ATLANTA – New research by Cox Communications Inc., in partnership with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC) and TV host and children's advocate John Walsh reveals that more parents and guardians are talking to their children about the potential dangers of the Internet. Still, many teens remain unconcerned about the risks of sharing personal info online and nearly two-thirds post photos or videos of themselves.
The findings are from the third annual survey Cox and NCMEC have fielded to help parents and guardians understand the potential dangers of the Internet. The 2007 survey was nearly identical to the questions asked in 2006, revealing compelling year-over-year trends about teen Internet use. Key findings:
Teens are increasingly active online and at potential risk of falling prey to online predators.
Parents and guardians are becoming more involved in monitoring their teens' Internet use and talking to them about online safety.
Many teens are unconcerned about the dangers of sharing personal info online.
Teens are showing some signs of making safer, smarter choices online.
The national teen Internet survey was funded by Cox Communications in partnership with NCMEC and John Walsh and was conducted in March 2007 among 1,070 teens age 13 to 17. The research was conducted online by TRU.
Walsh, host of “America's Most Wanted,” will discuss the research and implications for families live in local broadcast television and radio interviews today. He also will be available via Web cast 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. EDT today to answer viewers' questions about Internet safety and discuss the teen survey in greater detail. To view the Web cast, go to http://www.visualwebcaster.com/event.asp?id=39334.
As a continuation of the research findings, Cox will partner with NCMEC, Walsh and Miss America 2007 Lauren Nelson on the second annual Cox Communications National Teen Summit on Internet Safety June 27 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Teen participants will discuss Internet safety and ways parents, guardians and teen mentors can help children and young adults be safer online, and will deliver the messages directly to Capitol Hill in meetings with members of Congress. The Summit will air on Cox Cable channels nationwide in late summer.
Complete survey results, online safety tools and tips, and links to NCMEC and other resources are at www.cox.com/TakeCharge. Cox's Take Charge program was launched in conjunction with Walsh in 2004 to educate parents and guardians about the importance of Internet safety and to help families get the most out of mass media in the home. It provides scores of resources to help parents and guardians manage what their children see, and don't see, on TV and the Internet—from instructions on setting parental controls, to a guide to the lingo teens use online, to tips for more constructive conversations between parents and kids. Teaching young children and teens how to stay safer online is a major element of the Take Charge program, thanks in part to Cox's partnership with NetSmartz.com, a collaboration between NCMEC and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Cox has donated nearly $30 million worth of advertising time to NetSmartz and NCMEC to encourage safer online behavior among children.
About the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC)
NCMEC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. NCMEC's congressionally mandated CyberTipline, a reporting mechanism for child sexual exploitation, has handled more than 475,000 leads. Since its establishment in 1984, NCMEC has assisted law enforcement with more than 130,300 missing child cases, resulting in the recovery of more than 112,900 children. For more information about NCMEC, call its toll-free, 24-hour hotline at 1-800-THE-LOST or visit its web site at www.missingkids.com.
About Cox Communications, Inc.
Cox Communications is a multi-service broadband communications and entertainment company with more than 6 million total residential and commercial customers. The third-largest cable television company in the United States, Cox offers an array of advanced digital video, high-speed Internet and telephony services over its own nationwide IP network, as well as integrated wireless services in partnership with Sprint (NYSE: S). Cox Business Services is a full-service, facilities-based provider of communications solutions for commercial customers, providing high-speed Internet, voice and long distance services, as well as data and video transport services for small to large-sized businesses. Cox Media offers national and local cable advertising in traditional spot and new media formats, along with promotional opportunities and production services. More information about the services of Cox Communications, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises, is available at www.cox.com, www.coxbusiness.com, and www.coxmedia.com.
Anthony Surratt, email@example.com, 404-843-5124
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children:
Communications Department, firstname.lastname@example.org, 703-837-6111
Avery Mann, email@example.com, 240-482-1199