PointSmart.ClickSafe: Laudable Principles for Online Safety

Adrienne Hall General Manager, Trustworthy Computing writes on the Micrsoft on the Issues blog:

Like most parents, I want to help my children enjoy a safer and more enriching online experience.  This is a complex problem that lots of people are trying to solve and, to that end, we’ve seen a series of high-profile commissions and reports, each with its own set of recommendations to improve online safety. 

This week another group, PointSmart.ClickSafe, issued a report, but this one has something different – a specific list of recommended best practices for Internet companies.  We’re still evaluating the report, but I’m pleased to say that many of the best practices involve elements that we’ve already embraced at Microsoft.  Among the general principles outlined in the report:

Safety education and information.  Our Web site at Microsoft.com/protect contains a rich set of resources with the latest online safety information.

Safety and privacy information for registration and creation of user profiles.  Microsoft offers many links to our privacy policies and gives detailed information for our Live community on customer rights and responsibilities.

Content screening and safe searching.  Microsoft has been at the forefront of providing parental controls, or what we call Family Safety Settings, for our online products, including Xbox and Windows Live.

When problems arise - reporting abuse.  Our online properties offer convenient tools for reporting abuse and violations.  We also work with law enforcement when criminal behavior is involved.

As the PointSmart.ClickSafe report points out, there is no single solution for improving online safety.  But working together – with industry, government, safety advocacy groups, educators, parents, children and others - we can make real progress toward making the Internet safer and more enriching for our children.

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