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Help Keep Kids Safer Online This Gift-Giving Season with Tips from Sprint's 4NetSafety Program

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Monday, 21 December 2009

Help Keep Kids Safer Online This Gift-Giving Season with Tips from Sprint's 4NetSafety Program


Important Reminders If a Young Person in Your Life is Receiving a Computer, Mobile Phone or Gaming System OVERLAND PARK, Kan., Dec 21, 2009  -- The holidays are upon us, and this year, many kids across the country will be receiving computers, mobile phones or gaming systems. Gadgets like these provide our young people the opportunity to learn and play - but they also can pose dangers, particularly when connected to the Internet. Sprint (NYSE: S) has partnered with leading child-education and -protection organizations like Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children(R) and the National Education Association Health Information Network to create 4NetSafetySM, a resource that kids, parents and educators can use to keep kids safer while using the Internet. Sprint recently fulfilled its three-year, $3-million commitment to Internet safety for young people, and 4NetSafety is at the forefront of this effort.

4NetSafety resources are available at www.4netsafety.com. All services are free of charge with no registration required, and many features are also available in Spanish. Tools for kids, such as animated videos and tips and activity cards for educators are presented in an interactive, comic-book style to help kids learn in a fun, engaging manner. Other tools are designed for parents, guardians and teachers to help teach children appropriate and safe online behaviors.

"Internet-safety resources like 4NetSafety are particularly needed this time of year, when many young people will be receiving technology gadgets for the holidays," said Debby Ballard, director of Community Affairs for Sprint. "If a child in your life is receiving any sort of device that can access the Internet - or even if the child already has such a device - now is a great time to have that talk about how to safely learn and play online."

Here are some important online-safety tips that parents and guardians can share with their kids:

 

  • Select gender-neutral screen names for gaming and social networking sites and e-mail addresses that do not include information that could be used to identify you and where you live such as your name, age/birthdate, school, city, etc.
  • Do not share passwords and other account details with anyone but a parent or guardian. (And the parent or guardian should know the passwords to all of the child's social networking, e-mail and gaming sites.)
  • Don't share personal information on social networking or gaming sites including your real name, location, e-mail address, phone number, etc.
  • If something happens that makes you feel scared or uncomfortable, tell an adult you trust. (Many kids don't tell a trusted adult because they are afraid they will lose their online privileges. Make sure they know you won't be angry with them for coming to you and will not take away the technology.)
  • Don't post information, photos or videos you might regret later. Think about your online image. Who will see this? What will they think? Is it illegal?
  • Only add friends to your social networking sites who you know in real life.
  • Never meet in person with anyone you first met online.
  • Don't post your plans or whereabouts on your site(s).
  • Respect others -- don't engage in activities that could hurt or harass someone else.
  • Don't respond to rude or harassing comments you might receive online or via text message.




 
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