Social networking sites like MySpace and Friendster are enticing to tweens, but their racy photos and public profiles are better suited to adults. The good news: New sites like Nickelodeon’s Nicktropolis.com
Members earn “clams” by playing educational games, writing for the site’s newspaper, and more.
Safety first: A parent’s e-mail address is required for kids under 13. To chat, Whyvillians must complete a tutorial that outlines site rules. Bad behavior can be reported to the site’s 911 center.
Kids choose an adorable penguin alter ego and play games. With paid membership, they can personalize their profiles.
Safety first: One chat option requires kids to select from pre-written statements; another allows free talk but blocks bad language.
Cost: Free to create a penguin; membership is $6 per month, $30 for six months, $58 for one year.
Allows kids to blog, e-mail, and share photos; start and join groups based on common interests; and personalize their pages.
Safety first: Parents must provide a credit card number (this discourages predators from creating accounts; no charges are made). They can also monitor blog posts and messages.