Children are safer online, claims new report

New report outlines children's safety on the web
New report outlines children's safety on the web

New research by the Internet Safety Technical Task Force has shown that the web may not be as dangerous a place for children as first feared, and that the kids that are usually at risk are the ones that put themselves in danger.

The task force was set up at the end of February 2008, with a primary focus of "identifying effective online safety tools and technologies that can be used by many companies across multiple platforms".

The research was compiled in conjunction with Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet and Society and includes over a year's worth of interviews and meetings with myriad academics, executives from major .com companies – such as MySpace, Facebook, Yahoo and AOL – and child safety experts.

Technology can't keep kids safe

Although the results aren't officially released until 15 January, some US news outlets have already publishing the findings.

The Associated Press has gone with the line that technology alone can't keep kids safe – parents, teachers and society as a whole also has to help.

The Los Angeles Times points to the fact that the number of children who have been solicited online has dropped to 13 per cent, with the majority of those doing the soliciting under the age of 21.

While the many social networking sites on the internet aren't impervious to solicitation, the report found that children are more likely to face harassment from their peers than anything else.

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.