Help Children Avoid Online Predators 

The Polly Klaas® Foundation’s free Internet Safety Kit helps parents guide children to safer online lives.

Polly Klaas(R) Foundation: Glena Records, 707-769-4050.
Web Wise Kids: Monique Nelson, 866 932-9473.

August 17, 2006, Petaluma, CA:  The Polly Klaas® Foundation, announces its free Internet Safety Kit, which provides guidance for parents to help their children stay safe online.

Staying safe online has become key with the recent explosive popularity of social networking websites that provide online predators new ways to contact children.

And, many young people do not know how to protect themselves on the Internet. Half of US teens post personal information and pictures online, according to a 2005 study conducted by the Polly Klaas® Foundation. A third of teens discuss meeting in person with someone they only know from online.

The Internet Safety Kit includes:
•     Identifying Internet dangers.
•     How to recognize online predators.
•     How to discuss Internet safety with children of different ages.

Parents can order the free Internet Safety Kit online, click here .

Help for Parents Who Are New to the Internet

In addition, the Kit includes a free download of Wired With Wisdom, an Internet training program for parents from Web Wise Kids. Wired With Wisdom offers six interactive segments that help parents understand Internet dangers. Each segment builds understanding and confidence and offers stories and interviews that can be shared with children to help start safety discussions.

Meaningful Internet safety does not require parents to master Internet technology as thoroughly as their children. Rather, parents need to:
•     Know enough to understand the risks.
•     Be willing to discuss the risks with their children.
•     Be proactive in guiding children’s Internet use.

The most important Internet safety measure is still good parenting.

"It’s like teaching kids to drive," said Glena Records, Director of Communications. "You don’t just hand them the keys and turn them loose. You teach them the safety rules and sit beside them while they practice. And you probably have rules about where they can go, who they can see and how late they can stay out with their friends, right up until they graduate high school.”

Starting Young is Important

Results of the Foundation’s 2005 poll show that teens and tweens approach the Internet quite differently. Teens ages 13-18 are the most frequent risk-takers, while tweens 8-12 are much more cautious and likely to have discussed Internet dangers with their parents.

“Parents of younger children should capitalize on that early caution,” said Robert De Leo, Executive Director. “Talk with them about the risks of the Internet, and let them know that you are going to monitor their Internet use for their own safety.”

More results of the poll may be found on the website, click here.

About the Polly Klaas® Foundation

Founded in 1993 following the abduction and murder of Polly Klaas, the Polly Klaas® Foundation is a national nonprofit that helps find missing children, prevents them from going missing, and promotes laws that help keep children safe. The Foundation provides abduction prevention information to parents with its highly respected Child Safety Kit, and Internet Safety Kit. The Foundation’s eVolunteers distribute posters of missing children in their communities across the United States..

In 2002-2004 the Foundation and its online membership spearheaded the effort to establish Amber Alerts in all 50 states and nationally. The Foundation's professional caseworkers have helped more than 6,500 families reunite with their children.

About Web Wise Kids

Web Wise Kids is a nonprofit organization located in Southern California. Since 2002, Web Wise Kids has been committed to teaching children and their caregivers strategies for safe Internet use, including methods of detecting and deterring online predators. Web Wise Kids offerings include Wired With Wisdom, a program for parents, and the Missing Game and Mirror Image, interactive games that teach Internet safety to tweens and teens respectively. Over one million children in 49 states have received their trainings. For more information, contact www.wiredwithwisdom.org or 866-932-9473.