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It is very important to consider children's safety in their use and access of the internet. “The internet is a powerful learning tool but pupils need to learn how to use it safely” (Duffty, 2006: p.43), as there is the possibility of children accessing inappropriate material (Duffty, 2006), which can be highly damaging (Byron, 2008). Children need support from families, schools, industry, the government and public sectors to restrict access from inappropriate content, for their discernment to be increased and help in making wise decisions (Byron, 2008). If children are able to access the internet with no restrictions, they can come across websites that are both inappropriate and unsuitable for their viewing just by 'surfing the internet' or putting a phrase into a search engine that they consider innocent.

Children can also become subjects of on-line bullying, known as 'cyber-bullyinh' if the appropriate restrictions are not enforced in places such as open chat-rooms. There are problems with people pretending to be a child, when, in fact they are grown adults. It is therefore essential that prevention methods for child safety are enforced both on school and home computers.

Kid Smart is a brilliant website for children, informing them on the dangers of the internet in a child-friendly way that does not scare but suggests practical tips on keeping safe whilst using the internet. It also has advice on mobile phone safety and videos recorded by children that give their own views on the different topics within internet safety.

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Some Other Useful Websites:

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http://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/Default.aspx?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1
http://www.childline.org.uk/Info/Pages/Bullying.aspx
http://www.beatbullying.org/


References:


Byron, T. (2008) Safer Children in a Digital World: The Report of the Byron Review Nottingham: DCSF Publications, http://publications.dcsf.gov.uk/eOrderingDownload/DCSF-00334-2008.pdf (Accessed 03.03.11)


Duffty, J. (2006) Extending Knowledge in Practice: Primary ICT Exeter: Learning Matters Ltd.