Feeds

Govt offers Net advice to schools

More on the paedophile saga

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

The government, in the form of "learning and technology" minister Michael Wills, has joined forces with one-woman pressure group Carol Vorderman to provide schools with advice over how to approach the Internet.

The Superhighway Safety pack follows on the heels of recent controversy regarding the use of Internet chatrooms by paedophiles to "groom" young children. Several leading figures have applauded Ms Vorderman's publicising of an important issue but warned against hysterical over-reaction.

The government advises that schools pay special attention to school Web sites, pupil email addresses and chat rooms. It also offers advice on filtering software for their IT systems.

Pupils should be given an email address based on a class rather than an individual name when dealing with the outside world, the guidance suggests, since this allows a particular child to be targeted. Individual names are fine when dealing within a school system.

It also advises caution when posting pictures of children on school Web sites. The same point was made by Detective Chief Superintendent Keith Akerman - chairman of both the UK Internet Crime Forum and the Association of Chief Police Officer's computer crime working group - at a meeting in the Home Office yesterday.

Pupils, teachers and parents should also be warned and educated about the possible risks involved in external chatroom conversation. A report yesterday by the Internet Watch Foundation suggested the following points be made to children:

  • Do not give out personal details, photographs or other identifying information such as where you live or the school you go to
  • Do not take other people at face value
  • Never arrange to meet someone you've only known through the Internet without telling your parents, getting permission and taking an adult along with you. You should also meet in a public place.
  • Don't open or download an attachment unless you know and trust the person that sent it
  • Never respond to anything you find disturbing. Save it or print it, log off and tell an adult.

Michael Wills had this to say: "As the Internet continues to develop, we must remain constantly
vigilant in our efforts to protect children against those who would abuse it. The Internet and email are powerful tools to open up new opportunities for people of all ages. The Government wants everyone to have access to the wealth of cultural, scientific and intellectual material to be found on the Internet. But we are equally determined to ensure that pupils are protected from unsuitable material and that they can access appropriate material safely."

Aside from using the out-moded term Superhighway, the advice pack is a good step forward by government and can be seen online here. It has been compiled by the DfEE, NCH Action for Children, the Parents Information Network, the Internet Watch Foundation, ChildNet, Disney and the British Educational Suppliers Association.

Carol displayed her continuing paranoia regarding the Internet, telling reporters at the launch at a school in the East End of London: "I have got two children and I do not let the younger one use the Internet at all. But I will not let the older girl, who is eight, on the Internet without standing over her shoulder." ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.