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Parents Ban 200,000 Kids From The Net

Posted: 14th Apr, 2004 By: MarkJ
The Detica IT consultancy group has found that an estimated 200,000 children have been banned by their parents from using the Internet. Fears regarding the viewing of offensive online content have been sighted as the main reason. Many would pay more for a safer ISP:

INTERNET BANS FOR 200,000 CHILDREN AS PARENTAL FEARS OVER OFFENSIVE CONTENT GROW

Parents are so worried about their children accessing offensive content on the Internet that some have felt the need to ban them from going online altogether. These findings, which fly in the face of Government initiatives encouraging children to use the Internet as an educational tool, are from new independent research commissioned by leading specialist IT consultancy Detica.

Over 1,000 British adults were quizzed by MORI on behalf of Detica and the results show that just under half of all Internet users are worried that children will be harmed by stumbling across offensive content on the web. Of those who live in households with children, just over six out of ten (62%) are worried about their children’s safety while on the web – of these half (50%) only let their children use the Internet under direct supervision and just over a third (39%) rely on software tools to prevent their children accessing offensive sites.

More alarmingly, nearly one in ten (8%)[1] stated they feel that they have no choice but to ban their children from going online - which approximately equates to a startling 200,000 UK children[2] who are forbidden to use the Internet.

Simon Gawne, Director of Content Security at Detica, comments: “Parents should be able to trust that their children are safe when online, but the sad reality is that right now it is impossible to stop spam or offensive content reaching your desktop – as this research clearly highlights. In fact, the research showed that 58% of Internet users looked to ISPs to protect them.”

A massive two thirds of all British Internet users said they would swap ISPs in order to be protected from spam, viruses and offensive content via email. 44% said that their concern was such that they would be prepared to pay £2 or more per month on top of their Internet access fees to be free of it.

Simon Gawne adds: “The internet should be a valuable resource for children and many schools are now using it as a critical educational tool, something the government is actively encouraging. The level of parental concern is so high - justifiably in our view - that the dangers are far outweighing the benefits. It does not have to be this way though. If preventative measures are taken by ISPs at source, rather than in the home, then children will be better protected and parents’ minds finally put at ease.“
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