I found a website that might just have been designed with me in mind: Complainary.com is a place to Opine, Gripe, Grouch, Grumble, Editorialize, Rave, Rant, Express Anger, Grump, Moan, Flame, Sound-off, Tell-off, Vent, Complain or Cheer….. about anything! Seriously doesn’t this sound like a great site?
I posted twice. The first was on a topic near and dear to my heart: the online safety of children, especially girls. I recently became a Mom Advocate for a safe online networking site: Yoursphere.com , so I posted to raise awareness about the issue and the site. I touted the fact children can only join the site if their parent signs them up and that parents can only sign up after having a security check through www.NetIDMe.com I felt satisfied by the post, until I got an e-mail from some guy who questioned whether the site was secure or not. I was offended. Now here’s what is funny I don’t know this guy from Adam, but he was questioning an issue that was important to me.
So, the conversation went something like this:
Mom on the Run: I have preteen daughters. Both have e-mail addresses, but the oldest has asked to have a Facebook page. I am not sure if this is a good idea. There are so many questionable people out there and children are just not as quick as adults to spot a person with ulterior motives. Children are innocent and we want to keep them “young” for as long as we can. How Do I Do That?
About two weeks ago, I happened upon a link for yoursphere.com I clicked to find out more. I discovered that Yoursphere.com is an online community for children and teens aged 9 through 18. It is a safe place for children and teens to interact as the network does not allow adults to join. Adults can sign up their children, but not access the site. All adults go through a vetting process by NetIDMe to make sure they are who they say they are.
My daughter has been online for a week. Already she has earned credits towards gift cards and other rewards. I think I will sign up my younger daughter as well.
Me again (I goofed and posted twice): I have daughters: 12 and 10. My 12-year-old has school friends who are on Facebook and MySpace. She has an e-mail address. I feel pressure from her to be online, but the online world is rife with predators, etc. I recently found an online network for teens, www.yoursphere.com This network offers a safe network for teens aged 9 through 18 to talk to other teens. I became a Mom Advocate as I am so impressed by this network. As my 12-year-old plays online at Yoursphere, she can earn points for gift cards to stores and itunes. If you are interested in checking it out,
www.yoursphere.com?coupon=YSMD-BERR Use Promo Code: YSMD–BERR for $5 off annual membership. I am now a Mom Advocate for Yoursphere.
wiseman, 2. December 2008, 16:06
I was curious about NetIDMe so I visited the site to find that anyone can create a fake account using a fake child and parent name. All they ask for is the last four digits of a social security number. You can make up any four numbers, they have no way to check it. No safer than the rest of the net.
momontherun, 2. December 2008, 16:32
I’ll let the Yoursphere people know about this.
elaatyoursphere reply on December 3, 2008 2:30 pm:
I can assure you that this is false. You cannot just make up numbers as our system has denied people because their numbers didn’t match their DOB and full name that was given. Also, there is nothing on the NetIDme site saying that this can be done. This is a very legitimate site. Yoursphere prides itself on being able to keep children safe online, as much as possible.
wiseman, 4. December 2008, 0:37
The last four digits of a social security number are a serial number.
In fact many people can have the same last 4 digits since they are sequentially numbered 0001-9999 and there are more than 10,000 people with social security numbers.
It is my opinion that a full name plus any 4 numbers given as the last four digits of a social security number does not identity a person.
So, there we have my first flame. I feel good about the fact that my Yoursphere contact corrected the misinformation that “wiseman” threw out there. Yoursphere is a very safe site. I wouldn’t let my kids use the site if I was 100 percent certain of their safety.