Today is Safer Internet Day 2013

Today is Safer Internet Day 2013

Its the 10th Safer Internet Day today, organised by Insafe each year to promote more responsible use of online technology. It’s a useful initiative aimed at helping parents and carers – particularly those who may be lacking in tech skills – start a conversation with their children with their online behaviours and how to stay safe.

The initiative bring a timely and  sensible focus on  getting parents and carers think realistically about the conversations they are having with their children about going online; a welcome bit of common sense and practical advice in a debate that can, understandably so, become quickly emotive.

Over half of parents do not use any kind of parental control (according to this Ofcom report last year), and with December’s appointment of Claire Perry as Cameron’s adviser on the Internet Safety Agenda, we can expect this area to move up the policy priorities.

The theme for this year is ‘Online Rights and Responsibilities’ – and Insafe says we can expect a charter of “ten online rights and responsibilities” which will be delivered with ten young people to a high profile politician, along with a range of resources for schools to download and use.

ISPs are increasingly addressing the provision of tools to help parents (here are examples from BT and TalkTalk), but – as Wired.co.uk’s resident GeekDad recently wrote on this area – whilst corporate initiatives are valuable, they ultimately have their limits and parents must take a serious degree of responsibility for online safety.

This is why the Broadband Stakeholder Group was pleased to contribute to Intellect’s Internet child safety and parental controls session last month, part of a series of working groups with government, industry and other representatives which will be feeding into the ongoing government working groups across technologies in this area. We’ll certainly be working with our partners and government as this area develops, and do get in touch if you’d like to talk to us on this area.

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