What is Connect Safely?
Connect Safely (formerly BlogSafety.com) is a website run by Tech Parenting, a nonprofit organization based in Palo Alto, California, and Salt Lake City, Utah. Its co-directors are authorities on the subject of family Internet safety and have co-authored a book called MySpace Unraveled: A Parent's Guide to Teen Social Networking.12
On the Connect Safely site, you can find Internet safety-related news stories, a forum where you can discuss Web safety with other concerned parents, a video library full of helpful clips and tutorials, and pages full of tips and commentaries on how to keep kids safe online.3
The Connect Safely forum is an open, free place for people to discuss safety issues regarding social networking and blogging. The only requirement to post or respond to posts is to sign up for an account.
The forum is divided into sub-forums to cater more specifically to needs. The categories of the sub-forums are:
- Sexting, Cyberbullying & Other Online Risks
- Family Tools for Safe Online Use
- Parenting Online Kids & Teens
- Social Networking Abuse & Peer Tech Support
- Coffeehouse: A spillover space for talking about tangential topics
- Gaming & Virtual Worlds: Keeping them fun & constructive
- ConnectSafely Forum Archive.
Any post that does not fall into one of the other categories can be filed under Coffeehouse: A spillover space for talking about tangential topics. Old posts from BlogSafety can be found under ConnectSafely Forum Archive.
The forum already has a vast store of topics that are searchable. Anyone can search the topics and read the discussions without signing up for an account.
The forum is monitored for inappropriate content. This prevents vulgar comments and profanity. You can see a full list of their rules if you go to their Forum link and click on the Rules tab.
What members post to the forum is public and can be viewed by anyone on the Internet. It is important to remember to not post private or sensitive information to the forum.
Safety Tips & Advice
The Safety Tips & Advice section contains articles giving pointers on how to navigate the Internet safely. Many of these tips are directed at parents but there are tips for teens as well. These articles are written by the staff of Connect Safely.
News & Views
The News & Views section contains news articles relating to Internet safety and opinion articles written in response to current events. There are guest and staff articles in this section so often there is a wider spread of opinions in this section than in the Safety Tips & Advice section.