DCMS launches new internet safety drive

The Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) has announced it has begun work on a refreshed Internet Safety Strategy, which aims to ensure the UK becomes the safest place in the world for you people to go online.

The news comes after a recent poll found more parents were more concerned about sexting than about their children drinking or smoking. The YouGov survey for the PSHE association showed 78 per cent were either fairly or very concerned about sexting, compared to 69 per cent who concerned about alcohol misuse and 67 per cent who were concerned about smoking.

The DCMS has commissioned a report by leading academic Professor Sonia Livingstone has been to provide up-to-date evidence of how young people are using the internet, the dangers they face, and the gaps that exist in keeping them safe.

Ministers will also hold a series of round tables in the coming weeks with social media companies, technology firms, young people, charities and mental health experts to examine online risks and how to tackle them.

According to a statement from the DCMS, the new drive is expected to centre on four main priorities: how to help young people help themselves; helping parents face up the dangers and discuss them with children; industry’s responsibilities to society; and how technology can help provide solutions.

Karen Bradley, Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport, said: “The internet has provided young people with amazing opportunities but has also introduced a host of new dangers which children and parents have never faced before.

“It is increasingly clear that some behaviours which are unacceptable offline are being tolerated or even encouraged online – sometimes with devastating consequences.

“We are determined to make Britain the safest place in the world to be online, and to help people protect themselves from the risks they might face.

“To do that we want to understand the full scale of the problem and explore how everyone - including government, social media companies, technology firms, parents and others  - can play their part in tackling it."

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