AT&T Issue Briefs

Our issue briefs provide additional details on topics identified as most important by our stakeholders. View all the issue briefs on the Reporting Library for a comprehensive overview or choose an issue in the drop-down menu.


Global Reporting Initiative Standard Disclosures
416-2; Online safety MA; Promoting safe use of products and services MA

Global Reporting Initiative Standard Disclosures
416-2; Online safety MA; Promoting safe use of products and services MA

Stakeholder Engagement Topics
Online safety; Safe use of products/services

Stakeholder Engagement Topics
Online safety; Safe use of products/services



Our Position


We are dedicated to empowering consumers to use our products and services in a safe and responsible manner.


2018 Key Performance Indicators
Pledges to not drive distracted through the It Can Wait campaign as of December 2018


Our Action


To empower consumers to enjoy the benefits of AT&T technology while avoiding potential safety pitfalls, AT&T has created a number of online safety initiatives that include education campaigns, parental control solutions for mobile phones and media content, as well as collaborations with non-profits and government entities.

At AT&T, we work to make sure our customers not only have access to the best technology, but also to the resources they need to get the most out of it, use it safely, and responsibly integrate it into their lives — at any age.

As our products and services evolve, AT&T continuously evaluates our programmatic strategy for our online safety resources. We tap into the expertise of our collaborating organizations and conduct research to better understand emerging issues, develop educational tools and utilize the best customer touchpoints to deliver helpful information. As an example, in 2018 we conducted a regional poll with parents and teens about technology use. These findings prompted us to create new channels to reach parents with digital parenting advice. It also affirmed our need to develop a specialized campaign around toxicity in gaming, given its increasing popularity among younger audiences. This year, we will continue to work with online safety thought leaders to enhance our programs, layer in evaluation metrics and formulate long term goals so that AT&T can move the needle in this space. 

  • It Can Wait

    Through our It Can Wait campaign, AT&T commits to saving lives by raising awareness and sharing a simple message: please don’t drive distracted. Outside the U.S., It Can Wait campaign operates in Mexico as Puede Esperar.

    Originally introduced in 2010, the program aims to educate employees, our wireless customers and the public about the dangers of distracted driving from smart devices. Our campaign has evolved as smartphone-related driving distractions have grown beyond texting to social media, web surfing, selfies and video chatting. It includes grassroots community efforts and events, as well as specially developed PSAs and social media campaigns.

    In 2016, we conducted research that showed taking an It Can Wait pledge can make a difference in behavior. Our research found that almost half of people who pledged said they no longer use their smartphones while driving. Additionally, those who share their promise or pledge with others are even more likely to stop and more likely to speak up when they see others demonstrating dangerous behavior. Through the end of 2018, more than 35 million customers have taken the It Can Wait pledge to never drive distracted.

    In 2018, we also expanded our anti-distracted driving message beyond the car to include e-scooters. In collaboration with an e-scooter company, It Can Wait created a video showing the dangers of “scooting while distracted.” The goal is to keep customers safe not only behind the wheel, but also behind the handlebars.

    Other elements in our It Can Wait campaign include:

    • Social Media: In an effort to further drive behavioral change, we focus on digital and social media through the voice of influencers and our @ItCanWait handle.
    • National Speakers Bureau: As part of our efforts to bring firsthand stories about the dangers of mobile device use while driving to audiences around the country, AT&T works with to connect people affected by distracted driving crashes with schools, conferences, conventions and the media to talk about these life-changing events. The national speakers bureau includes hundreds of advocates around the country who have also contributed to 2 AT&T documentaries and national advertising campaigns.
    • Virtual Reality (VR) Experience and Events: Since 2013, AT&T has used state-of the-art technology to help educate about the dangers of distracted driving and to increase awareness of It Can Wait and generate pledges. In March 2018, AT&T launched a new VR experience to bring the public face-to-face with the dangers of distracted driving and real-life stories of its consequences. In addition to our VR experience, AT&T actively hosts other events and activities to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving, including proclamation signings with elected officials, events with members of our speakers bureau, employee volunteer events and pledge drives with select partners.
    • Technology and Innovation Programs: The AT&T DriveMode app is designed to curb the urge to text while driving and emerged from an employee’s submission to the AT&T The Innovation Pipeline program.
    • Online Resources: features downloadable tools and tips for consumers, schools and companies, along with posters, educational guides, fact sheets, and links to the PSAs and print advertisements for the campaign. It also has a call-to-action where we encourage individuals to take the pledge to not drive distracted.

