WASHINGTON, May 21, 2009 – In marking its second anniversary at an event on Capitol Hill today, NetSmartz411, the “Internet Safety Helpdesk,” sponsored by the Qwest Foundation and operated by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC), has provided more than 400,000 visitors with information about keeping kids safer while they surf the Web.
NetSmartz411 is a unique online resource where parents, guardians, grandparents, teachers, police and even kids get answers to their questions about Internet safety from experts at NCMEC. These highly skilled professionals are trained to understand all areas of emerging technologies and are well-versed in the online techniques used by child predators.
The Qwest Foundation has invested nearly $1 million to create and develop NetSmartz411 with NCMEC, which was established by an act of Congress in 1984 as a national clearinghouse of information about missing and exploited children.
“Qwest and the Qwest Foundation recognize that the Internet is integral to the way our children learn and communicate,” said Steve Davis, senior vice president of Qwest Public Policy and Government Relations. “As a provider of broadband services to millions of customers, Qwest is a steward of responsible Internet use. We value our association with NetSmartz411 because it helps families have the safest and most beneficial online experiences.”
Located at www.NetSmartz411.org, the site features a library of nearly 500 documents, including 200 in Spanish, on issues such as social networking, privacy settings, e-mail, parental controls and wireless phones. New documents are added as issues emerge or in response to questions from visitors around the world that are submitted online or by calling the toll-free hotline at 1 888-N-E-T-S-411.
“We are proud of our partnership with the Qwest Foundation and our shared success in reaching families with our message of Internet safety,” said Ernie Allen, NCMEC’s president and CEO. “NetSmartz411 has been a wonderful addition to the resources offered by the National Center, and we are excited to begin its third year of operation because we know there is much more work to be done.” About the Qwest Foundation
The Qwest Foundation's core principle is that investing in people and communities provides lasting value for the future. The Qwest Foundation awards grants to community-based programs that generate high-impact and measurable results, focusing on pre-K through grade 12 education.
About the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Since it was established by Congress in 1984, the organization has operated the toll-free 24-hour national missing children’s hotline which has handled more than 2,377,000 calls. It has assisted law enforcement in the recovery of more than 138,500 children. The organization’s CyberTipline has handled more than 690,700 reports of child sexual exploitation and its Child Victim Identification Program has reviewed and analyzed more than 22,983,300 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 or visit its web site at www.missingkids.com.