Guidance will soon be produced to help protect children using internet social networking websites.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said it will help educate parents about what their children are doing on popular sites such as Bebo, Facebook and MySpace which allow youngsters to communicate online with friends around the world.
Ms Smith told MPs that looking at the use of social networking sites was part of the work being carried out by experts at the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP).
At Commons question time, she said: ‘What we need to do, and this is one of the important areas of work of the CEOP, is to put in place the technical safeguards necessary to educate parents and children themselves about how they can use these safely.
‘Work that I know is going on at the moment, to look at particularly those social networking sites, will soon be coming forward with guidance both on those technical areas and on how we can better advise parents who obviously need to take responsibility for what their children are doing in the home.’
On its website, CEOP warns that paedophiles can use social networking and chatrooms in an attempt to get children’s personal details and pictures.
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