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2010-08-26 digital edition

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2010-08-26 / General Stories

Texas Cable Companies Help Protect Kids

As children go back to school, Texas cable operators are helping parents, educators and others take proactive steps to help shield children from viewing objectionable content while surfing the Internet or watching television. In addition, a new national report issued by a cable industry partner offers information on how to help protect children from the growing problem of cyberbullying.

“We honor the decision of parents to protect their children from content they may deem as objectionable and we take measures every day to provide our customers with the tools to keep their families safe,” said Texas Cable Association Chairman John Owen, vice president of business class for Time Warner Cable Texas.

The Texas Cable Association has partnered with Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott on his initiatives to combat the efforts of cyberpredators who use the Internet to target their child victims. One in seven children will be solicited for sex online in the next year, according to a study cited by the Texas Attorney General’s Office.

“Technology-savvy child predators are using the Internet to prey upon young children,” Attorney General Abbott said. “Parents, educators and students must arm themselves with the tools and information they need to thwart these dangerous Internet predators. This isn’t merely a backto school reminder, but something all Texans must all remember every day of the year.”

A timely white paper by Cable in the Classroom partner Common Sense Media outlines the growing problem of cyberbulling - bullying that can take place via the Internet or other technology. A McAfee/Harris Interactive survey found that 29 percent of 10- to 17- year-olds said they’ve been cyberbullied, and 52 percent said they know someone who has experienced cyberbullying.

The report, “Cyberbullying - Damage in a Digital Age,” offers prevention tips for parents, educators, policymakers and others and can be found at www.ncta.com.

In the home, the cable industry has developed easy-to-use technologies and parental control resources, including media literacy education and advanced TV channel and Web site blocking tools.

Cable operators have invested more than $500 million dollars in public service announcements to educate consumers about cable’s parental controls, the V-chip and the TV ratings system. Technology built into set-top boxes that the majority of cable customers already have, plus an enhanced TV ratings system, enable parents to take charge of what their children watch on television. More information about available tools and resources can be found at www.controlyourtv.org, or from your cable operator.

The cable industry continues to promote its “Cable Puts You in Control: PointSmart.Click Safe” initiative to educate parents and consumers about online safety and the appropriate use of the Internet by children. More on this comprehensive program can be found at www.PointSmartClickSafe.org.

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