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Friday, October 15, 2004

IM-ing kids: Tech options for parents

"How can we track their instant-messaging?" was a question parents asked school counselor Amanda in the middle of a school community IM crisis. That's a question on many parents' minds that not many people can answer.'s Larry Magid tackled it for the New York Times, saying parents' monitoring and protection strategies depend on the IM system their kids use. And that, I'd add, usually depends on the system everybody else in their peer group uses - it would be nigh impossible to get a kid to switch systems - AIM, Yahoo, MSN, ICQ, whatever - if all her friends use something different and can't reach her on the parent-imposed one. (To use a techie term, IM systems, regrettably, are not "interoperable.") Click here for what options parents have, realistically (tech and non-tech).


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