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October 04, 2007
Attorney General Rob McKenna kicks off Internet Safety Month

Seattle - Attorney General Rob McKenna and Comcast Senior Vice President Mitch Bowling met today to kick off Internet Safety Month and to discuss efforts to increase parental awareness of the tools available to keep their children safe on the Internet. McKenna has recorded public service announcements with McGruff the Crime Dog about Internet safety for kids that will run on Comcast in Washington over the next couple of months.

In 2006, the Attorney General’s Office teamed up with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) to provide free train-the-trainer seminars to prepare up to 400 educators and law-enforcement officers to teach Internet safety using NetSmartz resources. NetSmartz creates age-appropriate educational materials to teach children and teens rules for online safety.

As part of the SafetyNet campaign, the Attorney General’s Office visited communities across Washington to share expert tips about the Internet dangers and to talk about ways kids can avoid those dangers.

McKenna convened the Youth Internet Safety Task Force in 2007 to focus on protecting Washington’s children online. The Attorney General’s Office has created a Kids and the Net site with must-read tips for parents and children.

“The anonymity of the Internet has allowed stalkers, sex offenders and other bad guys to come in contact with children more easily.  According to a national report, 1 in 7 children between the ages of 10 and 17 have been solicited online for sex,” Attorney General McKenna said. “I am encouraged by my office’s work to fight these threats facing Washington’s children along with Comcast and others.

“We must be more vigilant than ever when it comes to educating our youth about internet safety. I have convened a Youth Internet Safety Task Force that will work to increase Internet safety awareness throughout Washington,” McKenna said. “In addition, I have asked it to review current law in related areas such as child pornography and unlawful communication with minors.”

Comcast has launched an all-new McAfee Security Suite.  The suite helps protect computers from viruses, spyware, online scams, hackers and online predators.  The new security features also helps keep identities protected online.

“As the nation’s leading residential Internet service provider, we are committed to delivering a safe, secure and superior online experience to our customers.  To do that, we take a comprehensive and multi-layered approach to Internet safety that includes working with state government officials like Attorney General Rob McKenna and partnering with leading Internet safety software vendors and advocates like McAfee, CA and Verisign as well as the National Crime Prevention Council, iKeepSafe to name just a few,” said Mitch Bowling, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Online Services for Comcast.  “Our goal is to ensure our customers know what steps they can take to protect themselves, their families and their digital assets from online threats.  This is something we at Comcast take very seriously.”


Media Contact: J. Ryan Shannon, Media Relations Manager, (360) 753-2727


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