check safety ratings on kids websites?

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2006
check safety ratings on kids websites?
Tue, 12-16-2008 - 8:43pm

{cross posted in as many boards as I can think to ask- need a lot of moms thoughts on this one- hopefully one will know a good site.}

now that ds is older (he turns 10 next week, eeK!) I have been letting him play online a bit more. well, I check his history and also have all his emails forwarded to me so I can monitor them. today I get an email in my inbox from some "lady" that thanks ds for his suggestion in some forum and then says "you sound nice. tell me more about yourself" red flags!!! I went back in the history and find a site that originally had looked ok to me, so when I saw its little graphic on the history bar yesterday I didn't even look twice, turns out that the forums are unlocked when you've hit so many points for playing so many games on there- and in the forums you can say anything and talk to anyone... a big no no in my book. my son simply saw a post asking for help to beat a level, gave his idea, and the poster sent him an email through the member email program rather than replying via the original post. gives me chills...

so I cannot spend hours researching each and every site for him, and don't want to force the kid to play only educational sites, he deserves to have fun doing nothing sometimes, ya know? so are there any sites out there that can tell me if a site is safe? not just like mcafee where it says the site is safe if it doesn't include spyware- but safe like no ability to chat with other members beyond preset messages and no violence, etc. as many crazy and odd sites as there are, there have to be some out there that monitor kids sites and tell parents what ones are good, honest games, and what ones are violent, age inappropriate, etc. suggestions?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Tue, 12-16-2008 - 9:22pm

Trishia, I'll ask my dh when he gets home from work later tonight. I know on the sites I've visited you can shut off the ability to either receive emails or pm's from other members/players. I think you can turn off chat too because I don't chat with people I don't know and it would freak me out if someone I didn't know just started chatting to me on-line, lol. I have email access through my profile because I'm a cl and that doesn't bother me.

Oh you have to go in under account preferences and update your information to no accept pm's or emails.