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June 24th, 2009
07:14 AM ET

John Walsh leads teens in discussion of sexting and cyberbullying

Press Release: What Every Parent Needs to Know: Cox and Harris Interactive to Present Findings from National Teen Online and Wireless Safety Survey on Sexting and Cyberbullying

ATLANTA, June 22 /PRNewswire/ - For the fourth consecutive year, teens from across the country will gather in Washington, D.C. for the Cox National Teen Summit on Internet and Wireless Safety held in partnership with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children(R) (NCMEC).

As a part of Cox's Take Charge! program developed to keep kids safer online, America's Most Wanted host and children's advocate John Walsh will guide teen participants from Cox Communications' markets across the country in a discussion of Internet and wireless safety, with a focus on ways parents, guardians and teen mentors can help children be safer online, at home and on the go. Discussion topics include sexting, cyberbullying and parental controls.

Results of a new survey conducted by Cox in conjunction with NCMEC about the behavior of young people online and a recap of the summit will be presented during a virtual media conference on BlogTalkRadio. John Walsh, Harris Interactive and select teens will be available to answer questions. On June 25, the teens will deliver the news directly to Capitol Hill in meetings with members of Congress.

WHAT: Cox Communications' National Teen Summit on Internet & Wireless Safety
WHEN: Wednesday, June 24, 2009
- 7:00 a.m., Complete Survey Results available at
- 9:00 a.m. Teen Summit
- 11:00 a.m. Virtual Media Conference with John Walsh & Harris Interactive
- Call-In Phone Number:  (646) 200- 4633
WHERE: National Cable & Telecommunications Association
25 Massachusetts Avenue, NW – Suite 100
Washington, DC 20001

Last year's key findings from the Summit include the following tips for parents/guardians:

  • Use parental controls like those available with Cox High Speed Internet
  • Proactively ask questions about what your teen is doing online and how they are accessing the Internet.
  • Know the Internet, its popular sites and its capabilities, especially in the social networking arena.
  • Set your conversation in a casual, non-threatening situation.

"Teens are connected online and through their cell phones. A dangerous new trend is sexting. One in five teens readily admits they participate in sexting, despite the fact that they believe it's dangerous," said John Walsh. "Knowledge is power. Parents need to arm themselves, and regularly talk with their teens in a non-confrontational manner about safe behavior with computers and wireless devices."

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,, and

About Cox's Take Charge Initiative:
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's' use of the TV, Internet and wireless devices - 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 the NetSmartz(R) Workshop, NCMEC's Internet safety resource available at Cox has donated more than $30 million worth of advertising time to NetSmartz and NCMEC to encourage safer online behavior among children. More information on Take Charge! is available at and

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 699,500 reports of child sexual exploitation and its Child Victim Identification Program has reviewed and analyzed more than 23,796,800 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

About the Survey
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Cox Communications between April 9 and 21, 2009 among 655 U.S. teens ages 13-18. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated; a full methodology is available.

SOURCE Cox Communications

Filed under: Crime • Technology
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. steph

    well i think that teenagers should know that sexting is wrong and should not do it at all

    December 14, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  2. Lisa Longo

    I listened to the report on cyber bullying and sexting and was appalled at the statistics, but more so at John Walsh saying you should not take away the phone or computer. Children need to learn that every action has a consequence and behaving badly leads to negative consequences. My daughter will be 13. She does not have a cell phone, MySpace, Facebook or Twitter account. She communicates with her friends by telephone. I do not subscribe to the belief that since "everybody else has it, is doing it", so should we. That is a cop out to parenting. Children are too young to understand the responsibilty of cell phones and email. We have an age limit for drinking and driving for very good reasons. We don't need to regulate the use of electronic mediums, but parents need to be tougher about ensuring their children do not misuse these mediums. When I decide my daughter needs a phone, there are several very good options that do not have cameras, internet access or texting. If the child needs a phone, get them a phone. The rest is just an invitation to mischief. Our children to do not the constant ability to connect, what purpose is served by providing this technology? If the phone is for the parents convinience, then limit the phones incoming and outgoing calls, eliminate texting and cameras. Provide what is needed, and that is it.

    June 24, 2009 at 8:19 am |
  3. wayne

    about the hudson plane incident people need to get over themselves and stop tryin to get rich they all walked away with their lives that grred is what is driving this country in the ground the pilot did his job

    June 24, 2009 at 8:00 am |
  4. Lee

    Sexting and cyberbullying are just extensions of the high school experience into the digital world. If they start policing sexting, will the government start policing teenage sex? If they start policing cyberbullying, will they police actual bullying? Yes, there are consequences and victims of sexting, teenage sex, cyberbullying, and bullying, but how does one stop it without being draconian. Only parents can accomplish that. If you don't want your kid sexting with images, don't give them a camera phone. If you don't want your kid cyberbullying, make them pay for their text messages. Or better still, don't give them a phone.

    June 24, 2009 at 7:41 am |
  5. wolverineblackstar

    while child protection laws are neccssary we must change the social settings that encourage bullying it starts at what the child learns @ home/ as far as "sexting" technologoy will always advance past our laws so its better we deal the real issue of proper sex education you cannot regulate morality @ any age level;)

    June 24, 2009 at 7:27 am |