A government initiative aimed at making the internet safer for young people will target sexting and cyberbullying, as well as online harassment, abuse and rape threats made against women.
Ministers will meet with large technology companies, charities, academics and mental health professionals to identify risks and develop an internet safety strategy. The work is being led by Culture Secretary Karen Bradley and a Green Paper is due in the summer.
“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,” said Ms Bradley.
“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.”
It comes after a recent poll found sexting is now a bigger worry for parents than smoking or alcohol abuse, while nine out of 10 parents agreed schools should do more to educate pupils on the dangers of sending revealing images. It showed 78 percent were either ‘fairly concerned’ or ‘very concerned’ about sexting, while 69 percent are concerned about alcohol misuse and 67 percent for smoking. In October 2016, the Crown Prosecution Service warned internet trolls who created derogatory hashtags or doctored images to humiliate people could face prosecution in England and Wales.
Cyber Aware is a cross-government campaign, funded by the National Cyber Security Programme. They aim to measurably and significantly improve the online safety behaviour and confidence of consumers and small businesses (SMEs).
Get Safe Online is the UK’s leading source of factual and easy-to-understand information on online safety. Their website offers advice on how you can protect yourself, your computers and devices, and your business against the likes of fraud, identity theft, viruses and other potential online problems.