I recently saw a flyer for ParentPort which I’d not heard of before. One of the problems parents often say to me is that whilst there are a lot of useful tips and online safety advice already being available online, this information is often fragmented and difficult to find.
ParentPort has brought this information together and organised it into a number of easily accessible top tip categories to help parents learn more about setting up online controls, improving mobile safety and keeping children safe on social networking sites.
Director of Ofcom’s Content and Consumer Group, Claudio Pollack, said:
“Children are embracing more technology – and at a younger age – than ever before. Our research demonstrates that almost half of parents admit that their children know more about the internet than they do. This increases to more than two thirds of parents with teenagers under 16. This means that keeping children safe can be a challenge particularly if parents don’t know where to go for help and advice. ParentPort has launched a new information portal which aims to empower parents to take informed steps to protect their children in the way they feel is most appropriate.”
Children aged 8-11 estimate that they have not met around one in eight (12%) of their social network friends in person (an average of 11 people per child) while 12-15s say they have not met around one in four (25%) – an average of 72 people per child. ParentPort provides tips on how parents can help protect their children from the risks that this can present.
One in ten (10%) parents say they do not have parental controls installed on the computer or laptop used by their child either because they don’t know how to do this, or are not aware that it is possible, rising to 21%-25% for fixed/mobile games consoles and 35% for mobile phones1.
ParentPort provides a number of top tips on parental controls, including a new guide to ‘Protecting your child in the digital world’.
Children’s access to the internet is not restricted to PCs or laptops. Since 2011, there has been a 50% rise in 12-15 year olds owning smartphone devices1. Almost two-thirds (62%) of this age group now has one – up from 41% the previous year. This is significantly higher than the UK average for adults of 50%2.
They can also use them to take pictures and videos and post them online within seconds, maybe before they’ve even thought through the consequences. ParentPort provides a number of top tips on how children can stay safe when accessing the internet using a mobile.
The website was jointly developed by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the Authority for Television On Demand, the BBC Trust, the British Board of Film Classification, Ofcom, the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) and the Video Standards Council.
ParentPort also acts as a one-stop online complaints centre for the public to lodge concerns about all manner of inappropriate material – from risque music videos and raunchy billboard advertising to TV programmes and clothing lines at retailers – to simplify the complaints process.
If you haven’t looked at it before, do go check it out.