Internet Safety and Staying Safe Online

Last weekend we were invited to The Disney Store in Stratford to attend a short talk about internet safety in conjunction with Disney Club Penguin. Now, some might say H is a bit young to be learning about this at four and a half, but I think she’s the perfect age and as parents it doesn’t do us any harm to be reminded of things we may forget.Club Penguin logo

Disney Club Penguin is a social network for kids and has impressed me since we’ve registered – with good security levels I feel protects H well, keeping it age-appropriate. I won’t let her go there on her own, but I feel like she’s safe. Nobody can contact her, and nobody can leave bad messages to her as they have strict guidelines for no bad language or being mean to others.

H signed a pledge last week to be ‘treat people how you want to be treated’ – which is a lot easier when you’re just starting out. CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) who run a great website Think U Know had lots of handy information on the day. They have a simple checklist to help protect your children and decrease the risks they take:

– Ask your child to show you the sites they use
– Ask your child to set their profile settings to private
– Ask your child about their online friends
– Set appropriate parental controls on your child’s computer, mobile and games console.
– If your child is worried about something online, make sure they agree to tell you
– Know where to get help if you’re concerned about your child (the CEOP Safety Centre provides access to a range of services).

According to Disney Club Penguin research, one in three parents admit to feeling baffled by over-complicated user manuals.

To provide ongoing support for parents, Disney Club Penguin is offering a special e-hotline giving parents throughout the chance to e-mail any queries about online safety to

Disney’s Club Penguin’s online safety campaign, It Starts With You, aims to empower kids to take the lead in spreading positive behaviour online and give their parents the tools to better support them. The campaign, which launched last September in the UK, encourages kids and parents to make the online world a better place.


New research from Disney’s Club Penguin reveals parents believe that inteRnet safety should be  the fourth R

1 in 4 kids aged between six and 12 confess to sharing personal information online with strangers

Around 30% of parents cite a compulsory log in for all internet users if they could make one change to the internet.

The report, conducted by the virtual world as part as its ongoing safety initiative, It Starts with You, polled 1,000 parents with children aged six to 12 year olds and their kids, about internet safety, what they think is acceptable behaviour online, and the changes that they would most like to make to the internet, in keeping with Safer Internet Day’s 2014’s theme of “let’s create a better internet together”.

Not speaking to strangers is the number one life lesson children are taught in the real world, however, when it comes to the digital world, one in four (25%) young people aged six to 12 years old confessed that they think it is acceptable to share personal information online, including their full name and address, passwords and images, with people they don’t know. Yet despite mums and dads calling for internet safety to become a matter of course in the classroom, worryingly,  almost one in six (15%) also admitted they think the sharing of such personal information with strangers is appropriate.

The report unveiled that more than a third (36%) of mums and dads admit to not regularly monitoring their children’s use of the web, and found that families aren’t aware of the rules of the road when it comes to online safety.  Those parents who did admit to overseeing their kids’ online use, cite making sure that they are not speaking to strangers online (43%), or not spending too much time online (24%) as the top two reasons.

Almost a third (27%) of parents stated that they don’t think that there is enough being done to help educate children about online safety, with half calling for more to be done by schools, internet providers and third parties to teach kids e-safety.  Furthermore, whilst some parents (9%) believe the safety features on their children’s device will keep them safe, more than one in three (36%) confess to feeling baffled by over-complicated user manuals when it comes to setting them up. One in five (20%) admit to only bothering putting them in place on devices that belong to their children.

This call for education, coupled with parent’s lack of knowledge when it comes to internet-enabled devices, has led to the world’s largest virtual world Disney’s Club Penguin taking steps to tackle these issues head on.  To help parents and kids, learn the rules of the online road, Disney’s Club Penguin will be holding free online safety sessions for parents and children across the UK on 15th February, in addition to hosting  a special session with Sophie Ellis-Bextor on Safer Internet Day. Fully trained ambassadors from Child Exploitation & Online Protection Centre (CEOP) will be on hand in store providing help and advice for young people on how to navigate safely in the digital world. The Geek Squad will be available to teach mums and dads how to set up those all-important parental controls, so children can surf the web worry free.

Lucy Woodward, Interactive Live Services Director at Club Penguin comments: “‘As a mum, I know how hard it can be to feel 100% confident having conversations with your children about online safety, especially when it feels like your kids are more comfortable with the internet and technology than you are! That’s why we seek to give parents the tools to support, and educate them, as well as empowering kids to take the lead in making the internet a better place. We want parents and kids to make their pledge to making the web a safer place this Safer Internet Day – it really does start with you!

Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Disney’s Club Penguin ambassador comments: “My children are all different ages but have all grown up with the web, so it’s important that I know how to make sure that they are safe online, like I do in the real world. It’s great that Club Penguin is helping parents and kids learn the rules of the online road. The internet is an amazing place for learning and discovery, but the potential threats to kids are real, so we need to make sure that parents and children know how to navigate the internet safely.”

Disney’s Club Penguin’s study also revealed that:

·       Close to 30% of children (26.8%) would put “internet police” in power if given the tools to create the internet, with parents citing “appropriate content” for kids (32%), “filters and safety technology” (24.9%) and” internet police” on their top internet wish-list (18.2%)

·       Children’s most preferred single change to the internet would be safe sites that are checked (27%). Meanwhile parents’ more popular change was online log-ins for users (27%)

It Starts with You, sees Disney’s Club Penguin partner with Childnet and the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) and aims to empower kids to take the lead in spreading positive behaviour online, and give their parents the tools to better support them.  Disney’s Club Penguin has seen 200 million penguins created since launch and spans 190 countries from the UK to Chile across computer and iPad, with more multiplatform launches set to be announced.  Parents and young people can visit to discover how to make the online world a better place. It Starts with You!

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