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Miss America and Online Safety

Boot Camp feature for Friday, October 12, 2007

Miss America wants to make kids safer online. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. The reigning Miss America, Lauren Nelson, has made it her platform to improve the safety of kids on the Internet. She is working with the Children's Educational Network to promote software that enables parents to protect their kids….the Miss America Kid-Safe Web Browser. Nelson says it stems from personal experience…

"As a 13 year old girl, I was approached online. And so having that situation happen to me, that's why Internet safety is so important."

The software limits browsing to pre-approved Web sites and features an animated version of Nelson..

"If a child tries to access a Web site that's not on the list, my animated character pops up and says they have to have mom or dad access the Web site for them."

The software, available at MissAmericaKids.com, will appeal primarily to girls ages four to fourteen. There are premium services available as well. Children's Educational Network CEO and founder Greg Writer says those features include…

"If they want safe email where kids can send and receive email, parent approved buddies, language filters, personal information filters, talking characters that do encouraging words and chore reminders."

The additional services cost 4.95 a month. There are other free children's safety features available from AOL and Microsoft….and many built into Windows Vista. The key is, they aren't of value unless parents take the time to activate and utilize them. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.