back to article Kids as young as FIVE need lessons in online safety - NSPCC

Kids as young as five should be taught how to stay safe online, with tips and advice coming from their mates as well as teachers, a UK children's charity has said. The NSPCC said that online abuse was one of the major child protection issues today, as kids see more and more porn and are encouraged or coerced to make their own …

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  1. Crisp Silver badge

    70 per cent more boys had called in about seeing porn online

    Were they complaining or boasting?

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: 70 per cent more boys had called in about seeing porn online

      This reminds of me of hearing about the son of the directors of a company I used to work for. His son was suspended from school for peddling porn. It turns out that his son was videoing the late night trailers for the soft porn cable and satellite channels, putting them all together and duplicating and selling videos of it. Given the soft nature of it all he really wasn't sure whether to be angry about it or proud because of his son's entrepreneurship.

      1. Yet Another Commentard

        Re: 70 per cent more boys had called in about seeing porn online

        Also I recall reading a survey about kids taking drugs, where something like 80% of them said they had taken drugs. Including one that was completely made up.

        Kids boast, especially about things they should not be doing.

      2. MrXavia
        Thumb Up

        @Nick Ryan, Re: 70 per cent more boys had called in about seeing porn online

        I'd be proud of his business sense, but a little annoyed that he was violating copyright to do so, then give him other ideas of what he could sell at school.... there is always a market for something beyond the closed school gates... and not all of it has to be dodgy.

        1. wowfood

          Re: @Nick Ryan, 70 per cent more boys had called in about seeing porn online

          A mate of mine started doing that. We had school dinners which were kinda meh, overpriced more than anything. The year 11s were allowed off school grounds for lunch. So he'd take orders for the chippy, go buy a huge order, and make 50p - £1 profit per order.

          What I'm wondering is this.. Why are kids as young as 5 ON the internet? Seriously if I ever have kids (god forbid, I say that for their sakes not mine) they aren't getting on the internet until they turn 8 at the earliest, unless I'm there with them.

    2. Amorous Cowherder
      Happy

      Re: 70 per cent more boys had called in about seeing porn online

      We used to have the crappy surveys at school every few months and we'd always, without fail, put YES to every dodgy or dangerous activity and write some rubbish on them. We'd never any of these things, we just thought it would be a laugh to annoy people, that's what kids do!

  2. frank ly Silver badge

    I'm not sure what exactly is happening

    "The charity's phone-in helpline ChildLine said that compared to just one year ago, a whopping 70 per cent more boys had called in about seeing porn online, ..."

    If I want to see porn online, I have to make a reasonable effort (hint: it's not worth the effort).

    How are these kids doing it? If the are being shown porn or being sent links to porn, then this is an issue for child protection authorities and the police. If they are actively seeking it out themselves then that raises all kinds of questions.......

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: I'm not sure what exactly is happening

        "hot bitches get nailed"

        Perhaps the point is that young kids have learned (from where?) that such a phrase will get them to porn, rather than to an RSPCA site about the dangers of leaving your family pet in the garage on a hot day?

        1. Nick Woodruffe

          Optional

          Hmmm...

          That took me to Screwfix!

          1. Chris Harrison
            Happy

            Re: Optional

            But what happens if you type in screwfix?

            1. Nick Woodruffe

              Re: Optional

              Just tried that in Google search. The first ten pages were all screwfix links....and then I got bored.

            2. Silverburn
              Coat

              Re: Optional

              But what happens if you type in screwfix?

              Ads for Escort agencies?

              1. tomban
                Stop

                Re: Optional

                Wait! Nick Woodruffe, I think you are being groomed.

                1. wowfood

                  Re: Optional

                  Hah, I remember at school, back before safesearch actually did much of anything, we'd just type 12345567890 into google images and it'd turn up SO MUCH PR0N

                  Then of course was the hilarious moment, we were doing an RE project on different religious things, one of the girls decided she was going to do the bibles opinion on homosexuality. First site she visited 'god hates gays' or something had been hacked. An endless stream of non stop gay porn popups. It was hilarious, and because the school was still on IE4 or something rediculous it had no popup prevention.

