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ParentPort helps parents keep children safe online

5 February 2013

The online media complaints portal – ParentPort– has today launched a one-stop shop for parents to help them keep children safe when online, watching films and playing video games.

Despite a large volume 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.”

Social networking

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 child1. ParentPort provides tips on how parents can help protect their children from the risks that this can present.

Parental controls

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 phones.

ParentPort provides a number of top tips on parental controls, including a new guide to ‘Protecting your child in the digital world’.

Mobile safety

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%.

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.

About ParentPort

ParentPort was set up in October 2011 to make it easier for parents to complain about material they see or hear across the media, communications and retail industries.

It was jointly developed by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the Authority for Television On Demand (ATVOD), the BBC Trust, the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), the Office of Communications (Ofcom), the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) and the Video Standards Council (VSC)/Pan-European Game Information (PEGI).

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