Tuesday, December 08, 2009

UK Schools To Teach Kids Internet Safety

As part of a new Government endorsed program schools in the UK plan to teach children how to safely navigate their way around the web.

The campaign, called "Zip it, Block it, Flag it" will be adopted by retailers, social networking sites, schools and charities and displayed where appropriate. The programs aims at giving parents and children access to  a one-stop shop website for internet safety advice hosted by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre (CEOP). As part of the new program online safety will be a compulsory part of the curriculum for children age 5 and up beginning in Sept. of 2011 .

The goal is to encourage children to not give out personal details online, to block unwanted messages on social networks and to report inappropriate behavior to an appropriate person or organization, such as the website, a teacher or the police.

The program is part of "Click Clever, Click Safe" a new government strategy backed by the UK Council on Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS), a body comprising of more than 140 organizations. UKCCIS features several major players in the online arena including Google, Microsoft and Facebook, which have all pledged support for the campaign.

A Google spokesman said most of the websites represented by the group already had controls that "help users manage their personal information and block or report unwanted contact". The Google spokesman said, "We're strong supporters of the 'Zip it, Block it, Flag it' educational campaign as another way to get this message out and help young people to remember how to stay safe online."

The Government also announced today that:

All 270,000 computers to be provided under the Government’s Home Access scheme will incorporate the CEOP Advice, Help, Report button, to help children and their families quickly report inappropriate content or internet approaches from strangers as well as get help and advice on issues such as cyberbullying, viruses and hacking.
Government will lead the way globally, by exploring how child internet safety can be improved through the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said:

"The internet provides our children with a world of entertainment, opportunity and knowledge - a world literally at their fingertips. But we must ensure that the virtual world is as safe for them as this one.

"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."

More details can be found via the UKCCIS website and you can click here to download a full PDF copy of the Click Clever, Click Safe Strategy.

To see the press notice relating to the Strategy and the first annual UKCCIS Summit please click here.

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