Finance and Administration Cabinet
Kentucky joins nationwide effort to keep kids protected online
FRANKFORT, Ky.—The Finance and Administration Cabinet’s Commonwealth Office of Technology (COT) has joined forces with other public and private organizations to support the National Cyber Security Alliance’s (NCSA) national awareness campaign to “Help Keep Kids Connected and Protected.”
The commonwealth and NCSA, in collaboration with various education, government, cyber security and safety organizations, will work together to actively promote awareness of this national campaign and associated how-to guide. The guide, entitled “An Educator, Parent and Guardian’s Guide: How to Teach Young People Safe Online Practice,” provides tailored tips and guidelines that educators and parents may use to help keep teens safe when socializing online. Key highlights from the guide include social networking and safe online practices geared toward teens, as well as security and safety tips for parents and educators. The guide is available online at staysafeonline.org/connectedandprotected.html
Gov. Ernie Fletcher has been a strong proponent of the increased use of the Internet by Kentucky’s children through programs such as his No Child Left Offline effort, which refurbishes surplus state government computers for distribution to eighth grade students in households across the commonwealth. While recognizing the value and importance of the Internet to our kids’ education, as well as their personal growth, he encourages parents to acknowledge the potential dangers.
“It is vitally important that Kentucky’s children learn to use the Internet and other technologies as they prepare themselves to compete in the global economy,” Fletcher said. “At the same time, we recognize the steps that must be taken to ensure Internet use is a positive and rewarding experience. By taking some fairly simple precautions, parents can help ensure their children’s internet use is as safe as possible.”
The NCSA safety guide includes tips and reminders with brief explanations for teens that are easy to remember and understand, such as:
- Protect privacy—Keep personal information personal;
- Minimize negative publicity—Remember that posting inappropriate photos can lead to damaged reputations and unwanted attention from others; and
- Don’t talk to strangers—Be careful about adding strangers to IM buddy or friend lists; people aren’t always who they say they are.
Other tips may appeal to parents of children who use computers at home, including:
- Supervise computer use—Keep the computer in an open area, be aware of other computers and other devices children may be using outside of the home and consider installing software to control where children go online;
- Keep the lines of communication open—Use the Internet with your child and familiarize yourself with their online activities; and
- Be a technical geek—Secure the family computer by regularly updating the operating system and installing a firewall and up-to-date anti-virus and anti-spy ware software.
(NCSA is a public-private alliance of companies, associations and government agencies dedicated to cyber security awareness and education for home users, small businesses and the education community. A not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, NCSA sponsors include the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Trade Commission and many private-sector corporations and organizations. For more information, and to see the top eight cyber security tips, visit www.staysafeonline.org. Visit the Commonwealth Office of Technology’s Web site at www.technology.ky.gov.)