A new campaign featuring a dolphin and a bunch of sea creatures has been launched in an attempt to teach children the dangers of the web.
Created by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre, Hector’s World will comprise of five animated episodes and takes children on a journey with Hector and his friends as they explore issues such as personal information, trustworthiness, making positive choices online and how to be open with a trusted adult when they use the Internet.
The animation has been adapted for a young UK audience following successful running of the programme in New Zealand and is backed up by a series of free resources available to parents and teachers via the dedicated CEOP education website - thinkuknow.co.uk.
"We know that children are now using the internet at an increasingly young age. Recent research, coupled with feedback from our own youth panel and our work with parents, show that children are exploring the online world from as young as five years old", said Jim Gamble, Chief Executive of the CEOP Centre.
Aside from colouring books and puzzles, the site offers a safety button for Windows users as well as a number of tips:
1. Always ask a grown up before you use the Internet. They can help you find the best thing to do.
2. Don’t tell strangers where you live, your phone number or where you go to school. Only your friends and family need to know that.
3. Don’t send pictures to people you don’t know. You don’t want strangers looking at photos of you, your friends or your family.
4. Tell a grown up if you feel scared or unhappy about anything.
5. Ask a grown up to help you put the Hector's World Safety Button on your computer. This will mean you can press it if anything makes you scared or unhappy.
6. You can also call Childline on: 0800 1111 to talk to someone who can help.