17 Oct 2007
Miss America Has a Web Browser
There she is, Miss America...on your computer screen, directing your kids to pre-screened web sites. Lauren Nelson made Internet safety her platform during her quest for the Miss America crown, and now that she has it she has her own web browser that limits kids to pre-screened web sites.The Miss America Kid-Safe Web Browser launched this week. The free software, designed by the Children's Educational Network, permits access to just over 10,000 web sites. But parents can add sites to the approved list, or delete ones they don't want their kids going to.
So why web safety rather than world peace, or any other cause for that matter? When Nelson, now 20, was 13, she and her friends were in a chat room on the Internet, messaging people they didn't know in person. "They asked for personal information and we gave it, not knowing any better," Nelson said. When one man sent an inappropropriate photo of himself to one of the girls, they told their parents what happened. "We had no idea that anything bad would happen," she said.
Nelson is animated on the site and, in her full Miss America regalia, tells kids Internet safety tips, lets them know when they are trying to go to a restricted site, and can be programmed by parents to pass on messages to their kids.
Children's Educational Network has designed similar browsers for organizations, including the Boy Scouts, and DreamWorks (a Shrek browser). It also is behind the Tuki.com browser for kids. Partnering with Miss America is another way to reach kids, said Greg Writer, CEO of Children's Educational Network and a former investment banker.
Nelson and Writer say the browser is designed for young children as well as kids as old as high schoolers, but it's hard to imagine high school kids using such a limited browser, adding sites to it little by little. But for young kids who are starting out on the web, it is one more tool parents can consider to help them navigiate the Internet safely.
Source: Yahoo ...