  • Online Safety

    Devices are an everyday part of children’s lives from an early age. Yet for today’s parents, the sense of concern over the online behavior of their children and the risks to which their children will be exposed is nearly as pervasive as device usage itself. Families, communities and companies cannot address and resolve these concerns alone; they must work together. AT&T offers numerous programs and solutions dedicated to helping protect customers online and helping customers protect themselves and their loved ones. Examples include:

    Digital You

    AT&T Digital You is a resource that provides parents, youth, digital newcomers, people with disabilities and community leaders with information about the devices they use and how to maintain privacy, safety and security in an increasingly connected world. It provides tips, tools and information to help consumers get online safely and securely. Created in collaboration with Common Sense Media, LGBT Tech, National Consumers League, iKeepSafe, Family Online Safety Institute and other experts, the website addresses topics such as preventing cyberbullying, managing your online presence, protecting your computer and your data, and parenting in the digital age.

    To expand the reach of this program, AT&T conducts in-person Digital You trainings for people of all ages on topics including security and cyberbullying. For example, in 2018, Professionals 50 Forward, an AT&T employee resource group hosted 25 in-person trainings around the country to help seniors improve online safety skills.


    In November 2018, we launched a pilot program in greater New York City after a  new study found children and teens are spending more time than ever online and on their mobile devices — engaging in risky behaviors without their parents’ knowledge. The ScreenReady℠ program is an extension of AT&T Believes℠, a larger company-wide initiative which aims to create positive change in local communities. ScreenReady℠ provides visitors to any AT&T retail store with 2 services at no charge, whether or not AT&T is their mobile carrier. First, our AT&T retail-based device experts provide hands-on guidance navigating the parental controls and content filter settings built into the consumer’s phone or tablet. Second, parents and caregivers are given access to a new mobile-optimized AT&T website featuring customized tips, created in collaboration with Common Sense Media, that fit their family’s online safety needs. 

    AT&T Secure Family™

    AT&T Secure FamilyTM helps parents keep track of their family and protect their children from inappropriate mobile content. The service offers the following features to help parents know where their kids are, manage their screen time and limit what they access online:

    • Location tracking
      • Locate a family member on an interactive map
      • Get alerts when the kids arrive at defined places (home, school, parks or a friend's house)
      • Set Location schedule alerts
      • Review the location history for each family member
    • Set internet time limits
      • Set a schedule to limit internet access for children
    • Filter & block content
      • Filter or block apps and online content based on age-appropriate settings
    • Pause internet
      • Minimize children’s distractions (time for homework, time for bed)
      • Block Wi-Fi and mobile data access on demand
    • Real-time controls
      • Battery status: Visual indication on the parent app of each child’s phone battery charge
      • Second parent admin: Enables a second parent with account rights to install AT&T Secure Family to monitor and control the family companion devices
      • Call and text buttons: Ability to call or text contacts from within the App (parent and companion)
    DIRECTV Parental Controls & AT&T U-Verse® TV Parental Controls

    Both AT&T U-verse and DIRECTV set-top boxes provide access to Parental Controls, which allow users to control what types of content can be viewed. With Parental Controls, users can block live and recorded programs on specific channels, or based on maturity ratings. The feature also provides the ability to limit viewing times and block purchases. Parental Controls settings are simple to program and easy to use, offering parents and caregivers peace of mind on what programming choices are available for children to view.


    An AT&T study found that 60% of Gen Z’ers indicate they encounter negativity within their social media network, and 77% wished they could make their online world a more positive place. In 2016, to help bridge that disconnect, we launched #LaterHaters website, a social-first campaign aimed at empowering teens to rise above online negativity and bullying. In 2018, AT&T continued our collaboration with the Dobre Brothers, who starred in AT&T Hello Lab’s series, “The Bright Fight.” While promoting their new song about cyberbullying, “Be The Hero,” the group also shared #LaterHaters campaign assets. Knowing that influencers are key to reaching Gen Z, AT&T cross-promoted their anti-bullying campaign on social channels.

    Stop Bullying: Speak Up

    Cartoon Network's Stop Bullying: Speak Up is an award-winning, multi-platform pro-social initiative that addresses bullying among kids. Launched in 2009, the program has reached millions of viewers and mobilized more than 1 million people to take the Stop Bullying: Speak Up Pledge.

    In 2018, Cartoon Network expanded Stop Bullying: Speak Up with new partners and resources designed to stop bullying before it starts by promoting kindness, caring and empathy among kids. This evolution was informed by new research Cartoon Network commissioned working in consultation with the Making Caring Common Project of the Harvard Graduate School of Education that surveyed kids directly about the current state of bullying and ways we can help prevent it.

    As part of the expanded initiative we are:

    • Using our reach and relevance to show kids the importance — and benefits — of being more kind, caring and empathetic with the creation of new content, including original PSAs.
    • Ensuring that authentic youth voices are heard as part of the solution, whether through original research or new collaborations that keep kids front and center in the national conversation about bullying and inclusion.
    • Providing parents and educators with resources to help kids make their home, school and communities kinder and more caring places.
    Great Game

    While video games have the potential to bring players together around a shared passion, they can sometimes facilitate toxic behavior. In fact, 57% of people participating in a survey by Ditch the Label, a leading anti-bullying non-profit, reported they have been bullied during their gaming experience. In the last year, AT&T launched the Great Game campaign to combat harassment and abuse in the gaming community. As AT&T elevates the gaming experience through technology, the #GreatGame campaign promotes good sportsmanship and positive experiences for gamers. At the Electronic Sports League (ESL One) and Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) tournaments in Chicago, 2 of the world's largest e-sports events, AT&T worked with gaming influencers to bring the #GreatGame campaign to fans and attendees. We also worked with gaming influencers to conduct “Twitch Raids,” where we pushed messaging about the importance of positive play to streaming audiences. 

