Schoolchildren benefit from Safer Internet Day

Proof that UK parents are listening, while special initiatives are set up marking Safer Internet Day to educate schoolchildren about the dangers.

British parents are the most internet-savvy in Europe when it comes to protecting their kids online, according to a survey released marking Safer Internet Day.

British parents take more practical action to screen their kids from online threats than anybody else in the European Union. They are most likely to use filtering software (77 per cent), and most likely to talk with their children about what they do online (87 per cent).

It also revealed that Britons the most likely to stay near children while they surfed, and also remind them not to give out personal information.

The survey was conducted for the European Commission and analysed by EU Kids Online, a research project for the London School of Economics (LSE).

According to Professor Sonia Livingstone of the LSE, it was good news as it showed that safety messages pushed by government and the IT industry were getting through, better than most places in Europe.

She said in a statement: "One reason for this is that the UK has had a sustained and successful series of campaigns to make children and parents aware of the possible dangers, while some other European countries have a way to go."

However, it wasn't all good news. Even though British children were the most likely in Europe to ask parents for help if they encountered strangers, bullying or problem content, just 24 per cent said they would.

Professor Livingstone said: "It is crucial that the government and industry keeps up the effort to raise awareness as the risks online keep changing."

Security vendors and organisations also put their weight behind Safer Internet Day. Kaspersky said that education regarding criminality on the internet was important for users of all ages.

IT security certification organisation ISC2 also announced the availability of an online volunteer training program designed to help security professionals communicate confidently and effectively with school children.

Online safety advice for schoolchildren is available from the website, which offers special content to mark Safer Internet Day.

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