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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this free social networking site was designed as a safe way for kids age 6-12 to connect online. Parents can monitor their child's site activity, and kids can't access the majority of interactive features without a parent's approval. To unlock the site's social features, parents have to provide credit card information and be charged $0.01. Though kids could potentially enter their own email address during registration, they can't add friends, access email, share photos and videos, or chat other users without credit card verification. The only interaction that appears possible without credit card verification is commenting on the Chatterbox, a stream of posts from kids' Fan Pages and friends; kids could chat with strangers (who follow the same Fan Pages) in the comments of these posts.
What's it about?
KAZAANA, formerly known as PixyKids, gives parents considerable control over how their kids connect with other users. Parents sign up for an account and have to give approval for their kid to access the site's email, chat, and other interactive elements. Friend requests can be approved or denied by parents, who also see what their child is doing on the site. Kids can add friends, send messages or chat with friends, share photos or videos, follow Fan Pages of kid-friendly organizations, and play a selection of games.
Is it any good?
Kazaana was created to offer younger kids a safe social networking option. Kids can create an avatar; invite, message and video chat with friends; share photos; and follow kid-friendly organizations of interest. The site also features almost 30 games, which vary in topic and quality. Some have a practical use, such as helping kids enhance memory skills; others are just-for-fun golf or racing games.
In terms of safety and privacy, Kazaana has some smart procedures in place to let parents monitor kids' activity on the site. The credit card verification ensures most kids won't get access to the site's interactive features without an adult's knowledge. Though nothing can stop predators from setting up dummy accounts, parents have the ability to monitor all friend requests and delete any that seem suspicious. If kids invite their friends, Kazaana could function as a protected place to connect online. Parents should log onto the parent dashboard fairly frequently to monitor kids' activity on the site and review, reject, or remove any friends their kids don't know in real life.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about staying safe on social networks. How can you tell if someone who wants to friend you is okay to talk to? How much personal information should you share on your social network profile?
Should you ever chat with someone you don't know? What kind of issues might result from talking to a stranger online?
How should you react if a friend posts an inappropriate comment on your profile or sends you a hurtful or mean message?