CUPERTINO, Calif. – June 23, 2008 – The U.S. Senate has designated the month of June as National Internet Safety Month to “provide the citizens of the United States with an opportunity to learn more about the dangers of the Internet and the importance of being safe and responsible online.”
Senate resolution S. RES 567 asks the assistance of national and community organizations to “provide information and training that develops critical thinking and decision-making skills that are needed for Internet safety.” Answering this call, Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC), makers of Norton security software, urges parents to connect with their families during National Internet Safety Month.
Symantec’s own research underscores the importance of such parental involvement. One in five kids worldwide admit to conducting activities online that they know their parents wouldn’t condone. Additionally, in the U.S., parents believe that 6 percent of their children have been approached online by a stranger; in fact, 16 percent of children in the U.S. report such contact. This sobering data comes from Symantec’s recent Norton Online Living Report, a comprehensive report on the digital lifestyle habits of adults and children in the U.S. and worldwide. (The full report can be accessed at www.norton.com/onlineliving.)
Therefore, this month and throughout the summer, Symantec will expand on its free outreach efforts to educate consumers about Internet security topics including cyberbullying, cyber predation, online financial scams and hack attacks. Throughout the month of June, Symantec will reach out to consumers with free assistance and education:
- Family Resources website – This family-focused Web site (www.norton.com/familyresources) offers tips, resources and information on a broad array of Internet security topics. Internet safety advocate Marian Merritt, a nationally-recognized expert, will field questions from online visitors.
- The Family Online Safety Guide – This free educational workbook is packed with tips for keeping children safe on the Internet categorized by age or topic. Merritt authored the guide, with a foreword from Lauren Nelson, Miss America 2007, which received a 2008 iParenting Media Award in the Best Book category. Families and educators can download the free kit by visiting the Norton Family Resources Web site.
In addition, Merritt is challenging parents to engage their kids and teens in a conversation on Internet safety she calls “The Talk.” This chat is not the one about’ the birds and the bees’ previous generations might have received, but a much more generationally- relevant discussion about the Internet and how to use it safely and responsibly.
To aid parents in starting this conversation, Merritt offers “The Talk,” a series of tips providing detailed instructions on how to approach and discuss the topic of safe and responsible Internet use. “The Talk” can be downloaded for free at the Norton Family Resources Web site.
“Nearly 35 million children in the U.S. in grades K through 12 have access to the Internet. While many products and technologies provide families with a level of protection from online threats, I believe that one of the greatest ways you can protect your children is through one-on-one communication,” added Merritt. “’The Talk’ is a great tool that empowers parents to start this important conversation.”
Along with her online presence, Merritt will make several high-profile appearances to provide her guidance on Internet safety issues including:
- Participation at iKeepSafe’s “PointSmart.ClickSafe. Summit on Children’s Online Safety and Literacy” in Washington, DC, June 10
- An appearance at the 2008 PTA National Convention & Exhibition in San Diego, June 20-23
Symantec is a global leader in infrastructure software, enabling businesses and consumers to have confidence in a connected world. The company helps customers protect their infrastructure, information and interactions by delivering software and services that address risks to security, availability, compliance and performance. Headquartered in Cupertino, Calif., Symantec has operations in more than 40 countries. More information is available at www.symantec.com.
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