Kim Sanchez Sr. Audience Marketing Manager & FOSI Chair
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We had the opportunity to speak with Kim Sanchez, Senior Audience Marketing Manager with the Trustworthy Group at Microsoft Corporation and Family Online Safety Institute Chair on the efforts from FOSI to inform and educate on safety for families while online.
This has been an ongoing education process for not only FOSI but also for Microsoft itself. The company recently release results from a new study on parents and the involvement in their children's use of social networking programs. The result showed that most parents are involved in their child's social networking process from account creation to sharing and discussing the risk and safety concerns with online accounts and connections. The number, 67%, is most probably a greater number then we saw about 10 years ago however with the growth of the Social Networking Sites and other online avenues has also created more awareness for parents and educators. Even in the software we find at home in both Mac based operating systems and with PC's running Vista and Windows 7, Security for the family and for parents concerned with their children online is built in.
Even though the number shows involvement from parents, the report also revealed that 41% of children opened their first social networking account before the age of 13, the minimum age to participate on many of the social networking site according to the report. I wasn't even allowed to use the TV Tuner at that age!
While the report shared some good trends and ones that needed work when it came to Online Safety Education, the overall feeling was that parents are very engaged and are helping the kids take advantage of the many benefits many social networking sites can offer. Kim shared with us a couple of good web tips and some sites to check out including a fee web calendar tool that provides monthly Internet safety reminders and advice to parent with the idea of better protecting the online experience.
It would seem to me that while we find that children are growing up and wanting to experience the online networks, adults that have not used technology are also beginning to venture online to connect with friends and family. FOSI also works to provide safer online experiences for these members of society as well. The Family Online Safety Institute is an International Non Profit organization with a member association of companies such as AOL, AT&T, Comcast, Entertainment Software Association, Facebook, Microsoft, MySpace, Time Warner Cable, Verizon and Yahoo! to name a few. Tune in to find out more about FOSI and the information from Microsoft's report in our discussion with Kim Sanchez.