On Safer Internet Day, the UK's Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre is promoting a cartoon to help children stay safe online, and making information and advice available via Microsoft's Internet Explorer 8.
It's the EU's annual Safer Internet Day today and CEOP, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, is using it to raise awareness among children and parents. In particular, it's promoting a new animated film, Lee and Kim's Adventures, which aims to help children aged from 5-7 to understand "the concepts of personal information and trust" and thus stay safer online. Research published last year by Ofcom suggested that 80% of this age group use the net.
CEOP has also worked with Microsoft to add features to the Internet Explorer 8 browser, mainly by installing a Web Slice, though it's also possible to add search suggestions and Favorites (bookmarks). A Web Slice adds a button to the Favorites bar and shows a panel of content that can be updated from the site. In this case, the ClickCEOP button provides links that children can click for help with cyberbullying, harmful content and other problems, or ask for age-appropriate advice.
Users who don't have IE8 can download the CEOP version. Where children use a different browser, parents can add a link to https://www.ceop.police.uk/reportabuse/
This web page provides the same information.
CEOP is also running a Protect programme, where volunteers from O2, Visa Europe and Microsoft are "joining forces with CEOP to deliver online safety into hundreds of schools".
Jim Gamble, chief executive of the CEOP Centre and lead for the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) on protecting children on the internet, said:
"This is about behaviour, not technology. But it is also about delivering contemporary, dynamic advice that is sympathetic to the needs of the children and young people we reach and helps the parent or carer to play their role in a way that is positive, supportive and understanding. CEOP's materials do that. We have updated them to cover new issues such as 'sexting' and new forms of bullying and we have listened to teachers to deliver new cartoons for very young children."
Children's Secretary Ed Balls said: "The internet is a fantastic tool for young people and can open their eyes to tremendous opportunities. But it's important that parents and children understand the risks involved with using the internet, as with any area of life."
Cynthia Crossley, director of Microsoft Online in UK, said: "This is about making kids more savvy. You want to raise your children to make smarter decisions about what they do online."
Although Safer Internet Day is promoted by the EU, these are UK-only initiatives.
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