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Kids' Safety Online

Boot Camp feature for Thursday, May 1, 2003

Doing more to protect kids online. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is recognizing half a dozen cities this month for their online safety efforts. Center president Ernie Allen says towns and cities can't afford to say cyber-security isn't within their jurisdiction...

"One of the primary obligations, in our judgement, of cities in America, is maintenance of public safety. And the reality is that in 2003, the Internet, while a tremendous resource, a resource that we encourage parents and kids to explore and use, while it's a positive, it's also a source of risk. And in these communities and in other communities across the country city leaders are recognizing that this is a key element of maintaining the public safety."

The cities being recognized by the center and the MSN online service are New York, San Diego, Dallas, Seattle, Sioux Falls and Naperville, Illinois. Naperville, for instance, has an online course for parents and teachers on safeguarding children on the Internet...

"There are law enforcement initiatives in this year and these communities have stepped forward in a serious way to make sure that parents have the tools and the knowledge they need to keep their kids safe."

An area where many parents, says Allen, still have a false sense of security. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.