Safe Surfing

Worried about the dangers young internet users may face? Click here for the Internet Watch Foundation's guide on the issue. Concerned about your children using Chat? Take a look at Childnet's Chatdanger site.

What about offensive material on the Internet?
How can I ensure my children do not see this material?
What is BTinternet's position regarding Internet content?

What about offensive material on the Internet?
The Internet's phenomenal growth has at least in part been due to the diversity of material that is available to its subscribers. Anything goes within the Internet's unregulated territory - there are few rules, and those which do exist can be easily bypassed. BTinternet has little or no control over the material you will come across when accessing the Internet, all of which would exist regardless of our presence. For this reason we strongly advise that you directly supervise your children's use of the Internet at all times.

If your Internet useage is within a family context, you should consider purchasing Internet screening software, which can automatically block access to certain areas of the Internet according to a number of criteria such as content, time, etc. BTinternet has negotiated a discount on one of these products for its customers. Customers using Internet Explorer v3.0 and later can use the built-in Content advisor to restrict access to WWW pages. Read about Internet Explorer's Ratings Feature.

If you discover content on the Internet which you think may be illegal, you should contact the Internet Watch Foundation, a charitable organisation set up in 1996 to rid the Internet of content such as child pornography.

How can I ensure my children do not see this material?
Do not allow your children to have unmonitored and unrestricted access to the Internet. Newsgroups and Internet Chat sites should in particular not be accessed without your supervision. These areas contain groups of adults talking; you should observe the normal precautions you would find necessary in "real" life.

In our view, Internet Relay Chat (IRC) gives rise to the most concern because of its real time communication. Children may not be aware who they are "chatting" to, and may be misled by other users posing as children. Newsgroups are also a potential cause for concern because of the frankness with which opinions are expressed. World Wide Websites often contain "mailto:" markers (which send e-mail messages); you need to make sure your child is aware that these send real messages to people or companies. If you allow your children to access e-mail, know who your child is corresponding with, and make sure you are happy with the information being exchanged. Advise your children not to give out personal details (name, address, phone number) when using any Internet service.

Take precautions about any meetings which may result from correspondence. Be particularly careful about first meetings with anyone you have not met through a more conventional route, such as schools, clubs or friends.

What is BTinternet's position regarding Internet content?
Go to Content and BTinternet which explains our thinking about material on the Internet.

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