F My Secret Circle Review ~ Critique of the Unique

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Saturday, December 4, 2010

My Secret Circle Review

Product: My Secret Circle
Produced By: Senario
Category: Children
Age Range: 8-12 years old
     My Secret Circle is made by Senario and it is designed with girls aged 8-12 years old in mind! It is a unique way for girls to be able to interact with their BFFs through their very own social networking website! No fret moms, Senario has assured that this procedure is monitored and secure.

The concept is simple: Your child will be able to access the Secret Circle website where they will obtain an access key. This key is what they will use to access their personalized site. Here, your child will set up a profile, including the creation of their very own personalized avatar and will be given a code that she can print out to invite her friends to her site. Only the friends with access to this code can be admitted into your child's personal page. This means no other person, aside from whom your child invites and whom you approve, will have access to her while she is on the Secret Circle website.

Senario assures your child's security in two ways:

  1. The My Secret Circle Access key is embedded with a code that is only recognized by the site's private browser and this unique code assures that no personal information, registration or login is ever needed, therefore no one from outside your child's circle will even have access to the private browser.
  2. The only way any person will be aware of this private browser is if your child personally hands someone the invite and exchanges the unique charm code that allows this friend to access the site. This 12 digit number is used in combination with that friend's access key. Your child's friend cannot access her site without their own personal access key. Once the 12 digit number is entered, it cannot be reused. This means that every new friend must have an access key AND a personalized code assuring that only a person intended to be invited will have access to your child's page. 
The BFF pack comes with two access keys. One for your child and one for her to share with her BFF (best friend forever). This allows for your child to begin sharing with her friend straight away!! It also includes two sets of instructions. One for your child and one for her to give to her friend so she can set up her own page.

What can your child do on the My Secret Circle site?  Your child will be able to write journal entries that she can either keep private (for her eyes only) or can publish to the public (her friends) plus so much more!!! She will have the ability to upload pics and customize them for her journal posts, instant messaging, arcade-style games, and more!!

Our experience: My daughter is eleven and she has been begging me to set her up a Facebook account (although it is against Facebook's policy) as several of her friends have created accounts and she feels "out of the loop". I am very cautious about the interactions she has online and blatantly refused to allow her to access Facebook until she is of the proper age and is more responsible about the choices she makes online. The My Secret Circle site eliminates my fears and still provides her with what she was seeking in Facebook...which is basically a way to connect with her friends in a "online" venue. Since Senario has put so much thought into how their product works and affects the lives of those that use it, I felt fairly confident about her using the product. I assisted her with setting up her page and monitored what she put in her personal profile. Even though it is only her friends seeing it, it still needs to be appropriate!! She immediately printed off three invites, as a few friends from school had an access key already and then took her friend the other access key that came in the BFF Pack. The very same day, she was online chatting with her friend on instant messaging. I will say, that I still monitor what she writes from time to time, as girls will be girls and a few times I felt she was using the instant messaging to "talk" about other classmates. This resulted in my explaining how gossiping online is still as bad as gossiping in the real world. Once she understood that she still had rules to follow...I've not had any problems. I like the product more than I thought I would. I am over-protective mommy all the time and this gave her a bit of freedom that she had never been allotted before, and it helped me to realize that she can make good choices online. It is our trail run before she gets her own computer in a few years. It also gave her the ability to bond with her friends on a new level and every little girl needs that acceptance and bonding time!!  I would highly recommend this product!! 

Where to Purchase: Amazon.com or Target

FTC guidelines require that I disclose that I received this very product at no cost to me in order to facilitate this review. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions herein are my own honest opinions. Other opinions may vary. For the full disclosure and disclaimer, please visit the Legal Page. 


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