Officer Tony Rike, Frisco Police Department Resource Officer for Pioneer Heritage Middle School explained the differences between MySpace and Facebook, noting that in MySpace a user must designate the privacy control in order to block just anyone from reading the person's social network page while Facebook is more private because the user is in charge of accepting a new Facebook friend.
MySpace is more popular with young people while Facebook is used by older people.
stressed that parents should monitor their children's computer use in order to know what they are saying and what others are saying to them on social network sites.
"You must know their passwords, keep the computer in a common area and know what they are putting on MySpace or Facebook," he
noted that law enforcement knows that child predators are looking at social pages constantly.
displayed a page of an actual teenage girl in the Dallas area (without revealing her
name or showing her
face) but noted how easy it would be for him, an adult, to read her
page - look at her
picture and the personal information she
had listed on the web and then go to her
school and find her
Social networking and texting are more than trends, they are now part of most teen's lives, he
urged parents to invest in monitoring software and to keep dialogue open with their children.
"The monitoring system (at my home) lets me see where they are going back and forth to and it also takes the pressure off of them," he
noted that his
children need only tell their friends that their parents look at their sites to control bad language and inappropriate pictures.
But teens can be cunning when it comes to keeping their lives secret from their parents.
urged parents to insist on meeting new friends and on getting to know the parents of those students.