Earlier this week, we heard from Lt. Joe Rampolla about the need to protect kids on social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and Youtube.  Joe also introduced us to the world of Augmented Reality and encouraged parents to role up their sleeves and stay on top of emerging technology trends (I would strongly recommend his post!).

I’d have to agree that keeping current with new technology trends, sites and devices is almost a prerequisite for protecting kids today.  If you’re letting your kids on sites like Facebook and Twitter, I hope you’ve set clear rules and boundaries for their online activities on the sites.  Also, be aware that, technically speaking, you’re supposed to be at least 13-years-old to set up a Facebook account.  As you may know (perhaps because your nine-year-old is on the site!), according to Consumer Reports, there are 7.5 million U.S. children under the age of 13 on Facebook and more than 5 million of those are under the age of 10.  Every one of these kids had to lie about their age simply to get on because Facebook’s terms of use require that users be at least 13.  Regardless of whether or not you think kids under 13 should be allowed on the site, social networking sites like Facebook do include a lot of content, apps and interactive-features that are better suited for an older teen or adult, and parents really need to be involved to make sure that their son or daughter are using the site safely.

Each week, we’re posing a question for you to answer, and, at the beginning of each month, we’ll post some of the most helpful feedback you all provided to encourage one another as we parent in the virtual world.

So, do you think sites like Twitter, Youtube and Facebook are safe for kids?  What are you doing to protect your kids on the sites?

I’m looking forward to learning from you.