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Byron Review into Internet Safety published
Thursday 27 March 2008 18:33:54 by Andrew Ferguson

The Byron Review has been examining the issues surrounding Internet safety for children and their environment. The report, written by Dr Tanya Byron makes several recommendations on how to better protect children from the risks they face in the modern world of telecommunications and computing. The full review can be found at www.dfes.gov.uk/byronreview.

The review makes a number of recommendations, some of which may seem rather obvious to early adopters of the Internet, but it should be remembered that in many households the expertise may actually lie with the children rather than the adults as this is a new technology everyone is learning about. The key recommendations are:

  • An independently monitored voluntary code of practice on the moderation of user generated content, with commitments in respect to take-down times.
  • Computers sold for use in the UK should have Kite-marked parental control software that is easy to set up on them, additionally broadband providers should offer and advertise the use of these tools when setting up their connection.
  • Search providers should reach agreement on ways to make sure users are aware of the safety level currently in use for any searches.
  • The advertising industry should work with media owners to advertise responsibly to those under 18.

Of course as the internet is still a new and ever changing place, the risks over time will change, for example the growth of free Wi-Fi hotspots and handheld games consoles that support Wi-Fi mean children can these days easily circumvent any access controls you have on your home broadband connection.

The Internet Service Providers Association has welcomed the report, recognising many of its recommendations were incorporated.

"It’s great news that the Byron Review acknowledges the Internet industry’s call for clear ministerial accountability, a coordinated strategy, a commitment to sustainable resourcing and a joined up Government approach for child safety on the Internet."

Jessica Hendrie-Liaño (Chair), ISPA Council

The general advice from the ISPA for parents is very straightforward and easy to follow:

  • Parents should; ensure that children use the Internet in a communal room
  • Offer children regular reminders of online safety rules, know who children are talking to online
  • Take time to surf the ‘net with children and ensure that the computer children use to access the Internet has functioning online safety software
  • Parents should also acknowledge the wealth of amazing educational and recreational content on the Internet, and children should be actively encouraged to go online safely

For slightly more detailed but easy to understand advice www.getsafeonline.org is worth a visit.

Comments

Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote"The review makes a number of recommendations..."

Here is my recommendation..... learn what parenting is instead of hoping a software company will do something see you can plonk the kid in front of the PC and forget about them.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 9 years ago
Carpet, the recomendations are not intended to be taken seperately but as part of an overall policy - and monitoring software can be useful for that.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
I read it differently Dawn and see it as more nanny state like behaviour, treating everyone like they are idiots. The ISPAs seperate tips are far more realistic and sensible IMO (which makes a change for them).
Posted by herdwick over 9 years ago
"Computers sold for use in the UK should have Kite-marked parental control software" - oh no, more crapware on retail PCs.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 9 years ago
ohnoes another piece of trial software on a DVD which comes with the computer. That's what it comes down to. This is not the end of the world.

The hysteria and calls for major censorship haven't materialised in this balanced and sensible report.
Posted by herdwick over 9 years ago
"another piece of trial software on a DVD" - dream on, it'll be another piece of trialware cluttering up the operating system along with a 60 day trial of MS Office, 90 day Norton 360, AOL / Tiscali / Orange etc etc.

Many PCs don't come with DVDs - you even have to burn your own recovery disk these days.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
Agree with herdwick, i certainly wouldnt buy any of these PCs with all this bundled rubbish that seem to be sold nowadays. Most of the software just takes up space, is useless and doesnt come with the original disks.
Why PCs even need to come with bundled parental controls is beyond me, a PC is not a toy like some silly games consoles, parents should take responsibility for there childs computer use.
A computer is not a baby sitter.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 9 years ago
I guess if you go bargain basement..
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 9 years ago
Things like chat rooms, video chat are not confined to computers running something like linux, windows, osx there days which it seems many still assume.

A PC is many different things to many different people, we all need to remember that our needs/use may be very different to others.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
Quote “A PC is many different things to many different people, we all need to remember that our needs/use may be very different to others."

True so why bundle it with the rubbish or parental control software in the first place? To me it seems another idea to please the stupid with no parenting skill and not give a damn what anyone else wants. More nanny state wrap you in cotton wool behaviour. Im no fan of the ISPA but as said atleast their basic guidelines are sensible, in fact id say they are common sense
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
Ahhhh now it explains everything. I knew I had heard the name Dr Tanya Byron before and after googling it appears its the same woman who has/had a TV show on BBC Three who thinks you can solve what every problem a child has just by getting them to do something different for a week while away in some TV studio house of glass with others... No wonder I think the ideas are a load of codswallop. I wonder how much some stupid government person paid her for writing it.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 9 years ago
Uhm...

She's a highly respected clinical psycologist who also happens to have appeared on a number of TV shows.

You're bluntly biased on this, I'm afraid.
Posted by Kaufhof over 9 years ago
I can see CARPETBURN's point but I wonder if he can imagine what goes on in schools? Probably he can - the young will always outwit their elders!
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote"the young will always outwit their elders!"

If your child is that young and you are that worried do as i do, sit with them when they use the internet instead of relying on babysitter software so so called "highly respected clinical psycologist" endorses.

Maybe she could make a bit more cash and do a george foreman and flog grills or special child training aids next.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
Carpetburn, no, she IS a highly respected clinical psycologist.

Monitoring software is *part* of an integrated process she recomends which also involves parental supervision. If you'd bothered to read the report.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Im sorry how can she be respected..... Why would you need monitoring software if the child has parental supervision???
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 8 years ago
I'm a safe driver who has never had an accident, why should I wear a seat belt?

Sitting with children all the time is not possible and they are very independent and at some point you have to let them spend time on their own.

A read of the report is probably a good idea, rather than the media interpretation of it which will focus on the parts that interest it most.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"I'm a safe driver who has never had an accident, why should I wear a seat belt?"
Errr because its law, because its proven it could save your life, because unlike monitoring software its tested yearly as part of the MOT to show it still works.
quote"Sitting with children all the time is not possible and they are very independent and at some point you have to let them spend time on their own."
Agreed but that should be the parents decision when. Not some busy body and not some huge pile of government cash paid to someone to write nonsense. (CONT)
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Why cant this monitoring software if we are going to have to have it forced down our throats not come of a seperate cd/dvd see the parent can decide if it is installed or not. Rather than it pre-installed like so much rubbish from big PC brands is.
A novice computer user that goes out to buy a machine to message or communicate with relatives abroad will wonder why they cant even get MSN to connect and then have to spend hours wading through the stupid parental software. Im sick of the mentality of this nanny state and their we know best attitude when clearly they have no clue at all.
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