Internet and Media Safety

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As technology has advanced, access to media has quickly become ever present and constant. On average, 8- to 18-year olds spend 7 ½ hours every day using media. A recent survey found that children live in environments that have four televisions, nearly three DVD or VCR players, two CD players, two radios, two video game consoles, and two computers. Children use computers to play interactive games, use social media like Facebook, Twitter, and FormSpring, and view television or videos on web sites like Hulu, YouTube, and other streaming web sites. Access to more recent technology like smart phones, tablets, and iPods make media even more accessible. One study found that as many as 22% of children ages 6-9, 60% of children ages 10-14 and 84% of children ages 15-18 own a cell phone. Many children and adults use different technologies simultaneously and ongoing studies are exploring the impact of “connectedness” on the brain. Overall, media has become an integral part of our environment and is impacting how children and adolescents communicate, gather and share information, and develop their sense of self.

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Resource Organizations » Internet and Media Safety

12 listing(s), including 1 offering support groups


In Massachusetts

Berkman Center for Internet and Society- Harvard Youth and Media Lab

cyber.law.harvard.edu/research/youthandmedia/lab#
23 Everett Street, 2nd Floor
Cambridge, MA  02138
617) 495-7547
Expanding its work on young people and digital technologies, the Berkman Center is launching a youth-driven R&D lab for media literacy and digital empowerment, the Youth and Media Lab, supported by a grant from the McCormick Foundation.

Center for Media and Child Health (CMCH)

cmch.tv
300 Longwood Avenue
Boston, MA  02115
Phone: 617-355-2000
Fax: 617-730-0004
The Center on Media and Child Health at Children's Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School, and Harvard School of Public Health is dedicated to understanding and responding to the effects of media on the physical, mental, and social health of children through research, production, and education.

Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media is dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing trustworthy information and education needed to thrive in a world of media and technology.
Common Sense Media exists because the amount of time children spend with media and digital activities profoundly impacts their social, emotional, and physical development. Common Sense Media is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization providing trustworthy information and tools, as well as an independent forum, so that families can have a choice and a voice about the media they consume.

Enough is Enough

The Enough Is Enough mission is to Make the Internet Safer for Children and Families. EIE is dedicated to continuing to raise public awareness about online dangers, specifically the dangers of Internet pornography and sexual predators. EIE advances solutions that promote equality, fairness, and respect for human dignity with shared responsibility between the public, technology, and the law. EIE stands for freedom of speech as defined by the Constitution of the United States; for a culture where all people are respected and valued; for a childhood with a protected age of innocence; for healthy sexuality; and, for a society free from sexual exploitation.

GetNetWise - Internet Education Foundation

A project of the Internet Education Foundation, the GetNetWise coalition wants internet users to be just "one click way" from the resources they need to make informed decisions about their and their family's use of the internet.

NAMI South Shore

www.namimass.org/
Offers support group(s)
19 Thaxter St.
Hingham, MA  02043
617-376-5400
If you or a loved one believes you have a mental illness or received a diagnosis of a mental illness and you need to find out more information: we can help.
If you want to know how to use the mental health services and benefits system to get help for yourself or your loved one: we can help.

Youth and Media Lab

youthandmedia.org/
23 Everett Street, Second Floor
Cambridge, MA  02138
(617) 495-7547
Youth and Media encompasses an array of research, advocacy, and development initiatives around youth and digital technology. By understanding young people's interactions with digital media such as the Internet, cell phones, and video games, this highly collaborative project aims to gain detailed insights into youth practices and digital fluencies, harness the associated opportunities, address challenges, and ultimately shape the evolving regulatory and educational framework in a way that advances the public interest.

Outside Massachusetts

Connect Safely

Connect Safely serves as a public platform to give parents, teens and all stakeholders a voice in the public discussion about social Web safety and youth. It empowers parents with information about the realities of Internet, mobile and gaming safety versus myths and scare tactics. It also educates parents and kids on real-life approaches and practices for safe, healthy social lives online. Connect Safely provides a central space for learning about the social Web with features that include the latest news that impacts Internet, videogame and mobile users; safety tips & advice on responsible Internet use, cyberbullying, social networking, blogging, gaming and media-sharing; a forum where parents and kids can interact with others to discuss Internet and mobile safety questions and concerns; and guest commentaries from the world's most-recognized safety advocates. Connect Safely's partner websites are www.safekids.com and www.safeteens.com.

Cyberbully 411

Cyberbully411, created by Internet Solutions for Kids, is an effort to provide resources for youth who have questions about or have been targeted by online harassment. The site offers information to youth on cyberbullying and its consequences, as well as guidance on what to do and how to talk to parents in a cyberbullying situation. There is also an online discussion forum.

Internet Keep Safe Coalition

The Internet Keep Safe Coalition is a broad partnership of governors, attorneys general, public health and educational professionals, law enforcement, and industry leaders working together for the health and safety of youth online. The coalition uses these unique partnerships to disseminate safety resources to families worldwide.The mission of the coalition is to give parents, educators, and policymakers the information and tools which empower them to teach children the safe and healthy use of technology and the Internet. The website features a Parent Resource Center as well as educational materials for children and teens, including videos, PowerPoint presentations, activity sheets, coloring pages, quizzes, and educational games available for free download.

Net Family News

As a public service for parents, educators, and everyone interested in young people's use of technology, NetFamilyNews is the "community newspaper" of a vital interest community. The site includes a daily blog and newsfeed, and covers a variety of topics including online safety and privacy news and tools; new technologies and Web resources for kids; research about kids' use of digital media and the Net; and legislation affecting children's online experience.

Wired Safety

Wired Safety is dedicated to helping protect children in cyberspace. It does this by a combination of educational programs, online information and resources, and one-to-one help. Help is provided through live chat, instant-messaging, peer counseling of victims of cybercrime and abuse, and e-mail reportlines. There is also a partner website, www.stopcyberbullying.org, which offers specific information about cyberbullying for children, parents, educators, and law enforcement.

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Additional Sources of Information

Social Media, Social Life: How Teens View Their Digital Lives

Net Cetera: Chatting with Kids about Being Online, offers adults “practical tips to help kids navigate the online world.” Published by OnGuard Online, a joint effort of the federal government and the technology industry to help citizens stay safe online.

Parenting in the Internet Age from the PBS show Frontline. Experts on youth and new media explain what parents need to understand about the Internet, and what they need to teach their children.

National Institute on Media and the Family

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children runs the CyberTipline ( or 1-800-843-5678) for reporting any incidents of child sexual exploitation on the internet, including child pornography and the online enticement of a child. The NCMEC also operates Netsmartz, which provides information and resources on internet safety to children, teens, parents, educators, and law enforcement.

One Tough Job, from the Massachusett's Children's Trust Fund, offers the following articles (slide the age slider to 12-15 and choose from the sidebar links):

  • Internet Safety—What Parents Should Know
  • Internet Safety—What Parents Can Do
  • Helpful Internet Safety Websites

Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office
617-591-7750

Disclaimer: Material on the MSPP INTERFACE® Referral Service website is intended as general information. It is not a recommendation for treatment, nor should it be considered medical or mental health advice. The MSPP INTERFACE® Referral Service urges families to discuss all information and questions related to medical or mental health care with a health care professional.