Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

Parents confused about how to keep their kids safe online

The internet has given children the ability to learn like never before, opening up a whole new world of possibility for curious young minds, but how can parents make sure their children are safe at all times online?

While parents have more confidence when it comes to home to their home PCs, new research released today has found that their ability to monitor activity on smartphone devices is an increasing cause for concern.

Around 40% of seven years-olds and 60% of nine year-olds currently use the internet unsupervised, while 88% of children have access to an internet enabled device. The research, commissioned as part of the Argos Safe Kids Online launch found that over 40% of them have no safety device in place when it comes to their kids’ smartphone or mobile devices.

Post 2011’s Bailey Report called “Let children be children” the Government has initiated an effort to bring all companies involved in internet connectable devices together to establish mechanisms, a code of practice and ultimately legislation to ensure protection for children from adult content on the internet (Active Choice).

Ahead of that, Argos will today become the first retailer in the UK to introduce free online protection to all British parents. The leading technology retailer, in partnership with leading online protection provider, Symantec, will promote free of charge, online software for all who want it in the UK, regardless of whether they purchase products from Argos, to help them to control their children’s access via internet enabled devices including pc, laptop, tablets and mobile devices

Prime Minister David Cameron said:"The internet is a brilliant resource for children of all ages and increasingly plays a key part in our day-to-day lives. As parents, we all want our children to be safe when they click online but it can be difficult to know how best to protect them from harmful material and inappropriate sites.

I am determined that we do something about that and last year's Bailey review set out how we would better equip parents to keep their children safe. Government, business, parents and others must all do more and we are starting to see people rise to that challenge. I welcome the steps Argos has taken today to help parents keep their kids safe online."

By giving parents the technical tools to help manage online risks appropriately, tailored to their children’s age and competence, Argos hopes to help parents use the principles they apply to offline safety, online also.

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