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Microsoft and Child Protection Firm Create Child-safe Browser

By - Source: CEOP | B 23 comments

Microsoft has teamed up with a child protection agency in the UK to create a special version of IE9.

The internet is an amazing resource and a great educational tool, but is it any wonder that parents are often wary of letting their children access it? After all, if even the most seasoned web surfer can happen upon something that makes them think, "Yep, that's enough internet for one day," who knows what our children will see?

In an attempt to make wild waves of the internet at little safer for our children to navigate, Microsoft has teamed up with the UK's Child Exploitation and Online Protection Center (CEOP) to produce a child-friendly version of Internet Explorer 9. This provides parents with the opportunity to customize their browser so they can get direct access to CEOP's advice pages, as well as being able to report inappropriate contact with their child. There are also links to certain helpful organizations, such as the Internet Watch Foundation, Get Safe Online and Beatbullying. The browser also has a feature called "Jump List," which allows parents to specify their child's age group and protect them from exposure to inappropriate content.

 "[..] Too often we see examples of where the child is at risk because they make simple online mistakes – because they are lured in or push the boundaries too far and risk their personal safety," said Peter Davies, Chief Executive of the CEOP Centre and the senior police officer leading on child protection on the internet for the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO). "We all have a role to play and today I want to encourage parents to engage with their child to help avoid these risks. I want to help them explore the online world with their child, to talk to them about how they are using the internet and above all do what parents have always done – think about safety from a practical point of view."

Microsoft's Gabby Hegerty said that Redmond felt that due to the popularity of IE9, the company felt it important to provide families with adequate tools to protect their children.

 "At Microsoft we always want to provide our customers with the tools to enjoy the web safely and securely," she said. "The internet has become a central part of everyday life for adults and children, from learning and communicating to working and playing online. As the leading browser provider, it is important we make the appropriate safety information available and build in features to our software which provide families with peace of mind online."

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  • 7 Hide
    back_by_demand , February 8, 2012 3:40 PM
    Why has no one thought of this before and how long do we have to wait for a CEOP version of Firefox, Opera, Safari and Chrome?
  • 2 Hide
    GreaseMonkey_62 , February 8, 2012 3:44 PM
    Cool. I'll likely test this out at my house.
  • 5 Hide
    jackbling , February 8, 2012 3:47 PM
    Not that this is not a worthwhile pursuit, but the real failure point, same with any of these in the past, has been the parents. The typical "user" will likely never even hear, or properly configure, this software.

    If you are that concerned as a parent, let them browse the tubes under supervision.

    (I don't have children, and don't pretend to understand :p  )
  • 3 Hide
    smfrazz , February 8, 2012 3:49 PM
    I agree....but why didn't the author give a link to this browser download or explain more on how to get it? I have been looking for a better way to protect my daughter from inadvertently clicking on something that popped up a PORN page or keep the searches safe and locked. Most of the solutions out there sux or take over all accounts on a PC. I only want her account to be impacted not mine or my wife's.
  • 1 Hide
    smfrazz , February 8, 2012 3:54 PM
    jackblingNot that this is not a worthwhile pursuit, but the real failure point, same with any of these in the past, has been the parents. The typical "user" will likely never even hear, or properly configure, this software.If you are that concerned as a parent, let them browse the tubes under supervision.(I don't have children, and don't pretend to understand )


    Those that bother to get it will set it up. The problem is these solutions are too difficult to setup and manage or as I said they take over the brower experience for all accounts on a PC not just the child's account...or those soutions out there like K9 don't always work or are very buggy. I'm hoping that Microsoft and the other browser owners will build this native into their specific browsers...I know not only will parents be happy when this is easier to manage and use but so will Libraries and Schools.
  • 0 Hide
    SlitelyOff , February 8, 2012 3:57 PM
    And Content Advisor on existing IE is for what?
  • -2 Hide
    hang-the-9 , February 8, 2012 4:15 PM
    Only comment here is "Why did it take so long?".

