Online Safety – Report on Youth Safety on a Living Internet

A report titled “Youth Safety on a Living Internet, A Report of the Online Safety and Technology Working Group” was released in June of 2010.

Online Safety

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This study reviewed the status of efforts to advance online safety through education and technology solutions.  This included a review of technology solutions like parental control and blocking software.  They looked at current technology solutions for online safety as well as new technologies under development.  They also included a review of procedures used to report safety issues and any obstacles to this reporting.

The report defined safety on the internet in four overall classifications.  Freedom from physical harm is the first aspect of internet safety.  Freedom from harassment and exposure to disturbing materials is the second aspect.  Freedom from unwanted legal consequences is the third.  Identify and property safety is then considered as the forth aspect of internet safety.  Clearly, the whole topic of internet safety has expanded as is more complicated with increased use of the intranet.

Included below are some of the recommendations of this online safety study.

Education for Online Safety

They found that the best way to assure youth internet safety through education and online citizenship.  Some of their recommendations to improve online safety are to display targeted safety messaging, to promote media education and safety training within our schools, to establish industry best practices, and to get our youth involved in the risk prevention education.

Online Safety Technology for Child Protection

The study concluded that the best technologies for parental controls and child protection work in conjunction with education.  This includes an increased awareness of the capabilities and mentoring from parents in the use of the technology solution.  They recommend the development of a commons set of terms across similar technologies, making internet safety options available with new products, and education programs on how these technologies work.

Overall Recommendations for Online Safety

Overall, the study recommends that additional resources be applied to implementing the results of this report as well as continued investigation of online safety.  They recommend the establishment of a program to improve awareness of the current federal programs on online safety.  This would involve a complete review of online safety programs and the allocation of additional resources for promotion.

The complete online safety report may be found at this link “Youth Safety on a Living Internet”.

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