CUPERTINO, Calif. – Feb. 2009 – Symantec Corporation announced the public beta of a new Web-based service, currently named Norton Online Family during the beta period, that’s designed to help parents protect children online and connect with their online lives. The service not only encourages discussion between parents, it is also easy-to-use and provides customizable tools that keep kids safe online.
Norton Online Family allows not-so-technically-savvy parents to gain a better understanding of their children’s online world. “Norton Online Family takes a different approach from today’s parental control solutions by providing tools that help parents understand their kids’ online world,” said Marian Merritt, Symantec’s Internet Safety Advocate and Norton Online Family Advisory Council lead. “These tools include the ability to show what kids are actually searching for on ten different search sites, including Google, YouTube and Wikipedia. Parents can also confirm kids’ IM friends and monitor conversations with unconfirmed friends, as well as see the number and type of social networking accounts their kids have and their published age on these sites.”
Symantec also announced the formation of the Norton Online Family Advisory Council, a committee of experts to test the beta. This council is comprised of leaders in children’s online safety who are interested in fostering better communication between parents and children. The members are:
· Dr. David S. Bickham – PhD, Staff Scientist, Center on Media and Child Health Children’s Hospital, Boston
· Anne Collier – Co-Director, ConnectSafely.org
· Marsali Hancock - President, Internet Keep Safe Coalition
· Robin Raskin – “The Internet Mom”
· Tim Sullivan – President, PTO Today (Parent Teacher Organization) and School Family Media, Inc.
· Vanessa Van Petten – Teen Author & Blogger, OnTeensToday.com
And for a list of additional resources about family online safety is available at www.norton.com/familyresources.