only thing on the Internet that should concern parents.
"The reality is that parents should be concerned with everything their child does online. Whether it is MySpace or instant messenger, simple browsing or exchanging information with even their friends, parents need to be involved. There is no excuse for not knowing what your child is doing - where they are going and whom they are talking to online. Technology and software like ours can play a vital role in obtaining that knowledge."
Long gone are the days when the local teens would hang out at the soda shoppe or outside the convenience store. Today, socializing online is the preferred way of connecting with friends. But the Internet has not only increased the ease of staying in touch, Leasure says it has also thrust many young users into a world they may not yet understand.
"Kids don't realize the power of the Internet and how deep it really goes. Not everyone they meet is who they say they are. It's up to parents to be there to explain," says Leasure. "The first and last line of defense is and always will be at home, not at a website."
PC Pandora is gearing up to release its latest edition, version 5.0, in the first quarter of '08. At pcpandora.com, parents can find 18 Tips for Safe Surfing and a blog dedicated to online safety news and discussion.
About PC Pandora: Pandora Corporation was formed with one goal - to help our customers monitor, control and protect their families and themselves online. First released in mid 2005, PC Pandora has been constantly upgraded to industry-leading specifications and has received accolades from users, reviewers and even school districts and law enforcement agencies, who use the program to help in the day-to-day supervision of the children and citizens they are charged with protecting. The company website devotes space to helping parents with 18 Tips to Safe Surfing and Pandora's Blog, where current news in the world of online safety is discussed regularly. PC Pandora has vaulted into a leadership position by boasting a combination of features that unparalleled in the monitoring industry. In December 2007, Version 5.0 was released, again widening the spectrum of coverage and protection offered by the program. In addition, through the company's Safe Schools program, schools and school districts can receive up to $100,000 worth of software to aid in protecting their students and their PCs. PC Pandora is also now available through the Pandora Corp. store at Amazon.com.
Reporters and Producers: Looking to cover online safety? We are your technology solution component. Software is available to journalists for review and use in family testing. Staff members are always available for interviews. Let us help you show your audience how easy it can be to keep their kids safe.
For More Information: Ken Shallcross: 718.884.0689