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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OMG. This article fits right in with this thread. This has got to be one of the saddest damn stories ever...
http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/11/17/internet.suicide.ap/index.html
This is why I would not want my children on MySpace. They are too young anyway. When I "outed" my 12 year old nephew to my sister, she confronted him. He burst out crying. He had been caught before and told to take down his profile.

This time his photo and profile were put up by some girls at his school. While the screen name they gave him was not his real name, it was immature and obscene. I found this by typing in his real name under "people search". Anyone can put up a fake profile for a real person, all that is needed is a valid email account. My sister contacted MySpace to take down his profiles ( there were 2 out there ) and months later this has not happened.

If you or your children are using MySpace, I would suggest setting your profile to private so that only approved friends can see your profile and information. Parents should also insist on being a "friend" so that you can monitor conversations.

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