THE BRONX - Forty-nine states, including New York, have made an agreement with to beef up security against sexual predators.

Many people use the site for social networking, but law enforcement officials say sexual predators use it as a tool to prey on the young and innocent.

Changes to the site include automatically setting accounts for 16- and 17-year-olds to private and the creation of a special section for high school students. Parents will now be able to monitor their child?s use through their e-mail. There will also be closer monitoring by MySpace staff members and new software to detect underage users.

Bronx residents welcomed the idea of tighter controls over the site. ?You should monitor your child and what they do and who they come in contact with,? said resident Cliff Grayson. ?And if you have some way of looking over their shoulder, you should.?

MySpace?s chief security officer said this is an industry-wide problem and everyone must work together on a solution.