Parents Guide to Neopets Kids Safety

NeopetsSort of a Tamagotchi-Pokémon hybrid, Neopets is an online game where players earn and spend virtual Neopoints to customize and care for up to 4 colorful cartoon animals.

Neopets launched in 1999 as a gaming site for bored college students, and today there are more teens and adults on Neopets than there are on comparable sites like Webkinz or Club Penguin.

After registering (kids under 13 must do so with a parent’s email), players can buy clothes, food, toys, and even houses for their Neopets. They can also track their Neopet’s stats as they train it to fight other virtual animals in the Battledome.

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Intro to Webkinz

kids playing WebkinzSurely you’ve seen those cuddly little stuffed animals called Webkinz. Maybe your child just received their very first Webkinz as a gift, or announced that he wants to collect them like so-and-so at school, or is already playing Webkinz but you aren’t sure that it’s totally safe. Here’s a fast Webkinz tutorial for parents.

What is Webkinz?

Webkinz is part online gaming site, part social network for kids ages 6 to 13. (Though usually, the fuzzy pets and cute graphics appeal more to girls and younger boys.) Each Webkinz pet, which retails for about $10.99, comes with an online code that allows your child to “adopt” the pet online and take care of it in the virtual Webkinz world for one year. In order to continue past the one-year mark, you’ll need to buy a new Webkinz.

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Sextortion: The New Consequence of Sexting

sextortionAs the word "sexting" began to gradually make its way into every parent’s vocabulary, we worried that racy images of our kids could get passed on to other kids and embarrass our child. But now a new buzzword – sextortion – is proving how dangerous the practice of sexting really can be.

Sextortion is shorthand for online sexual extortion. When someone posts or sends suggestive photos or video of themselves through an online medium, it can be accessed by Internet-savvy strangers.

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The FamilyConnect Platform Announces Support for MySpace

phonesI’m pleased to announce that MySpace has now been added to our service via the FamilyConnect platform.  This new feature enables you to better educate, engage with and protect your child when they use the popular website.  Unlike parental control software that is installed on a specific computer, our service runs across the Internet itself.  This approach addresses the reality that our children are increasingly social and mobile.

    • Who is “friending” your child on MySpace ?
    • Who is talking to your child the most on MySpace?
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Kids Safety Question: Could Your Kids Be Building An Army of Webkinz?

Being online doesn't just refer to the computer located in your kitchen.  Kids access the Internet from laptops, mobile phones, gaming consoles and handheld devices.  Are your kids building an army of Webkinz?  Are you worried your teen will have arthritic thumbs from texting too so much? If this sounds familiar, let's talk.

Obviously technology has a ton of benefits to our children but you may be concerned about what they're doing in the world of bits and bytes and what decisions they're making.  If you're not concerned, you are probably at least at least curious.  Most of us don't fully understand some aspects of the technology that our kids are using.  The good news is that you can become more familiar with technology and you can learn about the issues that affect your kids online.  These issues include cyberbullying, revealing too much and predators.

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