    Cyber Aware

    In 2018, AT&T launched Cyber Aware, a website providing consumer resources about email and text scams, spam, identity theft and much more.

    Because one of the best ways to protect privacy online is to follow strong security practices, Cyber Aware gives consumers resources that are detailed enough to be educational, but simple enough to be usable. Website materials include:

    • Awareness & Education — explains various scams and threats, and how to avoid them
    • News & Information — shares useful blog posts, links and articles
    • Alerts & Reporting — offers warnings of new threats
    • Resources — provides detailed info on scams and a glossary of terms
    AT&T Mobile Security® and Call Protect®

    AT&T Mobile Security® and AT&T Call Protect® are both free apps designed to help reduce users’ chances of becoming a victim of fraud by scanning a device to warn customers about potentially unsafe apps/files, and by helping customers take more control over nuisance calls.

    AT&T Mobile Security® 1 1 AT&T Mobile Security: Available for Android HD Voice-capable devices. When Mobile Security app is installed, Call Protect features such as Automatic Fraud Blocking and Suspected Spam Warning are automatically enabled at network level. App Security: Not guaranteed to detect or protect against all viruses and malware. System Advisor: Not guaranteed to detect all roots and jailbreaks and does not prevent roots, jailbreaks or unauthorized app installation(s). For complete terms and conditions for AT&T Mobile Security, see Compatible device/service required. Smartphones sold by other carriers may not be eligible. AT&T Mobile Security is only available on Android devices. Data rates may apply for app download and usage.
    • Device Security: Helps protect phones from unsafe apps and files
    • Breach Reports: Alerts customers to company data breaches
    AT&T Call Protect® 2 2 AT&T Call Protect: Automatic Fraud Blocking: May inadvertently block wanted calls, but settings can be adjusted to turn off blocking or allow specifically designated numbers. Suspected Spam Warning: Must be in AT&T HD Voice coverage area to be alerted to suspected spam calls. Suspected spam may include service messages and/or other permitted calls. Manual Call Blocking: Requires AT&T Call Protect app. Permits blocking of phone numbers. Does not permit blocking of unknown numbers. For complete terms and conditions for AT&T Call Protect, see
    • Automatic Fraud Blocking: Detects and blocks calls from likely fraudsters before they reach users 
    • Suspected Spam Warning: Alerts customers when they get a call from a suspected spam source
    • Manual Call Blocking: Lets users block unwanted calls manually

  • Alliances to Promote Online Safety

    AT&T works with several organizations that promote online safety education and awareness, and we are committed to working cooperatively with local, state and federal law enforcement in their efforts to protect children online. Through these alliances, AT&T supports many programs that raise the profiles of online safety issues and provide resources and tools to consumers who seek more information. We also participate in and host community summits, panels and educational events that help consumers of all ages learn how to safely and efficiently manage technology.

    Examples of our partnerships include:

    • The Oasis Institute: AT&T helps narrow the technology-skills gap for older adults by supporting The Oasis Institute’s Connections program. Our support enables The Oasis Institute to continue expanding and updating the Connections technology training program, which helps adults build skills and confidence using computers, the internet and portable devices. In 2018, 5 unique cybercrime and online safety events were held across the country. AT&T also sponsored a Cybercrime Fighters series creating 6 cybercrime prevention videos. In addition, our sponsorship enabled the development of new courses and updates to existing courses in both English and Spanish.
    • Common Sense Media: AT&T has collaborated with Common Sense Media, a global non-profit organization focused on the digital well-being of all children, to promote digital citizenship and online safety. AT&T also supports the development of several Common Sense Media programs aimed at empowering students across the country to become safe and responsible digital citizens, including the News and Media Literacy toolkit.
    • National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: AT&T notifies the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and law enforcement about any information concerning child pornography of which we become aware through the provision of our services. We’re committed to working cooperatively with local, state and federal officials in their efforts to protect children from sexual exploitation and victimization.
    • Family Online Safety Institute: Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) is an international non-profit working to make the online world safer for kids and their families. With FOSI, we join leaders in industry, government and the non-profit sectors to collaborate and develop new solutions and policies in the field of online safety. Through research, resources, events and special projects, FOSI promotes a culture of responsibility online and encourages a sense of digital citizenship for all.


Since the acquisition of WarnerMedia in June 2018 and the launch of Xandr in September 2018, we are continuing to integrate operationally and through our CSR reporting. For this reason, information for these 2 affiliates is not included in this brief, except where specifically referenced.


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