        2. Don Jefe

          Re: I'm not sure what exactly is happening

          Maybe they learn it from comment sections (llike this one) that generally aren't banned... Maybe we should ban comment sections?

    2. Richard 81

      Re: I'm not sure what exactly is happening

      frank ly, you have actually been on the internet right?

  3. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Kids should not be left unsupervised on the internet its as simple as that.

    Its parents who need lessons in using the internet so they can keep their kids safe not 5 year old being told what to do.

    Parents often won't let their children go to the end of the road unsupervised but think nothing of letting them spend hours unsupervised on the internet.

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      As far as the end of the road? That's very, very dangerous - there should be a law against that kind of thing. After all there are paedophiles behind every bush and gate down the street so it must be a mercy or arrogant luck that any of the poor innocent children actually make it to the end of the road, let alone back again.

      We'll ignore the fact that almost all child molestation is carried out by a close family member of course. It's the exceptional cases that make the news, and often these wind up being a close family friend or family member anyway.

      </rant>

  4. Captain TickTock

    Parents Of Kids As Young As 5 Need Lessons in Online Safety

    There, FIFY.

    1. MrZoolook
      Devil

      Kids As Young As 5 Need To Give Parents Lessons in Online Safety

      At least fix it right...

  5. wolfetone Silver badge
    FAIL

    Parents are the problem

    The NSPCC, for some reason, have this all wrong. While it's good to educate the kids, this isn't actually the cause of the issue. It's the parents.

    I'm sure we've all seen it at some point, but parents let their children have laptops or iPad's with no parental controls and don't supervise them. They go to their rooms, alone, with just the laptop/iPad and themselves. They can go on whatever they want, when they want, and the parent doesn't know. Of course, the parent finds out when their child is the subject of "sexting" or finds an indecent image they have downloaded off the internet. Then it's everyone's fault BUT that parent for not taking a damn in what they are looking at.

    An example of this would be my girlfriends 9 year old sister, given an iPad for Christmas by her mother. She never looks at what she's up to, and as far as the mother is concerned all she is doing is using FaceTime to speak to her friends. So on Sunday, I'm walking up the stairs and I can hear that Miranda's woman's voice (I can't stand her, and no one in the house can stand her either). I pop my head in the bedroom of my girlfriends sister and she's watching an episode of Miranda. I asked her what she was watching, and she said she was watching Tracey Beaker (LIE!). I told her that Miranda wasn't suitable (not because it's crap, but the language etc) and told her mother. The mother in law asked the 9 year old, and apparently she wasn't watching it although it was a good third of the way through the episode judging by the play bar at the bottom. The mother, like an idiot, took her word for it and didn't check it.

    This mother in law isn't an isolated case, there'll be millions of families like this up and down the country. They need back bone and to stand up to the child and say "We're having a desktop down here in the living room, and you will go on it when I'm around". That is really the easiest way of combating children seeing things they shouldn't see, but alas for some reason this country/society seems to think it's the responsibility of others, not themselves, to police what their children see.

    It's an absolute joke.

    1. Bert 1
      Megaphone

      Re: Parents are the problem

      I agree with the sentiment, but Miranda?!

      Surely Miranda is only suitable viewing for children. Its certainly not an adult programme. You're kidding yourself if you think they don't already know more swear words than you do.

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        Re: Parents are the problem

        I should have written it in what I said that the mother in law said it wasn't suitable because of it's content. I just think it's unsuitable for any general viewing because it's crap.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Parents are the problem

      You think Miranda will corrupt the minds of the young? Check out the rude Countdown clips on YouTube - they'll cause a revolution....

    3. Bush_rat
      Meh

      Re: Parents are the problem

      Agreed, if for the children, at least do it for the sake of your bandwidth.

