A new booklet released by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and other government agencies helps parents and teachers steer kids safely through the online and mobile-phone worlds. The booklet, titled “Net Cetera: Chatting with Kids About Being Online,” was unveiled last month at Jefferson Middle School in Washington, D.C., by FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski. It tells parents and teachers what they need to know to talk to kids about issues such as cyber bullying, sexting, mobile phone safety, and protecting the family computer. According to the FTC and U.S. Department of Education, talking to kids about these topics can help them avoid rude online behavior; steer clear of inappropriate content such as pornography, violence, or hate speech; and protect themselves from contact with bullies, predators, hackers, and scammers. http://www.onguardonline.gov/pdf/tec04.pdf

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Jeff Festa