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BT Makes Internet Safer For Children

Posted: 10th Feb, 2004 By: MarkJ
Both the Home Office and Children's Charities Coalition on Internet Safety (CHIS) have endorsed BT's new guide to helping children stay safe online - the Internet Green X Code:

STAY STREETWISE ON THE WEB

The code encourages children to Stop, Think, and Stay Safe when they are on the internet either using their PCs or mobile phones. It also contains guidelines for parents and teachers, such as keeping computers in a communal room and making internet surfing a joint experience for parents and kids. Mobile phones and other devices that link to the web should be checked for suitability before buying them for a child.

The Internet Green X Code is the first guide to be endorsed by the Home Office, the Children's Charities Coalition on Internet Safety (CHIS), whose members include The Children's Society, Barnardo's, ChildLine, NCH, NSPCC and the National Council of Voluntary Child Care Organisations (NCVCCO), the Internet Watch Foundation and the DfES initiative, Parents Online. It will be distributed to parents, teachers and children, through schools, charities, and online.

The launch of the code coincides with Barnardo's 'Just One Click', the first UK conference dedicated to the needs of child victims of abuse via the internet and mobile phones.

"Just as Stop, Look & Listen taught kids how to cross the road, Stop, Think, Stay Safe will help kids stay safe on the internet," said Duncan Ingram, managing director BT Openworld. "We're advising kids not to give out any personal details over the net and to talk openly about what they do and the people they chat to online. The internet's a great technology for entertainment and education but there are dangers that people need to know about. ISPs and charities all need to work with parents to protect our children. Internet Green X Code demonstrates our commitment to educating everyone so that the internet can be a safe and enjoyable experience."

"Just as parents warn their children not to speak to strangers in the street, they also need to warn them not to speak to strangers on the internet," said Tink Palmer, principal policy and practice officer, Barnardo's. "There have been a number of high-profile cases of sexual abusers using the internet to target children, but the level of awareness is still worryingly low. People simply cannot take the risk that it won't happen to their child. The Internet Green X Code should be distributed widely to homes and schools throughout the UK. It represents child friendly advice which is easy to understand by both children and carers."

Home Office minister Paul Goggins, chair of the task force on child protection on the internet, said: "The internet is informative and fun and we want children and young people to enjoy using it. However, we are aware of the potential for paedophiles to abuse the trust that children place in them by attempting to 'groom' them through chat rooms.

It is important to make children aware that people are not always who they say they are on the internet and I would encourage parents to use this very good leaflet to talk to their children and give them practical advice on how to keep safe,
" he continued.

The code can be downloaded from http://www.bt.com/education/funstuff or you can
email greenxcode@bt.com to obtain a copy.
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