In March 1997, Gov. Mike Leavitt convened a statewide televised Conference for Families. The Governor spent his allotted time discussing only one subject: family safety on the Internet.
Gov. Leavitt then pleaded with community groups to work together to become more effective resources for our Utah families.We have since prepared a 27-page booklet to be distributed free of charge to every home within our one-square-mile Murray neighborhood (about 1,200 families). Our booklet contains information on exciting, educational Web sites, filtering/blocking software and ideas for formulating a personal family technology plan. For instance, families could decide to keep the computer in a family room and not behind closed doors so that the screen will be visible for others to see at all times. There are also suggestions for families who must deal with problems of addiction.
Another good resource is a pamphlet, "Child Safety on the Information Highway," published by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, 2101 Wilson Blvd., Suite 550, Arlington, VA 22201-3052. Up to 50 free copies of the pamphlet may be obtained by request from the center.
Full Internet service providers who block undesirable sites are becoming available. This helps eliminate the need for people to purchase blocking software.
We are willing to share our safety information with others. If you wish, you may adapt it for your own particular circumstances or group. We simply want to help get the word out so that families will be better able to meet the challenges of the information age.