      Child + YouTube = no more bandwidth, just a black hole where your quota was...

    4. Jediben
      Trollface

      Re: Parents are the problem

      Great story, just clarify one thing - she wasn't your girlfriend's OLDER sister, right?

      1. wolfetone Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Parents are the problem

        I can clarify that the 9 year old sister to my 24 year old girlfriend is indeed the younger sister :)

  6. Jay Holmes

    Yes I agree that kids should have lessons in how to stay safe online, but I believe that parents should be able to get lessons in how to secure their connection for their own kids and not expect someone else to do it for them.

    If my kids see porn online, it will be down to one of two things either I havent secured my internet properly to keep them from seeing things that I believe are not safe for them. Or the little shits have become more tech savvy than me, which means I have to up my game.

    But (and this is what I hope mainly) I am raising my kids to talk to me if they have problems, so that they can come to me with anything, knowing Im not going to go ballistic at them. If people took more interest in their kids and what they are doing online and in general then this wouldnt be a problem (IMHO)

    1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      But safe is not equal to not watching pr0n

      Being "safe online" means not giving their personal (or my credit card) details to strangers and not agreeing to meet those strangers IRL.

      Seeing a bit of human flesh (accidentally or not) or reading something which some adults may not be comfortable with them reading is not "unsafe". It may be undesirable for whatever religious, moral or educational purposes but safety does not come into this.

      And the only way to make kids safe online means explaining to them what and why they should not be doing. Relying on any technical blocking and filtering would mean totally missing the nature of the threat and the methods needed for its mitigation.

      1. Bush_rat
        Thumb Up

        Re: But safe is not equal to not watching pr0n

        Very well stated sir, censoring the problem is not the answer, all that does is leave them unprepared for that one time safesearch isn't on....

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: But safe is not equal to not watching pr0n

          Now here is irony for you - Microsoft (of all companies) did actually make that same point a while back.

          We have a couple of vectors here that need to be checked.

          - Parental guidance: parents need to have an idea how the Innertubes work or you're shot straightaway. You cannot educate kids if you don't have the basic understanding yourself.

          - Education: kids should be able to find age specific education, be it online (but that could turn into a honeypot itself) or at school, which (to me) seems the natural place for it, provided the teachers have a clue as well

          - Technology: we have *some* measures that can filter age-restricted material, but, to be honest, from experience I found that kids tend to settle on a number of sites. Once you have those, you can white list them. I wouldn't depend on blacklists because that's a game of whack-a-mole. This is also why you must educate the kids - that safety net will eventually fail.

  7. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    "New forms of abuse on a scale never before seen"

    But donate some cash to ChildLine and it will all go away... until next year and the next fundraising session, that is.

    1. Flatpackhamster

      Re: "New forms of abuse on a scale never before seen"

      They aren't really asking for our money - well, not directly.

      In 2011 the government gave £11.2 million of taxpayers' money to Childline:

      http://www.education.gov.uk/inthenews/inthenews/a0074369/government-confirms-future-funding-for-childrens-charity-and-helpline

      Big 'charities' like the NSPCC just lobby government for their money these days. It's so much less hassle than collecting the money from ordinary people.

      So what they're saying is "Keep funding us beyond 2015, or paedos will sex every child in England."

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "New forms of abuse on a scale never before seen"

          ISTR seeing their adverts on telly most nights.

          'Course - They have to blow the money on something not related to Fixing the Problem. Because Fixing the Problem means that they are either out of business or have to learn new skills to solve new problems - just like the politicians, really: It's both easier and safer, career-wise, to compound the problem while pretending to solve it!

  8. TRT Silver badge

    IPv6

    I've not actually got my hands on any IPv6 gear in anger yet... what's it like setting up filtering compared to IPv4? I mean, I can and have set up at the firewall access to BBC (News, Weather and BiteSize) and Wikipedia only for all traffic from all devices save my 'grown ups' laptop. Easy peasy. No social media, no email, no photosharing, no YouTube, no iPlayer etc. Will I have to relearn a skillset?

