So, we're all familiar with the term "Identity Theft" and assume it's always about someone trying to steal someone else's name and information for fraud; well I have another take on it.
Naturally, I spend a lot of time on the Net. I'm either searching for information, posting something, reading something, banking, or what have you. But at any rate, I'm pretty much always on the Net. What I've noticed lately will either shock, upset, or annoy you. Myspace.com and maybe similar type sites are allowing children to set up accounts and communicate with other teens and friends online. Now, to many this might seem like a harmless thing, but it's not. In fact, it's rather dangerous and risky. I'll explain.
The identity of the child is for the most part posted; however, do we really know if the child is 17 as they've posted or 13? Do we know that the alleged 15 y/o boy with a supporting photo is really 15 or 45? The answer to both questions is no; therefore, identify theft. The posters on these sites are stealing identities (by creation) and basically soliciting themselves online. In addition, their new ID is often quite different from the one their parents know. Again ID theft. They've stolen their original IDs (how they present themselves at home) and posted new ones; sometimes ones that you wouldn't even know was your child. While many gasp and shake their heads at a childs sneaking ability to create these pages, think about the company that allows this to happen with. Think about how easy it is for children to create hotmail, gmail, or yahoo accounts so their parents won't know they have an additional email addreses. Typically and unsupervised and unrestricted one. Parents, mentors, aunts, uncles, sisters, and brothers; even teachers, this is a frightening phenomena.
People, the Net is a haven for disaster when misappropriately used (as it often is) and we need to start taking a stand to better protect our children. Aside from the obvious as I initially stated, the Net is a grand scale ID theft circuit. Our children are being sucked in by what they think is a harmless activity. They;re relinquishing their known personalities and identities to be people they're not and they're posting pictures of themselves, making new friends, and often ignoring the teaching of their parents about online security. It terrifies me to think and know what's taking place in the world wide web and I'll be establishing my own Homeland Security. Maybe you should too.