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Ask.com and Web Wise Kids Launch Internet Safety Public Service Campaign Featuring NASCAR® Driver Bobby Labonte

Thursday, February 26, 2009 - 01:23

OAKLAND, Calif., Feb. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Because exploring safely on the Internet is as important as driving wisely on the race track, Ask.com, a leading search engine and an operating business of IAC , and Web Wise Kids, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering today's youth to make wise choices online, today announced the launch of a national Internet safety television and radio public service campaign. The campaign, which can be viewed at www.safesearchschools.com/psa.html, features Internet safety tips delivered by Bobby Labonte, driver of the No. 96 Ask.com Ford Fusion. In addition to representing Ask.com on the race track, Labonte, who is the father of a 14-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter, serves as the brand's spokesperson for its efforts to promote Internet safety for children.

"Children spend more time online than watching television, so educating them on both the benefits and potential dangers of the online world is critical," said Jim Safka, Chief Executive Officer of Ask.com. "Family, education and safety are at the core of Ask.com's values, which align with those of Bobby Labonte's fans and the NASCAR audience as well." Earlier this year Ask.com became the Official Search Engine of NASCAR.

"As a father, keeping my kids safe on the Internet is a big concern for me, so I'm excited to join Ask.com and Web Wise Kids in building awareness around the role parents and educators can play in teaching cyber safety," said Labonte. "We can make a positive difference by talking with kids about how they use computers, teaching them not to share personal information, knowing what sites are kid-friendly, and staying up to speed on the latest online social trends."

The Ask.com and Web Wise Kids Internet Safety Public Service campaign includes :30 and :60 television and radio spots featuring Labonte, who, as racing footage runs on the screen, explains that when cars race 200 miles per hour, there are many unseen dangers that "spotters" high above the track help drivers like him avoid. Likewise, parents can be "spotters," helping children avoid the unseen dangers that may be online by following simple Internet safety tips. These include: 1) Keep the computer in a family area where you can see it; 2) Proactively teach your kids never to share personal information; 3) Become knowledgeable about signing on to websites, searching for information and using email and instant messaging; 4) Familiarize yourself with safer websites and post that list by your computer.

"The Internet can be a vibrant world full of positive exploration, but it's important parents make children aware of the negatives without preaching," said Judi Westberg Warren, President of Web Wise Kids. "We applaud Ask.com for conceiving such a vital public service campaign, and delivering this important message through a celebrated NASCAR driver -- a powerful combination to reach parents, kids and NASCAR fans."

About Ask.com

Ask.com is an operating business of IAC . The Ask Network of sites is the 11th largest Internet property in the world, with more than 164 million worldwide unique monthly users, according to January 2008 comScore data. Ask.com syndicates its search technology and advertising solutions to a network of affiliate partners.

About NASCAR

The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for one of North America's premier sports. NASCAR is the No. 1 spectator sport -- holding 17 of the top 20 highest attended sporting events in the U.S., and is the No. 2 rated regular-season sport on television. NASCAR races are broadcast in more than 150 countries and in more than 30 languages. NASCAR fans are the most brand loyal in all of sports, and as a result more Fortune 500 companies participate in NASCAR than in any other sport.

About Web Wise Kids

Web Wise Kids is a national non-profit organization dedicated to empowering today's youth to make wise choices online through easy-to-use, school-approved Internet safety education programs for young people. Today's e-generation is taught valuable lessons using unique computer games with fun, interactive simulations based on real-life criminal cases. Web Wise Kids programs have reached more than five million children and thousands of parents nationwide in conjunction with school systems, law enforcement, teachers, community-based youth organizations and others. For more information, visit www.webwisekids.org or call 714-435-2885.

SOURCE: Ask.com

Web site: http://www.ask.com//

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