The rise of social networking can be a two-fold problem for parents when it comes to policing teens. First, there's a lot that goes on in Facebook, from potentially inappropriate chats to exchanging photos that show too much and don't cover enough. And secondly, today's teens are more computer savvy than ever. According to NBC New York, James Batelli, a New Jersey police chief, has an interesting solution: hack your child's account.
Batelli is concerned that inappropriate photos and other online cruft could negatively affect a child's college and career potential. In addition, there's always the threat of online predators. To combat against all this, he holds seminars in which detectives show parents how to install keyloggers in order to hack into their kids' Facebook accounts and see what's going on.
"When it comes down safety and welfare of your child, I don't think any parent would sacrifice anything to make sure nothing happens to their children," Batelli explains. "If it means buying an $80 package of software and putting it on and seeing some inappropriate words you don't want your child to say, then that's part of society."
Not everyone agrees with this approach.
"It sort of sets up a situation of distrust," says family psychologist Dr. Jeffrey Kassinove. "First of all, you're encouraging your child that it's okay to lie because you're lying yourself and you're conducting some secret action and they're not aware of it."
Instead of the keylogger approach, Kassinove says it's more appropriate to use cyber-nanny software, or parental controls, to restrict access to certain sites. In addition, he feels that parents should be able to access a child's Facebook account, it just doesn't have to be on the down-low.
Do you agree with Batelli's keylogging approach, or do you think Kassinove has a better grip on what's appropriate? Is there even a clear cut answer? Post your thoughts in the comments section below!