    1. S4qFBxkFFg

      Re: IPv6

      Wouldn't it be possible to just do it by domain names and get it to reject any request that involves passing a raw IP address (whether v4 or v6)?

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: IPv6

        Is that how IPv6 works? Named packets? Is DNS a thing of the past? I should go and read up on this...

        1. S4qFBxkFFg

          Re: IPv6

          I'm sure the DNS is still involved (unless you ARE typing those number/colon messes) but whether that's actually in the packets, I have no idea. I imagine it can be done in the router, whitelisting would probably still work (depending on the model).

          I really am glad I don't have to concern myself with any of this...

      2. Nick Woodruffe
        Thumb Up

        Re: IPv6

        yep, just use opendns.

        Free to register and use. Just pick the categories you want to block.

        www.opendns.org

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: IPv6

      > Will I have to relearn a skillset?

      A skillset like parenting?

  9. Yet Another Commentard

    Kids as young as five...

    Can they actually read or type well enough to go and seek out pr0n? Surely if they are clicking on pictures on some child friendly website it's unlikely they'd stumble across something unsanitary.

    Or maybe we should praise the pr0n and the Internet for significantly increasing our children's literacy levels (albeit in one fairly specialised area).

    1. MrXavia
      Childcatcher

      Re: Kids as young as five...

      Actually my 5 year old can use a pc well enough to turn on, goto google and search for things he wants to find, usually he ends up going to you tube and watching lego videos or playing games on lego.com

      he has no interest in porn obviously (puberty is a fair few years away!) so I doubt he'd find it on purpose, and would be unlikely to follow a link if he saw one.

      1. MrZoolook
        Facepalm

        Re: Kids as young as five...

        If only every parent whose kid was exposed to porn was as sure as you are that your kid isn't looking at it... Oh wait, they are!

    2. fajensen Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: Kids as young as five...

      Well, I would be more impressed if the kids can find the pterodactyl-porn.

  10. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Stop

    Oh dear

    Even if every ISP in the land followed a voluntary code and sent out a letter when the customer signs up explaining how to go to a website set up by the ISPA for parental control software and making parental controls ridiculously easy to set up on their routers, I still don't think it'd be enough.

    Putting a solution on a silver plate is still too little for that group of parents who aren't particularly interested in parenting.

    1. MrXavia
      Thumb Up

      Re: Oh dear

      building parental controls into the router is the right way to do it.. but I've yet to see a router with any kind of filtering as an option...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh dear

        building router controls into the parent is the right way to do it.

        FIFY

      2. Nick Woodruffe

        Re: Oh dear

        Draytek Vigor routers have parental controls built in for web filtering but I believe it is a paid for service which is why I have not tried it out on my router. Damn good router but expensive when compared against that free TalkTalk shite.

        The problem is, how many parents who are not working in IT know how to configure their router.

        When building laptops for parents, I install K9webprotection from Bluecoat. It's free for home use and works brilliantly for stopping kids access areas of the internet. You only need 15 minutes to show the parents how to login and adjust the settings.

        www.k9webprotection.com

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh dear

        Routers with a form of built in Filtering exist, but as most people want broadband for 50p a month with a free router thrown in don't expect to find it on any of the cheapo models that seem to be the most used.

        My Fritz 7390 has both black and white-list facilities. which can be assigned to any/all individual machines on the network, but as ever with many lazy parents that is too much effort - they just want it done for them. If only breeding had been too much effort for them as well!

        1. Bert 1
          Facepalm

          Re: Oh dear

          But its all rendered spectacularly pointless by a browser in privacy mode using an https google image search :-(

          It'll even get through your work firewalls without being detectable or leaving a footprint.

