While most parents estimate that their kids spend two hours per month surfing the web, the actual number is more than ten times that much, with the average high-school student spending five or more hours online each week.
Even more disturbing is that nearly half of American teens reported that their parents are completely unaware of which websites they're visiting. According to Mary Kay Hoal, tech-savvy mother of five and founder of Yoursphere.com, there are several things parents can do to stay abreast of their kids' behavior. "Parental monitoring is key," she says. "Only one-third of parents set controls on their children's Internet usage, which is a recipe for danger."
Mary Kay also recommends that parents who are unfamiliar with the Internet seek the training they need to get up to speed. "Until they understand it, they can't monitor it."
Yoursphere.com is an online social networking site geared toward young users 18 years and under. Designed to be used by kids, while keeping parents in the loop about community activity, it's a positive, predator-free alternative to MySpace, Facebook, and other sites that contain illicit content and remain largely unsupervised.
Yoursphere.com is trying to raise the bar on internet safety. For more information see http://yoursphere.com/
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Our aim is to create the safest online destination for kids and teens up to 18 -- a dynamic, supportive environment where self-expression, creative participation, and healthy peer-to-peer relationships are encouraged.