Do You Spy on Your Kids Online?

Kim Conte
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spying on kids onlineLots of moms admit to reading kids' text messages, checking their Facebook page, and hacking into their e-mail. It's no wonder—with so many sex offenders lurking on the Web, as well as the practice of sexting becoming more and more common, moms are determined to protect their kids online. But some experts say that talking to your kids about technology and Internet use is more effective than digital spying.

Because spying undermines trust, some experts recommend instead "talking to kids about things they post online about themselves including pictures, videos, and comments that can be seen by strangers" to make sure they are being appropriate.

However, if parents do see warning signs—evidence of substance abuse, inappropriate relationships, a drop in school performance, or a psychiatric or developmental disorder—parents should investigate what their kids are up to on the Web.

Where do you fall on this issue? Do you read your kids' text messages, e-mails, MySpace page, etc.? Or do you think checking up on this stuff is invading their privacy?

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