ALEXANDRIA, Va., Aug. 6, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In new videos and a game launched today on www.NSTeens.org, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and Sprint (NYSE: S) are challenging tweens (8-12 year olds) to think about the choices they're making online. The new content added to the free Internet-safety site tackles issues like cyberbullying and online enticement. Its goal is to empower kids to be safer and smarter online.
"Recent studies have found that most children are using the Internet every day by age 8. As they get older the amount of time spent online will only increase," said John Ryan, CEO of NCMEC. "We have to help our kids understand, from a young age, that what they are doing online can have a lasting impact on their lives. Threats from potential predators are real, but kids also have to consider how they will react to cyberbullying and what they are leaving online for people like college admission officers and employers to see. With Sprint's help, we're asking kids to think, not just about their safety, but about the kind of people they want to be online."
The new content available today includes:
- 6 Degrees of Information, a video that asks teens to think about the information they share online and how comfortable they are with people finding it. In the video, Matt, an Internet researcher, asks five teens to participate in an experiment where he will try to find out as much as he can about them online in just six clicks.
- Rescue Run, a new game where players must avoid obstacles while racing to stop their friends from meeting face-to-face with people they first met online. During the game, players receive tips about how to handle requests to meet offline. Tweens can play at NSTeens.org or download the mobile version from the Apple iTunes stores or the Google Play Android store.
- Stand By or Stand Up?, the first interactive, role-playing comic on NSTeens.org. The comic addresses cyberbullying and engages tweens through a "choose-your-own-adventure" style of story in which their decisions help shape the comic's outcome.
The new content, along with previous Internet-safety games and videos, is available for free at www.NSTeens.org. The site also includes activity cards and discussion guides to help educators and parents engage tweens in a dialogue about the issues.
"Sprint is committed to addressing the impacts of an increasingly connected and mobile society," said Debby Ballard, director of Community Affairs for Sprint. "When we see statistics that tell us 95 percent of all teens are online and 80 percent are users of social media sites, we have to pay attention to the potential risks that come along with navigating an expansive online world. At Sprint, we believe it is more important than ever to make sure that our products and services are being used in the safest manner possible, particularly when in the hands of those who may be the most vulnerable. Together with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, we provide free resources to educators, parents and young people nationwide so that working, learning and playing online can be a safe experience. "
NCMEC and Sprint launched www.NSTeens.org in 2007. It is part of NCMEC's popular Internet safety resource, NetSmartz Workshop (www.NetSmartz.org). It is funded as part of Sprint's Internet safety initiative, 4NetSafety (www.4NetSafety.com), through Sprint's charitable phone-recycling program, Sprint Project Connect. 4NetSafety is an important part of Sprint Good Works(SM), an initiative that encompasses Sprint's community and philanthropic outreach across the country.
About the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1984. Designated by Congress to serve as the nation's clearinghouse on issues related to missing and exploited children, the organization operates the toll-free 24-hour national missing children's hotline which has handled more than 3,810,000 calls. It has assisted law enforcement in the recovery of more than 188,000 children. The organization's CyberTipline has handled more than 2,027,000 reports of child sexual exploitation and its Child Victim Identification Program has reviewed and analyzed more than 92,444,000 child pornography images and videos. The organization works in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. To learn more about NCMEC, call its toll-free, 24-hour hotline at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) or visit its web site at www.missingkids.com. Follow NCMEC on Twitter (@MissingKids) and like NCMEC on Facebook (Facebook.com/MissingKids).
Sprint offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint served more than 53 million customers at the end of the second quarter of 2013 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. The American Customer Satisfaction Index rated Sprint as the most improved company in customer satisfaction, across all 47 industries, during the last five years. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 3 in both its 2011 and 2012 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation's greenest companies, the highest of any telecommunications company. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.
About Sprint Good Works(SM)
Sprint is committed to using our technology, human and financial resources to help make the world a better place. This commitment infuses our business and culture, and it drives our Sprint Good Works(SM) program. More than just a name, good works is also a belief: Good does indeed work(SM). The good works we perform every day benefit three key subjects: people, product and planet. For people, we demonstrate good works through targeted philanthropic initiatives and a diverse and ethical workforce. For a better product, we harness the power of innovation to help customers minimize their environmental footprint and increase their safety and security, and to empower seniors and those with disabilities to stay connected through accessible technology. For a healthier planet, we lead the industry with our sustainable business practices and wireless reuse and recycling programs. These are just a few of the ways we demonstrate good works to bring people and resources together for a better world. You can learn more about our good works at www.sprint.com/responsibility.
SOURCE The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children