5 meanest sites your kids should never visit

Sunday, October 10, 2010

WASHINGTON - Want to keep your children away from cyberbullying? Well, below are the names of websites that kids should never visit.

Experts have suggested that parents can protect their kids from websites that abound with the worst of the Web: rampant insults, slurs, demeaning topics and ultimately cyberbullying.

Here are the bottom five sites experts say are the ‘dark alleys’ of the Internet:

1. formspring.me. Intended as a question and answer website with deep ties to such social networks as Facebook, Twitter and Google’s Blogger, formspring.me is anything but innocent.

nna Maria Scheimreif, a school counselor with Medford Memorial School in Medford, N.J., advises parents to steer their children clear of it.

“We found that children could remain anonymous much easier on the site than on Facebook,” FoxNews.com quoted her as saying.

“They would post questions and send them to others — and the only purpose of the questions seemed to be to hurt other’s feelings,” she added.

2. Chatroulette: In theory, Chatroulette connects random strangers around the world for video chats, shortening the distance between them, but in reality, experts cited it as simply dangerous, a “predator’s paradise.”

Gwenn O’Keeffe, the author of the new book CyberSafe: Protecting and Empowering Kids in the Digital World, said that Chatroulette has spawned a number of clones-including JayDoe and Zupyo and CamCarousel-all of which parents should watch out for.

3. Facebook. That’s right, Facebook. With more than half a billion users, it’s the world’s most popular social-networking site. But is it appropriate for your kids? “I’m leery of kids under 13 going on,” warned O’Keefe.

“It’s against the terms of service, and young kids online interacting with older kids places them at risk for content exposure inappropriate for their age-and cyber issues such as privacy violations and cyberbullying,” she said.

4. JuicyCampus. Sites that target college students can often be enticing to kids.

And with lists like the top ten sluts and biggest idiots on campus,” they are often wildly inappropriate, warned Raskin.

5. txtspoof.com. A new startup seems designed to facilitate cyberbullying, said experts. TxtSpoof lets you send a text message that appears to come from someone else’s cell phone.

O’Keeffe advises parents to train their kids in the appropriate ways to send texts. (ANI)

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