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."