          And it's even better now you can get proper big sized images up :-)

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge
            Boffin

            Re: Oh dear

            MITM certificate, but maybe for home use that's using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: Oh dear

              Blame Intel

              They should be responsible for filtering out the porn - its their CPU that is in charge

              And since they have the deepest pockets - they are the ones to sue

        2. Lockwood
          Trollface

          Re: Oh dear

          Get the Fritzl 7390 router and prevent your daughter from having any contact with the outside world.

          1. Lockwood

            Re: Oh dear

            I'm going to burn in the fiery depths of Hell for that, aren't I...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Parents need to take responsibility, teach kids how to be safe online..

    Its parents who would punish a child that are the problem, if a child thinks they will be punished for whatever they are being blackmailed with, then they will listen to the blackmailer, but if they trust their parents to be fair, and know they can talk about anything with their parents, it is no longer an issue...

    Online or offline, if a child can trust their parents, they are safer...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    NSPCC drumming up business using FUD - nothing to see here.

    1. Anonymous Coward 101
      Unhappy

      Their fight to turn every human into either a victim or perpetrator of sexual abuse goes on...

  13. Semaj
    Coat

    Lucky

    I wish I'd been given lessons in how to find porn when I was in school.

    I had to figure out all the good keywords myself :P

  14. Graham Marsden
    Boffin

    "ChildLine is sending workers to every primary school in Britain...

    "...to talk about the issues affecting each age group"

    I hope the parents are going to be there, because *THEY* are the ones who are responsible for their childrens' safety. Not the schools, not the ISPs, not the Government, not you or me, but *THE PARENTS*!!

    Still, there's one possible good outcome of this, perhaps when this generation of kids grows up and some of them go into Government, we'll start getting rid of some of the ludicrous laws that have been introduced by the "We don't like this, so you aren't allowed to see it" brigade...

    1. Jay Holmes

      Re: "ChildLine is sending workers to every primary school in Britain...

      Yes to the first idea, I think that if ChildLine is going to be going into schools they should have two classes, one for the kids and then one for the parents. Educate everyone rather than enforce everyone. For some parents they have had no IT training past your basic Office functions for work or what they have picked up themselves, so generally have no idea about how to set up any kind of filtering. To be fair a lot of parents also use the computer as an electronic child monitor, if the kid is on the computer he is not annoying me is a great response.

      However I think you are suffering from an excessive amount of hope if you think this generation of kids will grop up, go into government and change things. I think we are more likely to have another generation that just expects handouts from that government. If we can start bringing the education back to school, and the parenting back to the parents then maybe the next generation or the one after that may have the moral fortitude required to get off of their collective arses and change things for the better.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "ChildLine is sending workers to every primary school in Britain...

        "I think we are more likely to have another generation that just expects handouts from that government."

        Well, people will treat their kids like little prince/princesses and not teach them responsibiliy/accountability/vaue.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Kids don't need much training

    The parents need a serious education. If your child can see porn from your home network, how is that any different to letting them watch a grumble flick on a DVD?

    Both are failures of the parents to exercise their duty. Fixing this does not require draconian legislation that affects us all - it requires parents to get their fingers out and start giving a damn.

  16. MahFL22

    Strange.

    I find it strange that they expect tips from other 5 year olds on what not to do and what to do safely online. Those 5 year olds with a rounded experience of life @5 are in for major dissapointments in life as they grow up.

    Most boys discover porn, in the old days your dads stash of mags, these days I guess clothing manufacturers commercials........

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All the protections kids need to keep them away from adult content already exist.

    It’s the PARENTS that need educating, not just the child.

    As for the NSPCC saying "It also called for internet service providers to "stick to their commitment" to give parents clear and easy blocks and filters for the net at home"

    Maybe if parents "stuck to their commitment" to raise their child, and not use every excuse in the book to pass that responsibility to others, the issue would not be so prevalent.

