UK Launches Initiative To Keep Children Safe OnlineBy: Mike Sachoff - December 8, 2009
Officials in the UK have announced plans to require children beginning at age 5 to be taught about online safety starting in 2011.
The new initiative called "Click Clever Click Safe" was created by the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS).
"The internet provides our children with a world of entertainment, opportunity and knowledge – a world literally at their fingertips," said Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
"But we must ensure that the virtual world is as safe for them as this one."
The government says that 99 percent of 8-17 year olds have access to the Internet. New research found that 18 percent of young people had come across "harmful or inappropriate content online," and 33 percent of children said their parents where unaware of what they do on the Internet.
Under the new initiative Internet companies, charities and the government will be independently reviewed against UKCCIS standards to keep children safe online. Young people and parents will be targeted by a new Digital Code "Zip it, Block it, Flag it," that will be adopted by retailers, social networking sites, schools and charities and displayed where appropriate.
Parents will be able to access a website for Internet safety advice hosted by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection center.
"Today we are launching our online version of the ‘green cross code’. We hope that ‘zip it, block it, flag it’ will become as familiar to this generation as ‘stop, look, listen’ did to the last," said Prime Minister Brown.