Alexandria, VA — In new videos and a game launched this month on www.NSTeens.org, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and Sprint (NYSE:S) are challenging tweens (8-12 year olds) to think about the choices they’re making online. The new content added to the free Internet-safety site tackles issues like cyberbullying and online enticement. Its goal is to empower kids to be safer and smarter online.
"Recent studies have found that most children are using the Internet every day by age 8. As they get older the amount of time spent online will only increase," said John Ryan, CEO of NCMEC.ÃÂ "We have to help our kids understand, from a young age, that what they are doing online can have a lasting impact on their lives.ÃÂ Threats from potential predators are real, but kids also have to consider how they will react to cyberbullying and what they are leaving online for people like college admission officers and employers to see.ÃÂ With Sprint's help, we’re asking kids to think, not just about their safety, but about the kind of people they want to be online."
The new content available today includes:
- 6 Degrees of Information, a video that asks teens to think about the information they share online and how comfortable they are with people finding it. In the video, Matt, an Internet researcher, asks five teens to participate in an experiment where he will try to find out as much as he can about them online in just six clicks.
- Rescue Run, a new game where players must avoid obstacles while racing to stop their friends from meeting face-to-face with people they first met online. During the game, players receive tips about how to handle requests to meet offline. Tweens can play at NSTeens.org or download the mobile version from the Apple iTunes stores or the Google Play Android store.
- Stand By or Stand Up?, the first interactive, role-playing comic on NSTeens.org. The comic addresses cyberbullying and engages tweens through a “choose-your-own-adventure” style of story in which their decisions help shape the comic’s outcome.
- The new content, along with previous Internet-safety games and videos, is available for free at www.NSTeens.org. The site also includes activity cards and discussion guides to help educators and parents engage tweens in a dialogue about the issues.
"Sprint is committed to addressing the impacts of an increasingly connected and mobile society," said Debby Ballard, director of Community Affairs for Sprint. "When we see statistics that tell us 95 percent of all teens are online and 80 percent are users of social media sites, we have to pay attention to the potential risks that come along with navigating an expansive online world. At Sprint, we believe it is more important than ever to make sure that our products and services are being used in the safest manner possible, particularly when in the hands of those who may be the most vulnerable. Together with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, we provide free resources to educators, parents and young people nationwide so that working, learning and playing online can be a safe experience."
NCMEC and Sprint launched www.NSTeens.org in 2007. It is part of NCMEC's popular Internet safety resource, NetSmartz Workshop (www.NetSmartz.org). It is funded as part of Sprint's Internet safety initiative, 4NetSafety (www.4NetSafety.com), through Sprint's charitable phone-recycling program, Sprint Project Connect. 4NetSafety is an important part of Sprint Good WorksSM, an initiative that encompasses Sprint's community and philanthropic outreach across the country.