Campaign calls parents to protect their children online

Children are always just one click away from harmful content, and it's the parents' job to keep them safe, that's the message of a new campaign for greater protection of children online.

The campaign, kicked off by Internet Matters, is called Protect Their Curiosity, and is urging parents to enable parental controls on all internet-enabled devices that children have access to.

The safety group is backed by the UK’s largest broadband providers: BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media.

The campaign uses four videos, showing children in innocent situations which turn bad really fast. In one such video, a boy searching for pirates quickly finds a hostage situation in Somalia, while in another one a girl, looking for Willy (the whale from Free Willy), finds everything else, but not the whale.

More than half of parents (53 per cent) don't use parental controls on the devices their children use, the group says, and 58 per cent haven't applied any passwords to their smart devices.

Internet Matters general manager Carolyn Bunting said: “The videos might be uncomfortable viewing, but we wanted to show the reality of how a child's innocent curiosity can turn in to a distressing experience in just one click.

“Kids want to use the web in safety. They don't want to be scared of what they might click on. A big step towards this lies with parents switching on every parental control available.”

The message of the campaign is that kids can easily become victims of online bullying and sexting, and can easily become exposed to pornography and violence, and it's up to the parents to protect them.