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Google warms up to parents with kids' safety video

The search giant teams with Common Sense Media to produce an educational video on children's safety on the Internet.

Google is making its first public relations play for parents.

On Tuesday, the search company will unveil a new Family Safety Guide, a parent's resource for kids' safety online. Mountain View, Calif.-based Google also teamed with the media-awareness group Common Sense Media to produce an online video called "A common sense approach to Internet safety." The video will be featured on the guide page, on YouTube, and throughout the video-on-demand services provided by Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Cox (which are partners of Common Sense.)

Of course, Google has long offered technology and resources for parents. Google's "safe search," for example, filters out inappropriate material for kids from its list of search results; and the Google directory lists kid-safe sites. But before this, Google lacked a central hub for children's safety tips and information like those offered by rivals Yahoo, AOL, or Microsoft. The educational video is also a big gesture. (Google plans to post a blog about the site on Tuesday.)

For its part, the video is fairly basic, with tips like "not to give out passwords." But with Google's reach, the video could educate millions of people on the tenants of online safety and literacy. It could also boost traffic to Google services: the video, for example, plays up privacy controls in Google services like photo-sharing site Picasa or chat service Gchat.

Elliot Schrage, vice president of Google's global communications and public affairs, said "Working together, we can help parents and kids take advantage of tools that help put them in control of their online experiences and make Web surfing safer."