|INDIANAPOLIS - U.S. Synchronized Swimming and YouDiligenceTM are teaming up to promote internet safety for children.
"We are excited to team with YouDiligence to help protect children and promote Internet safety," said Terry Harper, Executive Director of U.S. Synchronized Swimming (USSS). "Our membership is almost entirely young females, and they all use social networks extensively. Now we are able to offer their parents a resource like YouDiligence to help protect their kids from inappropriate content. It is a win-win for the parents and, more importantly, the kids."
USSS is the National Governing Body for the sport of synchronized swimming, which includes 5500 female amateur athletes-- mostly between the ages of 10 and 23-- as well as the U.S. National and Olympic Teams. USSS will offer the parents of its members subscriptions to YouDiligence, a service that scans children's MySpace and Facebook pages for inappropriate content and then automatically alerts parents by email. The partnership allows parents to get the first month of service for free, and then pay an affordable monthly fee ($9.99 or $14.99/month) after the first month.
"There are heart-wrenching stories every day about children being tormented by cyber-bullies and lured away from the safety of their homes by online predators," said Kevin Long, President of YouDiligence. "This should serve as a wake-up call to parents. Recently, more than 95,600 child predators had their MySpace and Facebook accounts terminated by the companies. It only highlights that innocent children are being exposed, stalked and bullied on social networking sites. Now parents can turn to YouDiligence, a service that allows parents the peace of mind knowing they are doing everything they can to protect their children, while still allowing them to use the internet safely."
Most kids ages 10-and-up spend an average of 20-30 hours per week communicating on social networking websites like MySpace and Facebook, which control about 90 percent of the social networking market for kids. These sites are online hang-outs where tweens, teens and adults create virtual profiles, post comments on each others' pages, trade messages and upload photos and videos of themselves for anyone to see.
"Even computer-savvy parents can find it difficult to keep up with a child's activities on these sites," added Long. "However, YouDiligence is easy to use, affordable and automatically scans a child's social networking profiles for inappropriate content and immediately notifies parents by email when it finds matches to those words."
YouDiligence works directly over the internet on Facebook and MySpace, so there is no complicated software installation on individual computers. Parents can feel comfortable that no matter where-- or on what computer-- their child is posting material from, they will receive a real-time email alert when a match is found that describes the term, context and location, allowing them to react to potentially dangerous situations appropriately.
USA Synchronized Swimming is headquartered in Indianapolis. YouDiligence is a leader in the field of internet safety and is headquartered in Montpelier, Vt. It has offices in Washington, DC, and in West Lafayette, Ind.