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Keeping Your Children Safe Online

The Child Online Protection Initiative actively promotes awareness of internet safety for younger generations, offering practical help and advice on a wide and growing range of topics. We provide specific personal safety advice, addressing many of the issues arising from the all encompassing technologies we take for granted as part of modern living, and more general questions of information security. From smart phones, tablets and games platforms to surfing the internet on your laptop or PC, the devices you use give rise to unique opportunities for learning, play and communication but they also allow unprecedented access into our private lives and in particular those of our children.

We take a thoughtful and common sense approach to your safety and we hope to play a strong role in furthering the discussion through campaigning, education and creating online communities. With our impartial, fact based analysis of the issues, we hope to enable companies, parents and schools in developing the confidence to be safer online. We also hope to be a forum for a more understanding and supportive community spirit, helping individuals to better appreciate that good behaviour via online media is every bit as essential in this, as in any other aspect of our lives. Together we can contribute toward mutual respect and a safer more productive online experience.

We address internet safety from more than one direction and while we focus on topics such as bullying and abuse, we’ll be asking some hard questions of technology companies. Why does technology design often seem to multiply vulnerabilities? Does technology serve those who design and make it, or those who use it? Should security and safety features be easier and more transparent to use, particularly on social media websites? Who has access to the massive amount of data these sites accumulate? Why do smart phones allow us to inadvertently broadcast potentially compromising information? When does technology bring us closer together and how does it push us further apart?

International and Internet Child Sexual Exploitation

There has, in recent years, been growing awareness and concern over cases of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) which have an international dimension or which involve the Internet. However, relatively little is known about these cases, due in no small part to the way in which many of these cases go un-prosecuted / un-reported, and the online predators are able to groom children and young people, online with a degree of anonymity.

This article is based largely on the report by the same name, directed by Bernard Gallagher, and funded by The Nuffield Foundation, which was designed to further knowledge of international and Internet Child Sexual Abuse, and in doing so contribute to the development of policy and practice. (a link to a pdf download of the entire report is included in this article)

While this research was focused upon cases known to law enforcement agencies (police and HM Revenue and Customs – HMRC), it has implications for the wider criminal justice system, a range of other statutory agencies, NGOs and industry, and governance at a national and international level.

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