  18. James 100
    FAIL

    Apparently, thanks to the Internet use of contraception is no longer enough to stop me having to raise kids. Everything from busy roads, to newsagent top shelves, to the bleach aisle in the supermarket is dangerous to leave kids unsupervised - so parents are expected to do their job of stopping kids having unsupervised access. The minute they get online, though, suddenly it's everybody else's problem: we all have to put our own resources into keeping feral brats away from anything not child-safe.

    If I left a 5 year old kid unattended in the park to chat to every passing stranger, it wouldn't be the strangers or the park getting investigated - and rightly so. Why is it suddenly different with a virtual park and strangers from all over the planet not just the local area?!

    1. Jay Holmes

      Love the analogy, if people stop thinking about the internet as a massive library where all the information that they could ever want (and a fair bit they dont want!) and used your analogy of a massive park full of strangers, they may think twice about leaving their children unsupervised on the internet.

      But as people (inc me) keep saying if parents took responsibility for raising their own children and not expect someone else to do it for them, then this wouldnt be a problem.

      Children have to be trusted to fuck up, but when they do fuck up they have to be able to trust their parents enough to talk to them and not fly off the handle Daily Mail style. If they cant talk to you for whatever reason then they are less likely to tell you when something goes wrong and you will only find out when it is to late to stop it from getting worse.

  19. Diogenes
    Headmaster

    Smartphones

    With all this talk of blocking routers, we forget that other great tool of stupidity the smartphone. The department blocks youtube, fb, twater etc for students at the poxy server, so when little Mary is facebook feuding with little Sally, they do by phone, ditto when little Johnny wants to watch something on youtube.

    It should be legal to block mobile phone signals at school - it would make life so much easier for teachers

    1. Dave 62

      Re: Smartphones

      Believe it or not there are smartphone parental control apps.

      Furthermore, what fuckwit of a parent:

      a) gives a 5 year old a smartphone?

      b) gives any child a smartphone and lets them use GSM data?

      I mean.. are these kids on unlimited data plans or what?

      Surely 90% of smartphone data goes through Wi-Fi anyway?

      Which I suppose raises the question, should free wi-fis have restricted access? I can imagine some might find it frustrating if they could no longer get porn on hotel wi-fi but what about Mc Donalds? Who watches porn in Mc Donalds? Should anyone be allowed to watch porn in Mc Donalds? Probably not. If the PFY in the drive through is going to jack off into my burger I'd rather not make it any easier for him.

  20. southpacificpom
    Devil

    Right class, todays lesson is about online safety. When you get older and attend university you must not, i repeat must not compromise the campus servers and steal free information else bad things will happen to you...

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Never give money to the NSPCC again

    I'm guessing tackling child abuse where it's known, by people the child knows is just too damn hard for them.

    Fucking disgraceful.

  22. Steven Roper
    Childcatcher

    Ok, so which civil liberty are we about to lose now?

    Every time I see the media and children's organisations starting up about the need to protect children, my automatic assumption is that the freedom-destruction wheel is about to click over another ratchet.

    So what's it to be this time? Is there a particular porn site that's been getting up some do-gooder's nose that needs to be added to the IWF blocklist? Or perhaps the police need a new invasive power that the public would oppose so some "think of the children" juice needs to be whipped up?

    It is a sad indictment of modern society that such a noble goal as ensuring the safety of children has been so often abused and hijacked by powermongers with an agenda, that it has become a stereotype of assuming that more of our freedoms are to be taken away, rather than believing that someone somewhere is actually concerned about the well-being of kids with no other agenda behind the curtain.

  23. Tex Arcana
    Thumb Up

    Free sex-ed...

    Look at it this way: porn is just "training tapes", and these "kids" are learning the essential basics that neither parents nor schools are teaching. And there's plenty of material for "advanced studies".

    I think if I found my kid with a stock of porn, I'd make sure s/he secured it properly (to keep me out of trouble), and then make damned sure s/he felt comfortable enough to approach me and ask me questions, that I would answer honestly.

    And I'd buy s/he a nice box of condoms.

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