ONLINE INTERNET SAFETY
Children and young people are likely to be as good as, if not better than, their parents at using the Internet. However, being good at using technology does not mean they have the life-experience and wisdom to handle all of the situations they can come across.
Children and young people are prone to the same kinds of risks (including spam and scam emails, fraud and identity theft) as everybody else. However, there are also other, more sinister threats that may result from going online, such as inappropriate contact from people who may wish to abuse, exploit or bully them, and exposure to inappropriate material.
A recent survey tracking children’s media behaviour in the UK identified young people are spending more time playing and socialising online than watching television programmes.2014 saw the launch of Internet Matters, a world-leading child internet safety organisation founded by the UK’s four major broadband providers; BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin. The not-for-profit organisation sees the ‘big four’ put aside competition and join forces for the first time, to help parents safely navigate the internet with their children. The move will cement the UK’s position as a world-leader on child internet safety, advising parents to ‘learn about it, talk about it, deal with it.’
Research conducted by Internet Matters revealed that 74% of parents want more information and advice about online safety, with their preference for this information being made available to them online. To meet this demand, Internetmatters.org has been created as a one-stop hub, directing parents to valuable help and advice from the leading experts at organisations and charities in the child internet safety field. It will act as a single authoritative resource on child online safety. The initiative will encourage the wider technology industry, experts, policy makers and parents to work together to establish world-leading resources for parents which are effectively sign-posted. The idea is not to scare monger but to equip parents with the information they need to make informed decisions.
The site can be found at http://www.internetmatters.org/