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Government targets internet safety for children

Online campaign to 'Zip it, Block it, Flag it’

kids aged 11-16

Be open and honest when talking to teens about internet safety

Internet safety for children is top priority in a new government strategy – ‘Click clever, click safe’ – aimed at protecting children online. 

As part of the government’s new strategy, young people and parents will be targeted by a new digital code ‘Zip it, Block it, Flag it’ – the ‘Green Cross Code’ for internet safety. From September 2011, the plans reveal that lessons in internet safety for children aged five and up will be a compulsory part of the curriculum.

The measures have been drawn up by the UK Council on Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS), a 140-organisation strong body that was set up in 2008 to implement recommendations on keeping children safe in a digital world.

Internet access by children is high

Research has shown that children and young people have much greater online access than before, with 99% of 8-17 year olds having access to the internet. 

New research published today found that that 18% of young people said they had come across harmful or inappropriate content online, with 33% of children saying their parents don’t really know what they do on the internet.

The UKCCIS strategy makes online safety commitments to children, parents and carers. It seeks to teach children about online risks and help them deal with stumbling across potentially upsetting content. The strategy will also provide parents and teachers with the information and tools to help children stay safe on the internet.

Which? advice on keeping your kids safe online

Sarah Kidner, editor of Which? Computing said: ‘There are lots of technical solutions that help to protect children online such as parental controls. However, it’s essential that these are coupled with a common sense approach. Just as we educate children about the risks of talking to strangers in the street so should we inform them of the risks associated with people they don’t know in an online environment.’

If you’re unsure of the best way to keep your children safe when they use the internet we’ve got Best Buy security software reviews with ratings for any parental control software that’s included so you can protect your online security and your child’s online safety at the same time. 

A number of broadband providers also include free parental controls when you take out one of their broadband deals – take a look at the Which? broadband review to find out which broadband providers have this option.

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