Mary Kay Hoal tried everything she could to keep her daughter off of myspace.
She forbade her from using the site, put password locks on the computer and even blocked the site. Still, her daughter found ways to access the popular social networking site. Hoal's concerns stemmed from information and statistics that showed 29,000 registered sex offenders were on MySpace; one out of every five kids are sexually solicited online, and nine out of 10 children are exposed to pornography online.
When she looked for alternatives, she found none, so she decided to do something about it. The result is yoursphere.com, the only social networking site for kids and teens that's backed by the Federal Trade Commission through the site's Privacy Vaults approval. The site's Chief Technology officer worked at the California Department of Justice tracking anonymous online sex offenders, as well as the Megan's Law database. And it requires verified parental consent for a minor to log on or join.
Yoursphere.com has taken the bull by the horns, put a stake in the ground and is saying to the world: what's happening to kids online is NOT OKAY. Kids need to be protected, deserve to be protected and we, as parents, need to do something about it.
Most parents get involved with their children are being bullied. But online, almost half of kids age 12 - 17 that are bullied only tell a parent 10 percent of the time. At yoursphere no one is anonymous. Yoursphere is the only online community that requires verifiable parental consent. Confirms the identity of the parent providing consent. Confirms that the parent or guardian providing consent is not a registered sex offender. Is exclusively for kids and teens through age 18. Exceeds COPPA (Children's Online Privacy Protection Act) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines for protecting kids online through our approval by Privacy Vaults Inc. Whose policy is "no creepers allowed:" predator, sex offender or pornographer targeting youth; any person setting up a profile with the intention to exploit, harass or solicit. No fake profiles. (No one is anonymous on Yoursphere.com) Offers members monthly contests and a rewards program. Provides a platform for members to engage in positive activities of shared interest in "spheres" (sports, academics, music, fashion, movies and TV, art and photo, gaming, etc).
"The bottom line is that we're the only place in the online world that that has taken extraordinary measures to help ensure the safety of its members and meets or exceeds standards set by the government," Hoal said. "Our opinion is that if it's a behavior that is illegal, immoral or unacceptable offline, then it's unacceptable online."