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Panorama - One Click from Danger

Panorama - One Click from Danger

Panorama - One Click from Danger

The BBC show Panorama this week featured some of the dangers of the Internet and in particular how they affect children and what parents can do to keep them safe. We're sure that many people are, quite rightly, concerned about the safety of their families and are unsure of the best ways that they can protect them. At PlusNet we recognise these concerns and want to try and help people stay safe and provide the best information we can and where we can develop better technological solutions. The first thing we'll do is post a few links to the BBC Panorama site here and here. The Beeb have also prepared a page which includes sources of help for both children and parents and there's also a page of Comments here. If anyone missed the show for the next few days you can watch it again using the BBC's iPlayer. There are several pieces of advice we can give to parents, the first is to talk to your children about the risks of the Internet. Make them aware of the dangers and set rules to minimise the risk such as only allowing them to speak to people they know in real life. Consider putting the computer in a family communal area such as the living room so that the computer can be monitored. For an outsider the online world of nation's children can seem like another planet, but there's no reason that your children can't teach you how to use the applications and sites they use. By taking an interest and understanding what things in the MySpace/Bebo/MSN world are you're also more likely to spot anything inappropriate and have the discussion. You can also use child-friendly search engines such as Surf Safely or Ask Jeeves Kids. For any Mac users out there, the latest version of OS X - Leopard, includes some really good parental control options including allowing set times when the Internet can be used or let you set safe website lists. Vista also has parental control functions and you can get various content control software from third parties, details are available here with a list here We'd also suggest if that anyone has concerns about what they can do or if they have ideas of things they have done to feel free to post in our discussion forums. We're looking into different technical solutions that can help with online safety. The obvious ones we have now are the virus and spam checking on email and we're investigating other options as well and always happy to hear suggestions from customers as to what they want. Dave Tomlinson PlusNet Product Team

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