Children as young as five will be told to “zip it, block it, flag it” in a new internet safety campaign to be taught in primary schools, and a compulsory part of the national curriculum from September 2011.
“Zip it” tells them not to give out personal details online, while “block it” tells children not to open e-mails or attachments from people they have not heard of, and to block off anyone who sends hurtful messages. “Flag it” advises them to tell an adult if something unnerves or frightens them online.
Targeted directly at children, it reminds the older amongst us of the famous Green Cross Code.
So is it really necessary? Well research has found that one in five of the 99 per cent of 8 to 17-year-olds who use the internet had come across inappropriate content, and a third said their parents did not monitor their activity online. So the answer is yes.
Businesses such as Microsoft, Google and Bebo have agreed a range of new requirements, such as offering parents more rigorous privacy settings.
We at Beanbag also embrace the new code, and when its detail becomes clear we will implement it across our website.