DENVER, March 18, 2008 -- Linda R. Young, Ph.D., the Incredible Internet cyber psychologist sponsored by Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE:Q), says spring break is the perfect time for families to have a conversation about the long-term consequences of sharing personal information and photos online.
Dr. Young, a staff psychologist at Seattle University, is a member of Qwest’s growing team of online safety experts at www.incredibleinternet.com.
“For today’s Net Generation, what happens in Cancun, Daytona Beach or Vegas may not stay there,” Young said. “Thanks to camera phones, social networks and the Internet, embarrassing, reputation-ruining moments may be captured forever in cyberspace and kids today need to understand the long-term consequences of living their lives out online.”
Dr. Young says spring break provides a timely reminder to reflect on adolescent attitudes toward privacy and personal expression. Dr. Young’s advice and video can be found at http://www.incredibleinternet.com/index.php/do/get_page/pageID/194.
Dr. Young explains that there are risks associated with making private information public via the Internet. Today, more and more:
· Employers routinely check social networking Web sites and run applicants’ names through search engines as part of the hiring process to assess an applicant’s character and judgment.
· Young people engage in risky behaviors.
· Members of the Net Generation feel compelled to post questionable antics online.
· Parents are struggling to identify effective techniques to communicate with their families to encourage positive behavior.
“Qwest is committed to giving our customers a great online experience, and we think Dr. Young’s advice for families is important and timely before kids head off for spring break,” said Paula Kruger, executive vice president of Mass Markets at Qwest.
As a senior staff psychologist at Seattle University, Dr. Young provides individual, couples and group counseling, psychotherapy and crisis intervention for undergraduate and graduate students. She also develops and delivers campus outreach programs on a variety of mental health topics and offers organizational consultation to academic departments and student development staff. In addition to her university work, Dr. Young maintains a private practice in Bellevue, Wash., specializing in relationship issues.
About the Incredible Internet Program
Qwest and the Qwest Foundation are committed to helping families learn to protect their children from online threats. Since 2003, Qwest has partnered with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children to raise families' awareness about online safety issues and to help combat online exploitation of youth proactively by encouraging increased parental and guardian understanding and education. Qwest currently is expanding its Online Safety Program nationally and throughout its Western 14-state region. For more information visit www.incredibleinternet.com/onlinesafety. In addition, the Qwest Foundation sponsors www.NetSmartz411.org, a free, first-of-its-kind resource that gives families direct access to experts at NCMEC who can respond to their specific questions and concerns about online safety.
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