Predator Danger on MySpace, Face Book and other social networks

I have been wondering about TMI and the internet. How much information is too much? Most bloggers hide their identity, disguise their friends' and family members' names and avoid posting photos. Social Network sites
such as MySpace tend to be less anonymous. They appear to be an inventory of people and a marketplace for predators. All you have to do is type a list of characteristics such as age, sex, orientation, interests, geographic location and a shopping list of people pop-up. I am amazed at the amount of personal information that is put out for all to see.

I noticed that The Mom Salon is on MySpace and Facebook. I had a brief foray into Myspace where I thought I had a stalker.
http://bad-momma.blogspot.com/2007/04/my-space-friend-tom.html

and the next day found out I was an idiot!
http://bad-momma.blogspot.com/2007/04/myspace-tom-im-sorry.html

I learned to set my profile to private and that you don't have to answer all the questions in your profile. I also surfed around to see if I had any friends or family on MySpace and ended up busting my 12 year old nephew!

One of our friends found that her 16 year old daughter was communicating with a 18 year old drifter and he was planning to visit. Our friend set up a fake profile as a classmate, became a "friend" and spied on her daughter. She was able to cleverly sabotage the budding relationship without her daughter's knowledge.

I have not had any issues yet with Blogger and Mom Salon and am curious about other Mom Salon bloggers experience. What are the dangers of posting photos and first names of your family if the rest of your information is vague? Have any of you had any scary experiences?

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I haven't had any untoward inquiries from Mom Salon, but my 14 son, who has a MySpace account (that we periodically check) was asked to accept a 30-something woman to his friends list. That was unsettling, especially since it is very clear that he is a teenage boy.

http://ifmomsaysok.freedomblogging.com/2007/08/01/they-aren%e2%80%9...

I am personally more than a little scared of the whole social networking... I don't even like the idea of using my photo. My husband didn't want me to use our kids names in my blog, that's why I only use initials and I don't use my full name. It's all ironic to me since I want lots of people to read my blog, but not let them know who I am.
I haven't had any scary experiences, and I've been blogging since before it was blogging, using my real name. But -- there is that nagging worry, especially about putting my son out there. For family pictures, I would recommend making your site private. Otherwise, just use your best judgment about the information you make public. I've crossed the line a few times; sometimes I end up taking down a post that seemed too personal. It's a great question!
Oh, and one of my very favorite sites (that I just discovered): http://www.thepioneerwoman.com/

Ree lets it ALL out there -- gorgeous pictures, names, personal stories. She is absolutely delightful.
I briefly checked out the Pioneer Woman. Neat site. I see how her blog can be addicting. I have a site that I stumbled on as well http://4thavenueblues.blogspot.com/
It is a beautifully written blog by a man struggling with mental illness, alcoholism and life in general.
I am amazed at the clarity of his writing. From time to time I check in to see how Andrew is doing. I hope he is picked up by a publisher.
thanks for that link too...
It's great to know that an experienced blogger has not had any issues. My husband does not like me to post photos of my kids on my blog or on my business website ( totally separate from my blog ). I try to use old photos of the boys when I do. For work, I use my maiden name and on my blog I have my alias. I have no real worries about Mom Salon or Blogger. Sometimes I find it necessary to use real 1st names, to keep my story accurate. I don't see the harm.

MySpace is a different story. I am not a fan. It is easy to give too much information and put yourself at risk.

An interesting tool that I recently installed on my blog is Stat Counter. It gives a report of keywords & referring web sites so you can see how readers are finding you.
just the other day a fellow blogger friend was sort of attacked by a group of mothers who did not agree with a parenting choice that she had made. it was rather strange to see people ganging up on her, but that's the extent of the craziness i have seen.

i think that it's the parents responsibility to monitor the use of such sites. i am thankful that most technology these days has monitoring programs and things, because i could never do it on my own, i am sure-kids can find ways. i also thinks it's important to explain such dangers as you mentioned to them so that they understand that your concerns are valid.
I am curious, what was the "choice" that got her in trouble?... as long as they did not show up at my doorstep, I could probably handle a few angry mothers....

Thankfully, everyone seems nice on the Mom Salon. BTW, love your question blog. I answered a few questions. Please enter me in your drawing.
i will add you. all comments automatically get entered.

the debate was over circumcision, and it got pretty heated. she got attacked by several moms who were very much against it and called it mutilation and cruelty. i felt bad for her because she was one day from having her baby. she had him today!
Thanks! I have 3 boys and might be able to help your friend!
Bad Momma your early My Space adventure had me laughing out loud. I'm sure you must have been quite shaken, but how funny that it turned out to be the creator. Ha!

I can certainly understand your hesitation, though. The Internet is such a strange tool in that you can make your self completely public, but because it's done from the safety of your own home you don't really realize how many people are actually "seeing" you. I think it's definitely smart to keep a bit of anonymity. And communities like this one make it easy to chat and make friends. Mom Salon is still so small but growing quickly. I hope we can keep the same friendly atmosphere as we grow larger. When I was getting married years ago, I joined a couple of the big wedding communities...and man, some of those brides-to-be were vicious to each other!
I agree that Mom Salon has been a great community. I also hope that the same friendly, welcoming environment remains as the members grow.

While you may not agree with a choice of another member of your community, there is no need to be vicious or disrespectful.

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