September 9, 2010

Statement by EIE President on Google Family Safety Center

Donna Rice Hughes
President, Enough Is Enough®
September 9, 2010


Defending children against online dangers can seem like an overwhelming task.  While there is no silver bullet to keep kids safe in the virtual space, the good news is that many technology companies offer tools and other resources that can help parents protect their children while online.  Today, Google launched one such resource, the Google Family Safety Center.  The new Safety Center provides guidelines on how families can better manage their children's online experience and also provides parents with resources to help protect their children's privacy by limiting who can see the videos, pictures and blogs their children post online.

As I have traveled the country teaching about Internet safety, I have found that parents often fall into one of the following categories with respect to their own children's Internet safety: (1) There is a lot of hype-it's really not that bad; (2) Not my kids, my kids are good kids, and they are really smart; (3) I've got it covered; the computer is in a public area of the house and the filters are on; (4) I don't want the Internet, it's just too dangerous; or, finally (5) my kids are too young, I don't need to worry about it yet.

Unfortunately, in our work to protect children online, we have found that no child is immune to Internet dangers, and every parent should be using non-technical and technical safety measures-we call them Internet Safety 101SM Rules 'N Tools® to protect their children online.  The Internet is a wonderful, creative technology for kids to learn, connect and innovate, but when children are given unsupervised, unrestricted access online, chances are they will encounter dangerous content and contacts.  

In a national effort to educate, equip and empower parents, educators and other concerned adults to protect the children under their care from online harm, EIE created the Internet Safety 101SM program, sponsored by the Department of Justice (OJJDP) and industry leaders like Google.  One of the tools we highlight in our program is Google's SafeSearch filter, which can help protect children from sites that contain pornography, explicit sexual content, profanity and other types of hate content in Google search results.  Parents that have a Google account can lock their SafeSearch setting so that it is password protected, preventing children from changing the filtering options, which is a great advance in search engine safety.   We are pleased to continue our ongoing partnership with Google and applaud the new Safety Center. The Family Safety Center is an important resource that parents should utilize as they parent in the ever-evolving virtual world.

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About Enough Is Enough®

Donna Rice Hughes is President of Enough Is Enough® (EIE), a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, which emerged in 1994 as the national leader on the front lines to make the Internet safer for children and families. Since then, EIE has continued to pioneer efforts including the award-winning Internet Safety 101SM program, which educates, equips and empowers parents, educators and other caring adults with the knowledge and resources needed to effectively protect children from pornography, sexual predators, and cyberbullies as well as how to keep kids safe on social networking sites, gaming and mobile devices.Contact Us for more information.  Media contact here.