New Initiative Helps Kids “Stay Safe Online”

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 16, 1999 — The Internet offers a world of opportunities for children to learn, play and communicate, but protecting them from inappropriate online content is a growing concern among parents and educators. To help give kids the skills they need to explore the Internet and stay out of trouble, Microsoft has teamed up with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal to launch “Stay Safe Online,” an innovative tool that will be tested in rural and inner-city technology centers throughout the United States.

Supported by a $1.5 million cash and software commitment from Microsoft and a $1 million commitment from O’Neal, the program integrates three strategies to help ensure that kids have a positive, safe online experience: education, adult supervision and technology. Fifteen pilot technology centers will open in Boys & Girls Clubs around the country, outfitted with PCs, high-speed Internet access and a wide range of software and peripherals. In order to gain access to the Internet, kids will be required to complete “Stay Safe Online,” a 15-minute interactive program designed to teach important safety lessons. After completing an online safety test, kids are given an online safety award and granted Internet privileges.

The program is designed to help parents and educators teach children six simple rules for online safety:

  • Always be respectful of others.

  • Never give out personal information.

  • Always remember that you are responsible for your actions online.

  • Always follow the computer room supervisor’s instructions.

  • Never agree to meet in person people you talk to online.

  • Never visit “off-limits” Web sites.

“We are most fortunate to have the commitment of Microsoft and Shaq to help make technology both accessible and safe for our young people,” said Boys & Girls Club president Roxanne Spillett. “Technology skills are critical to our educational enhancement and career preparedness programs, and safe, smart mastery of the Internet is a key ingredient to the long-term success of our kids.”

Related Posts