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Online Safety

USTelecom encourages voluntary participation in best practices in online safety to ensure cyberspace is safe for everyone.

Status

Online safety has become a real concern for all consumers, whether safeguarding personal and financial information from unauthorized parties or protecting their children from harmful content. Companies are responding with resources and protective measures to increase online safety for all consumers.

Background

With the Internet becoming increasingly integrated into so many aspects of people's daily lives, various forms of harmful content have become a legitimate concern to consumers and parents. Whether it’s guarding against phishing schemes, limiting exposure to inappropriate content, or educating children about appropriate online behavior, the broadband industry has developed resources to educate and empower consumers with tools designed to achieve these goals.

The payoff is well worth the investment. Efforts to minimize unwanted computer viruses, for example, pay dividends in greater safety for the network as a whole, as well as safer and more satisfied customers.

USTelecom Position

USTelecom recognizes the importance of making the Internet safe, especially for children. To that end, we encourage ISP adoption of the following best practices in promoting online safety and combating child pornography.

Online Safety – USTelecom pledges to help create a better, safer online media environment and foster a better understanding and working knowledge of the digital media landscape. Download Online Safety Best Practices.

Child Pornography Hosting and Newsgroups – USTelecom and our member companies strive to foster cooperation between the online community, law enforcement officials, and the government to minimize the availability of illegal content, particularly child sexual abuse images. Two particular areas of concern are newsgroup forums and websites hosted on domestic servers. Download  Best Practices - Preventing Child Pornography.

Carrier Impact

Many larger carriers already have dedicated resources for online safety, and many smaller to mid-sized companies are following this trend. Guides to parental controls, phishing, and virus prevention are some of the resources carriers have designed in the name of online safety.

Additional Resources

Federal Trade Commission – NetCetera Handbook: Chatting with Kids About Being Online
Federal Trade Commission – Recognizing Phone Fraud
FCC – Common Telephone Scams
OnGuard Online
Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI)