Symantec and FOSI join forces to make the online world safer for kids and families

November 18, 2008

CUPERTINO, Calif. – Nov. 19, 2008 — Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC), makers of Norton security software, announced today that they are joining the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) and will have Marian Merritt, Symantec’s Internet Safety Advocate, serve on the FOSI Board of Directors. FOSI is an international non-profit organization dedicated to identifying and promoting best practices, tools and methods for online safety. As an active corporate supporter of FOSI, Symantec will participate in the organization’s Second Annual Family Online Safety Institute Conference and Exhibition, taking place in Washington, D.C. in December, with Merritt scheduled to speak.

"We are pleased to welcome Marian on behalf of Symantec. Her experience as a nationally recognized advocate for family Internet safety will be a great addition to the FOSI Board of Directors," said Stephen Balkam, CEO of FOSI. "Symantec is committed to helping educate and deliver resources to families and educators to raise awareness of Internet safety and will be a valuable contributor in FOSI’s mission to make the online world a safer place for kids and families.”

“Today, more than ever, we see a real urgency to get the message out to the community about the dangers and issues kids face on the Internet,” said Marian Merritt, Symantec Internet Safety Advocate. “As an industry leader, Symantec has put considerable resources against the development of innovative tools and materials to help families enjoy the Internet safely and securely. As a member of the FOSI Board of Directors, we’ll be able to help advance FOSI’s efforts for a safer and more secure Internet for our families.”

Symantec’s Internet Safety Advocate Merritt is a nationally recognized representative for Symantec’s ongoing efforts surrounding Internet safety. Merritt has more than 11 years of experience in the Internet security industry, and as a mother of three children who are active online, she offers both real world experience and technical expertise in the area of online safety.

She recently participated in the National Governors Association and the National Institute of Justice’s Executive Policy Forum on Cyber and Electronic Crime in September at Arlington, Va., where she briefed governors on the challenges and solutions for cyber crimes and youth. Throughout the year, Merritt has presented Internet safety workshops for Parent-Teacher Organizations and Associations at schools around the United States as part of Symantec’s drive to deliver educational materials and resources directly to parents and educators. Last year, Symantec partnered with Miss America 2007 Lauren Nelson, whose personal platform was Internet safety for children, to launch the company’s nationwide Internet safety initiative. With Nelson, Merritt traveled across the country to speak with city, state and national officials to raise the profile for online safety.

New Internet Safety Resources for Families

As part of outreach efforts to educate parents, school teachers and caregivers about Internet safety topics, including cyber bullying, Symantec offers free resources and educational materials:

  • • Norton Family Resources Web site – Merritt serves as editor-in-chief of this family-focused Web site ( where she offers tips, resources and information on a broad array of Internet security topics.
  • • Marian Merritt’s “The Talk” – In an effort to address the challenge that many parents have in discussing Internet safety with their kids, Merritt offers “The Talk.” Merritt’s version of “The Talk” arms parents with the tools, including detailed tips and instructions, on how to engage their kids in a conversation on their Internet activities and encourage safe and responsible Internet use. “The Talk” can be downloaded for free at the Norton Family Resources Web site.
  • • Norton Family Online Safety Guide – This free educational workbook is packed with tips for keeping children safe on the Internet categorized by age or topic. Merritt authored the guide, which received a 2008 iParenting Media Award in the Best Book category. Families and educators can download the free guide by visiting the Norton Family Resources Web site.

About Norton from Symantec
Symantec’s Norton products protect consumers from traditional threats with antivirus, anti-spam and spyware protection, as well as bots, drive-by downloads and identity theft-- while also being light on system resources. The company also provides services such as online backup and PC tuneup, and is a trusted source for family online safety.

About Symantec
Symantec is a global leader in providing security, storage and systems management solutions to help businesses and consumers secure and manage their information. Headquartered in Cupertino, Calif., Symantec has operations in more than 40 countries. More information is available at

About FOSI
The Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) works to make the online world safe for kids and their families by identifying and promoting best practices, tools and methods that also respect free speech. FOSI’s members include: AOL, AT&T, Blue Coat, BT Retail, Cisco, Comcast, Computing Technology Industry Association, Crisp Thinking, France Telecom/Orange, Google, GSMA, Loopt, Microsoft, Mpower Media, MySpace, Ning, Privo, Rulespace, Sentinel, Symantec, Telefónica, Telmex, The Wireless Foundation, and Verizon. FOSI hosts an annual international conference to bring together Internet safety advocates from a variety of sectors, including global corporations, government, non-profits, academia and the media, to discuss the current pulse of online safety and emerging solutions that will enhance it. For more information, please visit

The FOSI Annual Conference will be held in Washington, DC on December 11, 2008 at the Knight Conference Center at the Newseum.