Online safety is an important issue for children, parents, educators and law enforcement—and NetChoice believes there is a role for everyone in making the Internet safer.
Studies have shown that the best way to make children use the Internet more safely is to educate them about proper behavior. That’s why states should ensure that online safety is taught in the schools. But we also need better education and awareness programs for parents, too, so that they can make use of tools for blocking, filtering and monitoring their child’s Internet activity.
Law enforcement plays a key role in detecting and catching child predators. And policymakers should ensure that there is appropriate punishment for sexual predators, including monitoring the Internet activity of convicted sex offenders.
NetChoice has testified before legislatures that education, empowerment, and enforcement are the key ways to keep kids safe online. Some states have proposed bills mandating the consent of a parent before a child can enter a social networking website. Despite these bills underlying good intentions, currently there are no public or private databases that exist to verify that a person whom a child designates as a parent is in fact the parent. Moreover, it does not follow that a legal requirement on web companies to collect parental consent forms will stimulate meaningful parental involvement.