National Press Club

Awareness, Education Can Keep 'Digital Natives' Safe on the 'Net

October 17, 2008 | By Keith Hill

Because kids are "digital natives" to the Internet, that makes them more open to revealing personal information while online, attorney Christopher Wolf told an Oct. 16 Newsmaker audience.

Wolf was one of three panelists talking about online safety. When kids put personal information online, it creates a digital dossier, he said, adding that teens who expose personal information online are most at risk.

Wolf noted that a culture of intolerance has been created because kids are exposed to information from racist groups, and parents have abdicated their responsibility to monitor the sites their children explore. He said that new technologies are emerging to help keep kids safe and urged Internet
companies to take down hateful sites, because such sites not protected by the First Amendment.

Brent Olsen, assistant vice president for regulatory policy with AT&T, told the audience that awareness, education, and tools can help parents be parents in the online world. Noting that
education is the most important element, Olsen said his company provides parents with tips, advice and training in Internet safety.

Links for more information:
AT&T Internet safety tips www.att.com/safety
Family Online Safety Institute www.fosi.org