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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why have so many organizations joined together to create GetNetWise?

A. GetNetWise represents the collective efforts of a broad-based coalition of companies, public interest organizations, non-profits and trade associations all committed to empowering Internet users with the tools they need to keep their Internet experience positive, safe and secure.

Q. What is GetNetWise?

A. GetNetWise is a user empowerment campaign and Web site designed to give Internet users a user-friendly, easy-to-find, online resource that can be found on the most popular entry points to the Internet, as well as on many of the most popular Web sites. GetNetWise 2.0 offers tips, tutorials and other interactive tools to show users that creating a safe, secure and positive online environment is as easy as "one click" of a mouse.

The user-friendly Web Site is aggregated into four content areas:

  • Keeping Children Safe Online -- A comprehensive resource on recognizing and reporting problems, educating your kids about safe and unsafe experiences online and finding tech tools for families.
  • Stopping Unwanted E-mail and Spam -- This information on how to help alleviate unwanted e-mails in your inbox includes tips, tools and instructions on how to take action if necessary.
  • Protecting Your Computer from Hackers and Viruses -- Learn about the risks that hackers and viruses pose to your computer files and software. Take steps to prevent viruses from infecting your software and to keep hackers from compromising your computer.
  • Keeping Your Personal Information Private -- A guide that includes tools and techniques to better control how much personal information you share with online stores, Web sites, e-mailers and other people who may use your computer.
  • Q. Why was GetNetWise created?

    A. Launched in 1999, GetNetWise was originally created in response to the recognition by the private sector that people raising kids needed information and assistance in guiding children online. The resource evolved from briefings with Hill leaders, and grew out of the 1997 Internet Online Summit: Focus on Children, and the 1998 America Links Up campaign. Industry leaders began exploring the feasibility of creating a collection of digital resources that would be accessible from virtually all entry points to the Internet and that would provide families with information on how to guide their kids online. The result of these discussions, considerable research, broad industry cooperation and consultations with some of the nation's leading non-profit groups and independent experts is GetNetWise.

    Q. Who should use GetNetWise?

    A. Everyone! Many of us are unaware that there are simple, basic steps we can all take to protect our information and computers. GetNetWise is a user empowerment resource for all Internet users.

    Q. Who are the companies involved with GetNetWise 2.0?

    A. GetNetWise 2.0 is a broad-based campaign managed and built by the Internet Education Foundation and hosted by some of the most recognized names on the Internet today, including AOL Time Warner, AT&T, Microsoft and Verizon. GetNetWise is supported by a steering committee made up of the following leading organizations: ALA,, CDT, Comcast, RIAA, Visa and Yahoo! in addition to a diverse advisory board.

    The coalition of companies that first came together to create GetNetWise as organizing partners include: AOL Time Warner, AT&T, Verizon, Bellsouth, Disney Online/Buena Vista Internet Group, Lycos, Inc., WorldCom, Microsoft Corporation, MindSpring Enterprises, Inc., VeriSign, Yahoo! Inc., and They were joined by others in the initiative, including: AltaVista, Ameritech, Association of American Publishers, SurfControl, Dell, IBM Corporation, Information Technology Association of America, Internet Alliance,Internet Content Coalition, Internet Content Rating Association, N2H2, Inc., Net Nanny Software, Inc., Surfwatch Software, United States Chamber of Commerce, United States Internet Council.

    These companies are responding to the needs of their customers and other Internet users for assistance in finding the information, tools and resources to educate themselves about the Internet. The involvement of so many organizations and interests assures that the resource will be easy-to-find for anyone who needs fast, reliable and complete information about the Internet.

    Q. Is there empowerment help other than just at GetNetWise?

    A. Absolutely. More and more empowerment tools are available to users right in the computer software they use everyday. From built-in firewalls to spam filters in their email programs, users have an increasing array of tools to combat unwanted problems. Also, Internet service providers continue to provide more and more tools and information to their users to help them make their experiences safe and secure. In virtually every sector, many of which are represented in the GetNetWise campaign, efforts are constantly being made to give users the information they need to keep their Internet experience positive, safe and secure.

    To learn more about GetNetWise, contact GetNetWise Staff.

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