Online safety and Internet literacy are still a big challenge for many broadband users. Cable ISPs and content providers have acknowledged this for some time and worked to address the issue in a lot of ways.
The latest initiative in this effort comes from The Advertising Council (Ad Council) and a new task force it has assembled, the Internet Safety Coalition. NCTA and Cable in the Classroom are partners in the effort, and Ad Council has just launched a modest new public service campaign.
“Beware What You Share” unites more than 40 industry leaders to help keep teens safer online. We’re in good company, with other coalition members that include AT&T, Google, Interactive Advertising Bureau, Microsoft, and the Wireless Foundation (for a complete list, visit www.internetsafetypartners.org).
Our message offers teens some simple digital safety guidelines: “If you wouldn’t wear it, don’t share it. Beware what you share.” Videos and Web banners show teens the consequences of sharing personal information online.
Beware What You Share campaign materials are being shared with cable systems and cable networks to help educate their customers and viewers.
We hope these messages help empower teens to be smart about what they share online. We also hope this work with a variety of large companies and organizations further helps shape attitudes and change behaviors behind a variety of social issues linked to Internet use. Ultimately, of course, we want to help keep our children safer in cyberspace and help families enjoy a more positive and productive Internet experience.
A single campaign – no matter how brilliant – can’t do much to move the needle. Online safety for families can only be enhanced by broader education about Internet use and digital citizenship; a deeper commitment to media and digital literacy on the part of all companies in the Internet ecosystem; and providing to families the right tools to help them better and more effectively manage Internet content and use. Cable’s commitment to these objectives is embodied in our PointSmart.ClickSafe. initiative. Campaigns such as Beware What You Share help us keep the flame burning for improvements in online safety.