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ISPA Asks Parents To Act - Online Safety

Posted: 09th Oct, 2004 By: MarkJ
The UK Internet Services Providers’ Association (ISPA) has published the results of a survey by ICM Research (ICM) into children, online safety and their parents. The results would appear to show that many parents remain ignorant of online dangers:

The study considered parents with children between five and fifteen and Internet access at home.

Nearly two out of five (38 per cent) parents allow their children to use the Internet in a private room. The study showed that parents who ensure that their children use the Internet in a communal room, such as the lounge, most frequently offer Internet safety advice to children.

Only two fifths of parents (41 per cent) give regular reminders to their children about online safety rules.*

Nearly one third of parents (28 per cent) have never spoken to their child about giving out personal information such as their home address, telephone numbers or passwords on the Internet.

As many as one in eight parents (13 per cent) do not know if their child uses chat rooms. Of the 26 per cent of parents who know that their children do use chat rooms, 65 per cent admit to not knowing their children's online friends.

ISPA recommends that parents should talk to their children about chat rooms. It is important that they talk to their children about who they are meeting online, and ensure that children are wary of strangers.

Although 63 per cent of parents frequently use the Internet with their children at home**, nearly one in four (23 per cent) parents have never used the Internet with their child.

One third of parents (32 per cent) have not enabled basic safety features such as web and spam filtering solutions.

Of the 68 per cent of parents that have enabled such safety features, one in eight of them do not know if they have done so correctly.

Parents are noticing that children are only online for an average of four hours 35 minutes per week. Only one in eight children are on the Internet for more than ten hours per week. This is a good indicator that children are keeping up their other interests.

ISPA created one of the world’s first codes of practice for providers of Internet services. UK ISPs created one of the earliest self-regulatory ‘notice and takedown’ procedures in the world, whereby ISPs can remove unlawful content when they have knowledge that it is present on their system.

The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) was the first organisation in the world created to address illegal online content - it was established and is funded by the UK Internet industry. Less than one per cent of the illegal content the IWF is notified about is hosted on the UK Internet. The majority of such content is hosted in Eastern Europe and the USA.

Mrs Hendrie-Liaño concluded, “Children’s safety online should be a shared responsibility between the Internet industry, Government and parents. Without the involvement and action of parents and carers, much of the Government’s and Internet industry’s efforts are squandered. This research underlines the fact that parents must act on Internet safety advice to offer their children a safer online experience.”
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