The NetSmartz Workshop® is an interactive educational resource from the National Center for
Missing & Exploited Children® and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America for children (ages
5-17), parents, and educators that uses age-appropriate, 3-D activities to teach children how to
stay safer on the Internet.
Three in five children younger than 18 — and more than 78 percent of children between the ages of 12
and 17 — go online. Therefore it is critical that children, parents, and educators inform themselves
about the potential dangers that children can face while surfing the Internet. A national survey of the
online experiences of teens and preteens, who use the Internet on a regular basis, was conducted in 1999
for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children by the University of New Hampshire's Crimes
Against Children Research Center. The study, Online Victimization: A Report on the Nation's Youth,
recommends that there is a great need for private and public initiatives to raise awareness and provide
solutions regarding Internet safety.
The NetSmartz Workshop®
was created to address the need for Internet safety
education in an unprecedented way. The NetSmartz Workshop is an interactive educational resource from the
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® and Boys & Girls Clubs of America (B&GCA)
for children aged 5 to 17, parents, and educators that uses age-appropriate, 3-D activities to teach
children how to stay safer on the Internet.
The goal of the NetSmartz Workshop is to extend the safety awareness of children to prevent victimization
and increase self-confidence whenever they go online. "The growth of children using the Internet has
increased the need for Internet safety resources like NetSmartz," stated Ernie Allen, president of the
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. "NetSmartz is an invaluable interactive resource for
parents and educators who want to make a child's Internet experience a safer one."
The NetSmartz Workshop is divided into three sections
Children aged 5 to 6 are introduced to Clicky who teaches children about dangers on the Internet, how to
avoid them, and how to practice good "netiquette." Clicky introduces children to the "Webville Outlaws" who
represent different Internet dangers. Children aged 7 to 9 are introduced to Nettie and Webster, two
Internet kids, who talk to children about online risks and introduce them to the "WizzyWigs," creepy
characters who represent Internet dangers.
The goal of NetSmartz Teens is to help teenagers learn how to use the Internet more safely. This section is
currently under development, but is scheduled to be online within the next few months. The site will provide
surveys, safety tips, and real-life examples of the dangers online.
Parents and educators
Parents and educators can access the web site to get on- and offline activities and ideas for teaching
Internet safety so that they can help their children and/or students avoid the risks they face online.
Parents and educators are provided relevant and current information on Internet safety issues that affect
The NetSmartz Workshop was made possible through a public-private partnership with the United States
Congress, United States Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance, National Center for
Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), Boys & Girls Clubs of America (B&GCA), and Compaq
Computer Corporation, the new HP. Sponsorship from Compaq Computer Corporation, the new HP, enables the
NetSmartz Workshop and its innovative content to be shared with children, parents, and educators globally
via the Internet at