Third Annual Cox Communications National Summit on Internet Safety Provides Key Information for Protecting Children Online
Children’s Advocate John Walsh and Lauren Nelson, Miss America 2007, Help Explore Tweens’ Online Behavior
Washington, DC

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Cox Communications and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC) held the third annual Cox Communications National Summit on Internet Safety today in Washington D.C. Sixteen students from Cox communities nationwide participated in discussions on Internet safety led by children's advocate John Walsh and Lauren Nelson, Miss America 2007.

This year's Summit focused on the online behaviors of tweens, children between the ages of eight and twelve, and was inspired by the results of the Cox Tween Internet Safety Survey. For access to the complete survey results, fast-facts culled from the findings, photos and b-roll from the Summit please visit

"I have worked at the Boys & Girls Club in Orange County since I was sixteen, and I always work with the tweens," said Navid Rastin, eighteen, one of the summit participants. "I can tell how hard it is for them to make friends. Social networks are a place where they look for friends, but they find a lot of peer pressure there, and they do a lot of crazy things, including posting inappropriate pictures. It's all about self-esteem."

Again this year, discussion at the Summit covered a mix of encouraging and troubling news revealed by the most recent survey on Internet safety. Key findings from the survey released today are:

  • Ninety percent of tweens report having used the Internet by nine years-old.
  • Tweens online presence doubles or even triples between the ages of eight to ten and eleven to twelve.
  • Thirty-four percent of eleven and twelve year-olds have a profile on a social networking site. Tweens with social networking profiles post more personal information online.
  • More than one in five tweens post information about themselves online, including pictures, the city they live in and how old they are. Twenty-seven percent of tweens ages eleven to twelve admit to posting a fake age online.
  • Twenty-eight percent of tweens have been contacted over the Internet by someone they don’t know.
  • The percentage of tweens that tell parents "a lot" or "everything" they do online drops rapidly with age. Only sixty-nine percent of eleven to twelve year-olds tell Mom and Dad a lot/everything versus eighty-six percent of eight year-olds to ten year-olds.
  • Of tweens who have been contacted online by someone they don't know (twenty-eight percent), eighteen percent keep the messages to themselves, and eleven percent have chatted with the unknown person.

"Our first line of defense in keeping kids safe is parents and guardians, and most parents seem to be taking this responsibility seriously," said John Walsh, host of "America's Most Wanted" (FOX). "Seventy-three percent of the tweens who participated in our survey indicated that Mom and Dad had talked to them 'a lot' about Internet safety. The remaining twenty-seven percent represents too many kids to leave unprotected when there are people out there who have the compulsion to commit horrible acts. Each child with Internet access must learn as much about safety as possible. The stakes are just too high," he said.

Lauren Nelson also shared her own personal experience in an effort to raise awareness about the dangers for children on the Internet. "When I was thirteen, my friends and I made the bad decision to share personal information on the Internet with someone we later learned meant to harm us," said Nelson. "We told him our names, ages and where we lived. Thankfully, we told our parents about what we had done, and nothing bad happened to any of us, but not all kids are this lucky. Tweens share a lot with their parents, but start to keep things to themselves as they mature; parents need to understand this and do their best to keep the lines of communication open."

Tomorrow, Walsh and Nelson will also discuss the survey and implications for families live in local broadcast television and radio interviews, and they will also be available via Web cast from 1:00 - 1:30 p.m. EDT to answer questions about Internet safety and discuss the teen survey in greater detail. To view the Web cast, go to®d=n

Also tomorrow, the tweens are headed to Capitol Hill where they will meet with Senators and Representatives from their respective states in an effort to bring awareness to the issue of Internet safety. During more than twenty-five separate meetings, the tweens will speak one-on-one with Senators and Representatives including: Shelley Berkeley (D-NV), John Boozman (R-AR), Rick Boucher (D-VA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ken Calvert (R-CA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Chuck Hagel (R-NE), Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), John Kyl (R-AZ), Blanche Lincoln (D-AK), Charlie Melancon (D-LA), Jeff Miller (R-FL), Ben Nelson (D-NE), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Mike Ross (D-AR), Jon Porter (R-NV), Jack Reed (D-RI), Harry Reid (D-NV), Lee Terry (R-NE), David Vitter (R-LA), Stephanie Tubbs-Jones (D-OH), Jim Webb (D-VA) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).

The Tween Summit is an extension of Cox Communications' ongoing Take Charge! initiative (, which helps parents, guardians and kids make smarter media decisions. The Teen Summit will air on Cox's local cable channels nationwide starting later this summer.

About Cox Communications:

Cox Communications is a multi-service broadband communications and entertainment company with 6.2 million total residential and commercial customers. The third-largest cable television company in the United States, Cox offers an array of advanced digital video, high-speed Internet and telephony services over its own nationwide IP network. Cox Business is a full-service, facilities-based provider of communications solutions for commercial customers, providing high-speed Internet, voice and long distance services, as well as data and video transport services for small to large-sized businesses. Cox Media offers national and local cable advertising in traditional spot and new media formats, along with promotional opportunities and production services. Cox Communications wholly owns and operates the Travel Channel. More information about the services of Cox Communications, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises, is available at, y vAbout Cox Communications’ Take Charge:

Cox's research on teen Internet safety from the last three years, online safety tools and tips, and links to NCMEC and other sources are available at Cox's Take Charge program was launched in 2004 to educate parents and guardians about the importance of Internet safety and to help families get the most out of mass media in the home. It provides scores of resources to help parents and guardians manage what their children see, and don't see, on TV and the Internet-from instructions on setting parental controls, to a guide to the lingo teens use online, to tips for more constructive conversations between parents and kids. Teaching young children and teens how to stay safer online is a major element of the Take Charge program, thanks in part to Cox's partnership with, a collaboration between NCMEC and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Cox has donated more than $30 million worth of advertising time to NetSmartz and NCMEC to encourage safer online behavior among children. Cox's Take Charge site will be updated with the complete 2008 tween research findings at the conclusion of the summit.

About the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC):

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 2.2 million calls. It has assisted law enforcement in the recovery of more than 128,000 children. The organization's CyberTipline has handled more than 600,000 reports of child sexual exploitation and its Child Victim Identification program has analyzed 15,000,000 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

Media Contacts:

Amy Burton
Weber Shandwick Worldwide
404.266.7557 (w)
404.909.9318 (c)

David Grabert
Cox Communications
404.269.7054 (w)
678.592.2258 (c)

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