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Internet safety lessons for 5-year-olds

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Eye reflected in computer screen A British organisation has recommended that children as young as five should be given instruction on the dangers of the Internet. The U.K. Safer Internet Centre is co-funded by the European Commission and delivers a wide range of activities and initiatives to promote the safe and responsible use of technology. Britain's National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) welcomed the advice and urged schools to provide appropriate guidance on Internet use. The NSPCC's Claire Lilley warned of the dangers youngsters faced by being online. She said: "We are facing an e-safety time bomb. Young people tell us they are experiencing all sorts of new forms of abuse on a scale never seen before."

The Safer Internet Centre published an online survey of children's reflections on the Internet on February 5th, to coincide with the UK's Safer Internet Day. The report summarises the opinions of 24,000 schoolchildren. It found that 31% of seven to 11-year-olds said that gossip or mean comments online had stopped them from enjoying the Internet. Children also said they had been exposed to online pornography, experienced cyber-bullying and had been forced into sending indecent images of themselves to others. The report said: "Promoting a safer and better Internet for children…involves promoting their online rights - to be safe online, to report concerns and to manage their privacy."

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