SOS promotes tool for parents during Internet Safety Month
By Michigan Secretary of State
LANSING, Mich. ‒ With June celebrated as National Internet Safety Month, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson is reminding parents that they can help keep their kids safe by joining the ProtectMiChild Registry.
The registry is a free and secure program housed on the Secretary of State website that families and schools can use to block adult-oriented ads for products like alcohol, tobacco, pornography and online gambling from reaching their children’s email inboxes, tablets, cell phones or instant messenger IDs.
“With kids spending a great deal of time on their smartphones and other devices, parents face a tough task in keeping children safe from influences and products that are not age appropriate,” Johnson said. “The ProtectMiChild Registry provides parents with the tools they need to help control the Internet content to which their children are exposed. It’s a great resource and I encourage parents and schools to use it to protect their kids.”
Concerned parents or schools may register the electronic addresses for any devices children use at ProtectMiChild.com. The registry will block adult Internet ads for all registered contact points (such as an email address, smart phone number or instant messenger ID) for three years or until the youngest child with access to the contact point reaches the age of 18. Once the information has been entered into the registry, companies that send messages that advertise or link to prohibited products or services are required to remove the registered contact email, phone number or IM within 30 days from their mailing lists. ProtectMiChild registrations may be renewed at any time for an additional three-year period.
U.S Census figures from 2014 show that youth under the age of 18 comprise about 22 percent of the state’s population. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, teens spend an average of 2.3 hours per day engaged in electronic communication and recreation (surfing the Internet, playing video games, texting with friends, and viewing TV) and nearly twice as much time on the weekends. There are a number of Internet games, devices and services produced just for preschoolers.
Visit the registry at ProtectMiChild.com.
A video message from Secretary Johnson about the ProtectMiChild Registry is available here.
For media questions, please call Fred Woodhams at 517-373-2520.
Customers may call the Department of State Information Center to speak to
a customer-service representative at 888-SOS-MICH (767-6424).