OnGuardOnline.gov is a project of a dozen federal agencies and several private child safety organizations who have collaborated to create a website which "provides practical tips from the federal government and the technology industry to help you be on guard against Internet fraud, secure your computer, and protect your personal information." The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is particularly instrumental in maintaining and promoting the site but it works closely with those other agencies and organizations to craft messages and programs.
OnGuardOnline has just released a terrific new online safety resource called Net Cetera: Chatting with Kids about Being Online. This 54-page document is an outstanding resource for parents. The report's advice and recommendations are spot on across the board and I particularly want to highlight the important section right at the front of the document entitled, "Talk to Your Kids." It begins: "The best way to protect your kids online? Talk to them. Research suggests that when children want important information, most rely on their parents." Quite right. And the NetCetra report goes on to offer the following excellent advice:
This is exactly the sort of thing I called for the government to start doing in my report, Parental Controls & Online Child Protection. In Sec IV.B(2) of my report (beginning on pg. 150 of Ver. 4.0), I called for public officials to get serious about online safety education and awareness building by using collaborative efforts and promotional tools to spread general safety messages. This sort of education and awareness building is the constructive alternative to regulatory efforts that are all too often favored by some policymakers and regulators.
The FTC and all the other agencies and organizations involved in creating the Net Cetera report deserve high praise for what they've done here. Absolutely outstanding work. Read it.