The Federal Trade Commission today unveiled a community outreach kit with new resources to help parents and communities keep kids safe online and on their mobile phones. With more than five million copies of the Net Cetera: Chatting with Kids About Being Online guide already in the hands of families across the country, FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz announced the expanded campaign.
“We’re thrilled that the Net Cetera booklet has been embraced by families and schools nationwide,” said Chairman Leibowitz. “The free Net Cetera toolkit will help more parents, educators, law enforcement officials, and community leaders start conversations with kids about being safe online.”
Chairman Leibowitz made his remarks at an online privacy event in Washington, D.C. sponsored by Common Sense Media. Also in attendance were representatives of several agencies that are partners in the OnGuardOnline.gov campaign: Julius Genachowski, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, and Anthony Wilder Miller, Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.
Besides the Net Cetera booklet, the Community Outreach Kit includes Heads Up, a new booklet for kids; a short video for parents; four short videos for kids; slides and discussion guides to use in a presentation; and a booklet on planning and hosting an online safety presentation. All of the materials, available in English and Spanish, may be downloaded from http://www.onguardonline.gov/. The kit, which includes a CD, a DVD, and printed materials, can be ordered for free at bulkorder.ftc.gov.
Since November 1, 2009, the FTC has distributed more than 5 million copies of the Net Cetera booklet. In some cases, entire school systems – such as Cleveland, Ohio; Cobb County, Ga.; Prince George’s County, Md., among many others – have ordered copies for every student. In a value-neutral style, the booklet tells adults how to talk to kids about cyberbullying, sexting, mobile phone safety, and protecting the family computer. It also provides advice to help kids be responsible online; steer clear of inappropriate content like pornography, violence, or hate speech; and protect themselves from contact with bullies, predators, hackers, and scammers. The booklet is based on the premise that adults help children navigate cyberspace safely – not by becoming more tech savvy, but by passing on their own values.
The Net Cetera Community Outreach Kit was created as part of OnGuardOnline.gov, a consumer education campaign centered on the website of the same name that provides practical tips from the federal government and the technology community to help people guard against Internet fraud, secure their computers, and protect their privacy. Managed by the Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, more than a dozen other federal agencies are also partners in the OnGuardOnline.gov project.The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP 1 877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,800 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.