Sunday 18 March 2018

Microsoft launches Safer Families internet safety programme

Family in living room watching TV
Family in living room watching TV

Rhiannon Williams

Microsoft has launched its Safer Families programme, designed to educate parents on how to teach their children online safety.

The company will hold free workshops in workplaces across the UK, including Argos, to guide parents through talking to children about how to stay safe on the internet.

It will also create a series of videos explaining how to activate safety settings across XBox One, XBox 360, Windows Phone and Windows 7 and 8 operating systems.

Around four million UK parents admitted they had not set up any safety settings on their family technology, leaving children vulnerable to stumbling across unsuitable content.

The biggest concern for almost all parents surveyed by Microsoft about the safety of their children online was sexual content and online bullying, which affects around one in eight youngsters.

Nicola Hodson, general manager of marketing and operations at Microsoft, said parents face a challenge in keeping track of the technology within their home.

"Our advice is to really think hard about letting your children be online unsupervised," she said. "Make sure you use the tools available to block access to inappropriate websites, films and games - especially with phones and games consoles where you are less likely to be around. Parental controls aren’t the whole answer but they can really help."

John Carr, secretary of the UK's Children's Charities' Coalition on Internet Safety said that the benefits of access to online technologies also come with a level of risk.

"What makes Microsoft’s Safer Families initiative unique is the way in which it’s taking these practical tools directly to parents in their workplaces,” he added.

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