    Next they need to make a version of Windows for novice users that's basically a terminal server app, you can run 3 applications, can't get to any other files or settings. Will cure 90% of Windows issues right off the bat. No more "I tried to fix my slow PC by deleting files and now it does not boot".
  • 3 Hide
    ringzero , February 8, 2012 4:18 PM
    Did I miss when this will be available, or if it already is, where I can find it?
  • -3 Hide
    synd , February 8, 2012 4:29 PM
    Bullshit, using OpenDNS is enough. I've been configuring a lot of PCs for parents so that they can be safe about their children and so far no complaints after using OpenDNS.
    What M$ is trying to do is promote their horrible, outdated IE9 and say... "hey at least our browser is good for that".
  • 2 Hide
    JMcEntegart , February 8, 2012 5:26 PM
    smfrazzI agree....but why didn't the author give a link to this browser download or explain more on how to get it? I have been looking for a better way to protect my daughter from inadvertently clicking on something that popped up a PORN page or keep the searches safe and locked. Most of the solutions out there sux or take over all accounts on a PC. I only want her account to be impacted not mine or my wife's.


    Sorry, the link is actually available via CEOP, which is listed as the source for this post. However, I thought I had included a hyperlink in the article text too -- apparently not! You should be able to find it via the source link, in the text (hyper-linked) and here (just for good measure!). :) 
  • 6 Hide
    gm0n3y , February 8, 2012 6:58 PM
    The problem I see is that for the most part any child over the age of 10 knows more about computers than their parents.
  • 2 Hide
    gti88 , February 8, 2012 6:58 PM
    I imagine a conversation: "Look, son, there are tons of porn on the internets, thus, you shall not watch it."
  • 2 Hide
    millerm84 , February 8, 2012 6:58 PM
    The problem with a single protected browser is most kids are smart enough to download a different browser. If you want to protect your kids then you need to stop trying from the PC (where they have all the resources and likely the PC skill set you have) and block from the router. I recommend dd-wrt with the open dns port this blocks your PCs from hitting the sites you want to restrict and there is never any reason for your kids to know the password to your router. Much more secure and works with every browser.
  • 1 Hide
    irh_1974 , February 8, 2012 8:28 PM
    hang-the-9Only comment here is "Why did it take so long?".Next they need to make a version of Windows for novice users that's basically a terminal server app, you can run 3 applications, can't get to any other files or settings. Will cure 90% of Windows issues right off the bat. No more "I tried to fix my slow PC by deleting files and now it does not boot".

    I already have at home, every machine is locked down the same way they are in a typical office with no facility to delete important things, the only person with real access is me, the kids don't stand a chance. If they want to monkey around with a non-secure system they can do it at school.
  • -1 Hide
    A Bad Day , February 8, 2012 9:12 PM
    back_by_demandWhy has no one thought of this before and how long do we have to wait for a CEOP version of Firefox, Opera, Safari and Chrome?


    I bet Microsoft is going to pull the, "Proprietary coding" stunt if another web browser attempts the CEOP version.
  • 1 Hide
    liamecrow , February 8, 2012 11:53 PM
    There's no such thing as a child-safe internet. The best thing you can do is teach your child about the risks, supervise their browsing, and hope that the mistakes they make are ones they can learn from and go on with their lives. One day people will realize that you cant parent your kids with software. Even before the internet, I was able to find inappropriate books in my elementary school library to check out, and that only contains a small fraction of the data that you can find on the internet.
  • 0 Hide
    juncture , February 9, 2012 1:38 AM
    back_by_demandWhy has no one thought of this before and how long do we have to wait for a CEOP version of Firefox, Opera, Safari and Chrome?

    AOL had their version of Parental Control when we had dial-up and I was a teenager. Ahh the days of using proxies....
  • 1 Hide
    livebriand , February 9, 2012 2:43 AM
    Whatever, I don't use IE. Firefox FTW!
  • 0 Hide
    tetris57 , February 9, 2012 4:02 AM
    who uses explorer?
  • 0 Hide
    falchard , February 9, 2012 4:34 AM
    Microsoft Priorities.
    1) Safe porn browsing
    2) Child protection
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