Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna's Must Read - July 2008

I’m pleased to announce another major accomplishment in our ongoing efforts to fight high-tech crimes and protect children from online dangers. Building on the work of my Youth Internet Safety Task Force, the AGO’s High-Tech Unit and our Consumer Protection Division, we’ve added valuable new information to the Internet Safety section of our website.

In partnership with national Internet safety expert Linda Criddle, author of the Internet safety manual Look Both Ways, we’ve added fresh information for youth, adults, seniors and educators.

Our top tips for youth explain:

· How young people can put personal information at risk just by taking surveys, participating in chat, discussion boards and forums, online dating, creating personal e-mail aliases, sharing images and video, and gaming online.

· Most importantly, how to protect themselves online.

For adults, we offer:

· Ways to be smarter about spending and saving on-line, like creating strong passwords, identifying secure sites and safely participating in on-line auctions and classifieds;

· Tips for defensive computing, including things to keep in mind as you browse, download or share information via the Web; and

· Things to keep in mind while mobile computing, including using public computers and mobile phones.

Parents and educators will find information on:

· How to protect kids from on-line bullies;

· Unintentional consequences of sharing student information on-line, including photos, school sports schedules and other information that could expose students to predators.

· A checklist for family online safety, including a family Internet safety contract.

· A link to iKeepSafe Parent Resource Center, which offers additional resources and a free ParentCare download for MySpace parents.

The site also includes these tips for seniors:

· How to safely socialize on-line and avoid on-line dating scams;

· How to avoid scams that prey on emotions when you are posting information about weddings or deaths;

· Other specialized advice for those with limited experience on the Internet.

Please take a few moments to review these additions to our website. My hope is that you will join me in my efforts to educate Washington citizens, particularly our young people, about online dangers by forwarding these links to all of your family members, friends and neighbors who could benefit from this information. And, by asking each of them to do the same.

Having been at the forefront of this important issue in recent years, I cannot stress enough the importance of education when it comes to protecting ourselves and our loved ones from online crimes.

Thank you very much.


Rob McKenna

Attorney General