INTERNAUT

GetNetWise aims to provide data on safety and Web filtering tools

Shawn P.McCarthy

I recently served on the steering committee of GetNetWise, a new online children's safety resource.

The nonprofit collaboration of several Internet providers and search engine services is setting up a site for information about filtering tools and child protection methods.

Coordinated by the Internet Education Foundation, at www.ief.org, the project will have a broad scope, and its logo will appear on some government sites. Clicking on the logo takes visitors to directories of tools and techniques for limiting Net surfing, safety guides, ways to report online trouble and links to safe content.

Vice President Al Gore helped spur development of GetNetWise. Several members of Congress attended its July 29 debut in Washington.

GetNetWise could influence the way federal network administrators and information managers control use of their Internet access by visitors and employees.

Awareness campaign

Supporters that display the GetNetWise icon and link have agreed to provide access to the tools and make parents and others aware that such tools are available. Their goal is to keep the Internet a safe place while still allowing users to take advantage of its wealth of resources.

Participants have the option of linking to the central site, at www.getnetwise.org, or developing their own version of the content, while always sticking to the theme of lists of tools and contact points for child protection.

Network administrators interested in controlling Internet use at the office should visit the Guide to Tools section, at www.getnetwise.org/tools/.

Although labeled tools for families, it's useful for anyone who must restrict access or control Internet use. You can search for tools by function, such as limiting time online, filtering and blocking content or uniform resource locators, blocking outgoing content and monitoring where a user has been.

Government sites that want to display the logo can look for the Join Us link in the footer of the GetNetWise site.

Shawn P. McCarthy designs products for a Web search engine provider. E-mail him at smccarthy@lycos.com.

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