Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is reminding parents of a registry they can use to help protect their children on the internet. The Secretary of State’s office has released the following statement:
With June recognized as National Internet Safety Month, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is reminding parents that they can help keep their kids safe by joining the ProtectMiChild Registry.
The registry, ProtectMiChild.com, 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.
“Whether texting, gaming, using social media or spending time on apps, when taking part in online activities, kids today are at risk of encountering content that is not appropriate for their age,” Secretary Benson said. “The ProtectMiChild registry is a critically important resource to help parents shield children from receiving adult-oriented ads on their smartphones and other devices.”
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 2019 show that youth under the age of 18 comprise about 22 percent of Michigan’s population. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, kids ages 8 to 18 spend, on average, seven and a half hours per day in front of a screen (TV, videogames, computer). There are even a number of internet games, devices and services produced just for preschoolers.