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National PTA and LifeLock Help Parents With Back-To-School To-Do List With "The Smart Talk"

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Heidi May Wilson, Media Relations Manager

Free online tool helps families set technology ground rules as more kids go digital

  • The majority of children receive their first smartphone between the ages of 8 and 121
  • Written agreements tend to have a higher success rate than verbal agreements
  • A child’s identity and well-being can be compromised by their online behavior

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., (Aug. 25, 2016)—Everyone knows about the inevitable “birds and the bees” talk between parents and their kids, but what about the “texts and the tweets?” That’s another “talk” that’s rising in importance, especially during the back-to-school season when parents prep their kids with the latest gear and gadgets. National PTA and LifeLock created The Smart Talka free, online tool to help families set ground rules for technology use and have open, ongoing conversations about online safety and responsibility.

The creation of The Smart Talk is part of a two-year collaboration between LifeLock, Inc. (NYSE: LOCK), a leader in proactive identity theft protection, and National PTA, the nation’s oldest and largest child advocacy association, that’s aimed to encourage families to have an open, ongoing conversation about making positive, safe decisions online.

“In the fast-moving digital world, a child’s identity and well-being can be compromised by their online behavior,” said LifeLock CEO Hilary Schneider, a mother of three. “As digital natives, today’s kids need to learn the rules of the road for navigating life online. Many parents find the idea of having the technology talk overwhelming because they don’t know what topics to even begin to cover.”

Technology is playing an ever-increasing role in families’ lives and is increasingly being used for teaching and learning. The majority of children receive their first smart phone between the ages of 8 and 12, according to a 2015 LifeLock1 survey. While 79% of families have technology agreements with their children, only 6% of those are written, which tend to have a higher success rate than verbal ones among families that report having technology agreements1.

The Smart Talk engages kids and parents in an interactive experience, leading them through a guided conversation about five key areas:

  • Online safety and privacy
  • Screen time
  • Apps and downloads
  • Texting and calling
  • Social media and respect

Families then create a personalized agreement that can be stored on a computer or printed and posted at home.

“Technology has opened up a world of opportunities in every aspect of life and is essential for the development of skills children need to thrive. As parents, we want our children to learn and have fun through technology, and at the same time, stay safe and develop healthy lifestyles,” said National PTA President Laura Bay, a mother of three. “The Smart Talk brings families together for productive conversations about devices and technology use to help children build good digital habits and ensure they have the skills they need to be safe and responsible online.”

Parents looking to begin the conversation today can visit The Smart Talk website and review this quick guide to get started. More information is available on The Smart Talk Facebook page and YouTube channel.

1Commissioned study conducted by ResearchNow on behalf of LifeLock, adults 18 and older were surveyed online between July 20-24, 2015

About National PTA

National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health and welfare of children and youth.

About LifeLock

LifeLock, Inc. (NYSE:LOCK) is a leading provider of proactive identity theft protection services for consumers and fraud and risk management solutions for enterprises. LifeLock’s threat detection, proactive identity alerts, and comprehensive remediation services help provide peace of mind for consumers amid the growing threat of identity theft. Leveraging unique data, science and patented technology from ID Analytics, Inc., a wholly -owned subsidiary, LifeLock offers identity theft protection that goes beyond credit monitoring. As part of its commitment to help fight identity theft, LifeLock works to train law enforcement and partners with a variety of nonprofit organizations to help consumers establish positive habits to combat this threat.