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Monday, 2 September, 2002, 13:24 GMT 14:24 UK
Net child safety site launched
Screen grab: besafeonline.org.uk
Parents are encouraged to let their children use the site
Parents in Scotland have been involved in the creation of a "Green Cross code" to protect their children on the internet.

Parents' associations and teachers are receiving online advice about chat rooms, filtering access to web pages and shopping on the internet.

Besafeonline.org has been launched by education groups in Scotland, Iceland, Spain and the Netherlands.

Learning and Teaching Scotland (LTS) and the Scottish Parent Teacher Council (SPTC) helped develop the new site, part-funded by the European Union.

Screen grab: besafeonline.org.uk
The site offers five different languages

LTS internet specialist Nick Morgan said the site would give parent piece of mind when their children were online.

The site offers information on how parents can protect their children by using software which blocks questionable websites or words.

A glossary of commonly used internet terms is provided to help parents monitor what children are saying and reading on their computers.

Mr Morgan said: "Schools are using the internet very heavily and there's increasing access at home and in libraries.

'Green Cross code'

"There's a perception that kids can sometimes make themselves vulnerable, and this site aims to give parents and teachers simple non-technical advice to help children take advantage of the huge educational benefits, and fun that the internet offers."

The SPTC's Judith Gillespie hoped the project would allay parents' fears.

She said: "What we are offering is basically a Green Cross code which enables children to move through the web perfectly safely, and if they come across dangers they can negotiate and handle them.

"That's the important thing - being able to handle danger and not dodge it."

Barnardo's Scotland, which is part of the Children's Charities Coalition for Internet Safety, welcomed the new site as a "very positive development".

The charity's policy and research officer, Douglas Hamilton, said the project was a positive development and would offer parents reassurance.

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 ON THIS STORY
Martha Fairlie reports
"Parents are worried about hidden dangers online"
See also:

21 Mar 02 | Science/Nature
27 Nov 01 | Education
19 Jun 01 | Science/Nature
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