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A new booklet released today by the Federal Trade Commission and other government agencies helps parents and teachers steer kids safely through the online and mobile phone worlds.

Net Cetera: Chatting with Kids About Being Online was unveiled this morning at Jefferson Middle School in Washington, D.C. by FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski. At the middle school, which is known for its emphasis on science and technology, the officials met with students and teachers to discuss online safety.

“The conversations that make kids good digital citizens aren’t about the technology; they’re about communicating your values as a parent,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz. “Teaching kids to treat others as they’d like to be treated online is key. Net Cetera tells you how to start those conversations – even if you think your kids are more tech-savvy than you are.”

Net Cetera tells parents and teachers what they need to know to talk to kids about issues like cyberbullying, sexting, mobile phone safety, and protecting the family computer. Talking to kids about these topics can help them avoid behaving rudely 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 available at, the federal government’s online safety Web site. is a partnership of more than a dozen federal agencies and the technology industry. Like all the consumer education resources at the site, Net Cetera is free and available for public use. At OnGuardOnline, parents can download sections of the booklet, link to it, or post it on their own site. At parents can order the printed version of the booklet in bulk.

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 1,700 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s Web site provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.

(Net Cetera NR.wpd)

Contact Information

Betsy Lordan
Office of Public Affairs

Nat Wood
Bureau of Consumer Protection