UK Acts To Keep Children Safe Online

In the UK, a new government directive requires all school strengthen measures to prevent children cyber-bullying, pornography and radicalization. The changes will mean children as young as 5 will receive online education about social media use and other issues online. 

The plans, created by Education Secretary Nicky Morgan and announced today, aim to prevent children from experiencing questionable materials online.

“Recent events have shown that the risks to young ‎people being targeted by radical groups have risen and should not be underestimated,” a UK government announcement read.

Schools will be required to apply filters and monitoring systems so children cannot access “harmful content” on the school’s IT systems. 

“These measures are delivering on the government’s commitment to keep children safe from harm, as well as providing helpful support and information for professionals and parents so we are all equipped to help protect children in this digital age, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan stated.

The government also released two guides on safe social media use, each created by the UK’s Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCISS).

“The 2 guides we’ve published today, developed by the UK Council for Child Internet Safety’s panel of experts, are all part of our ongoing work to keep children safe online,” Minister for Internet Safety and Security Baroness Shields said.

2016 will see the launch of new training for professionals like nurses, doctors and teachers, all of whom are viewed by the UK as working with children. The announcement also acknowledges the Google’s ‘Internet Legends’ tour set to travel around the UK to teach kids how to be safe online.

Government and industry have made great progress in our quest to make the internet a safer place for young people, but we recognize that risks and dangers remain.

Per the new directive, children at all primary and secondary schools will receive classes in online safety starting September 2016.

“The internet is a powerful tool but also poses obvious risks for children and young people,”Russell Hobby, General Secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said. “We think schools would welcome greater clarity on how to deploy appropriate filters and monitoring systems and that they will readily fulfill their safeguarding duties in this domain.”

Internet safety minister Baroness Shields believes such moves, and others, will ‘help keep children safe online’.

It seems a great deal of the focus is targeted at keeping children away from being radicalized online by extremist groups, such as ISIS.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Justin O'Connell is the founder of financial technology focused Justin organized the launch of the largest Bitcoin ATM hardware and software provider in the world at the historical Hotel del Coronado in southern California. His works appear in the U.S.'s third largest weekly, the San Diego Reader, VICE and elsewhere.