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Summer Safety: SBC Internet Services Launches Campaign to Educate Consumers about Online Safety, Privacy, Security.

Business Editors/High-Tech Writers

SAN ANTONIO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 20, 2003

``SBC Internet Safety Connections'' Initiative Furthers Company's

Ongoing Commitment to Online Safety and Security; Aims to Inform

Consumers and Children about Internet Safety Precautions

With summer right around the corner, millions of Americans will go online to plan vacations, share summer photos, shop and even play games. As more than 120 million active American Internet users explore the Web to their heart's delight, getting up to speed on a few safety tips will go a long way in helping to provide a safe summer of surfing (online, that is). In its continuing commitment to help provide customers with a safer online experience, SBC Internet Services, an affiliate of SBC Communications Inc. (NYSE:SBC), today launched an initiative to help educate consumers on Internet safety, privacy and security.

The SBC Internet Safety Connections initiative offers information for all ages, from an online educational resource center for adults to an Internet safety game for kids. SBC Internet Services also continues to provide SBC Yahoo! DSL and Dial members with industry-leading parental controls, as well as firewall, anti-virus and spam software. In addition, the SBC research and development lab, Technology Resources Inc. (TRI), is developing innovative security technologies and standards to expand the scope and effectiveness of Cyber-safety.

While Internet access and usage continue to increase, online security breaches are also on the rise. Last year, there were 82,000 reported Internet virus and worm attacks, according to the CERT(R) Coordination Center, a federally funded Internet security research and development center. SBC Internet Safety Connections is designed to help consumers protect themselves, their families and their personal information while online.

Perhaps the most annoying issue to Internet users, however, is spam. SBC Internet Safety Connections provides useful tips and information on how to reduce unwanted e-mails, including advice about using anti-spam software, email filtering and blocking.

"We are committed to educating our members about Internet safety, and providing them with information that may help protect their computers, personal information and families," said Sean Donelan, Director of Internet Security, SBC Internet Services. "With highly publicized annoyances like spam, and virus and worm attacks such as Slammer and CodeRed, it's important for our members to be aware of the steps they can take to create a safe and enjoyable Internet experience."

The components of the SBC Internet Safety Connections initiative include:

-- SBC Internet Safety Connections Web site. This online resource

is a valuable site (www.sbc.com/safety) for parents and

children to gain information and tips on Internet safety,

privacy and security. Additionally, this online resource

center includes a parent/child agreement for safe Internet

usage and a glossary of online safety terms.

-- Internet Safety Game for Kids. This interactive and

educational game (www.sbc.com/safety/game.html) teaches

children about potential Internet threats and safety measures

they should take while online. As children help the Internet

hero catch a nasty character hiding in an Internet town, they

can test their Internet safety skills by answering questions

about how to handle various online situations. Once kids

answer all the questions correctly they receive a personalized

Internet hero certificate to show they understand basic online

security precautions.

In addition to these valuable new educational safety tools, SBC Yahoo! DSL and Dial members continue to receive one of the industry's most comprehensive parental controls offering, which allows parents to create individual settings for each user and monitor online activity from any Web-connected computer.

Members can choose between Kids, Teens and Customized control settings for their children's Internet access. Parents can limit surfing to the more than 40,000 hand-picked kid-friendly Websites listed in Yahooligans!, Yahoo!'s award-winning family Web destination. In a recent report by Forrester Research Inc., this parental controls offering received the highest possible score for its customization, ease of use and accessibility.

"As children increasingly use the Internet to learn and play, it's imperative that parents feel empowered to provide their children with a safe online experience," said Donelan. "From discussing usage rules to setting up parental controls, as a parent, you can make a big difference in your child's online safety."

SBC Yahoo! DSL and Dial services offer spam, anti-virus and firewall security software. The firewall software tracks the source of intrusions from hackers and helps shield your computer from unauthorized access. The anti-virus software helps remove viruses, protects e-mail and instant messages and provides automatic updates that defend against new viruses and worms. Additionally, SBC Yahoo! DSL and Dial services offer spam filters, address blocking and SpamGuard, a system designed to radically reduce the amount of Spam sent to your inbox, which can help prevent virus attacks.

Further complimenting the SBC family of companies' commitment to Internet safety and security is the Internet Assurance and Security Center (IASC), a project designed by SBC TRI. At the IASC, SBC TRI is developing innovative security technologies and standards to expand the scope and effectiveness of Cyber-safety. The IASC evaluates methods for detecting and neutralizing virus attacks and unwanted content from carrier networks, providing a first line of defense for SBC customers.

For more information about SBC Internet Safety Connections and for Internet safety tips, consumers can access the SBC Internet Safety Connections Web site at www.sbc.com/safety. To obtain more information about the parental controls package available to SBC Yahoo! DSL and Dial members, please visit www.sbc.yahoo.com.

SBC Communications Inc. (www.sbc.com) is one of the world's leading data, voice and Internet services providers. Through its world-class networks, SBC companies provide a full range of voice, data, networking and e-business services, as well as directory advertising and publishing. A Fortune 30 company, America's leading provider of high- speed DSL Internet Access services, and one of the nation's leading Internet Service Providers, SBC companies currently serve 58 million access lines nationwide. In addition, SBC companies own 60 percent of America's second-largest wireless company, Cingular Wireless, which serves more than 22 million wireless customers. Internationally, SBC companies have telecommunications investments in 22 countries.

(c) 2003 SBC Properties, L.P. All rights reserved. SBC and the SBC logo are registered trademarks of SBC Properties, L.P. Yahoo! And Yahoo! Logo are registered trademarks of Yahoo! Inc. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 20, 2003
Words:1049
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