O2 and NSPCC collaborate to protect children online.

O2 and NSPCC collaborate to protect children online.

In a unique collaboration, the NSPCC and O2 have launched a new online safety helpline aimed in supporting adults in gaining the skills they need to keep children safe online.

This follows governmental research that suggests there is a 'digital delay' in parents having conversations with children about online safety in comparison to real world dangers. Whilst over 90% of eight year olds use the internet adults surveyed felt that these conversations around online safety were best left until the age of nine, this drops to age seven however when talking about real-world dangers.

Addressing this gap O2 and the NSPCC have developed a website and an online safety advice helpline for parents to call for technical advice around setting up parental controls on your computer or other devices, help adjusting privacy settings, understanding social networks and concerns about online gaming. In addition to this O2 are also running a nationwide scheme of workshops for parents and guardians for hands-on support in getting to grips with the internet.

Ronan Dunne, O2 CEO explained: "While the internet is driving economic growth and positively transforming the way we live and work, the simple truth is that, like the 'offline' world, the online world comes with risks attached. Risks that need to be acknowledged and faced. Although progress has been made in ensuring young people receive practical online safety advice, our research and experience also suggests that more needs to be done to help parents, particularly those who don't feel as confident supporting their children in the fast-changing digital world."

Prevention is only one-half of the equation, however, Peter Wanless describes the harrowing dark side of the web for children with very real consequences; "Sadly we know that children up and down the country are struggling because of difficult experiences online. Thousands of young people contact us about issues such as online grooming, cyberbullying and after viewing sites which encourage eating disorders, self-harm and suicide."
As such O2 have also zero-rated Childline Online, allowing any child with a mobile phone to contact them for free of charge.

To find out more and access further resources click here.

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