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Mother warns of internet dangers

PUBLISHED: 16:45 22 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:34 03 March 2010

THE mother of a ten-year-old boy who downloaded images of pornography and violence from a library computer terminal today said she was happy with changes made there after the issue was highlighted in The Evening Star.

THE mother of a ten-year-old boy who downloaded images of pornography and violence from a library computer terminal today said she was happy with changes made there after the issue was highlighted in The Evening Star.

Lisa Collis was horrified when her son Joshua admitted that he had seen gruesome photographs of men eating babies, decapitated bodies and sex acts while on-line at Hadleigh Library.

Now a raft of measures has been set in place targeted at reducing the opportunity for youngsters to access unsuitable sites.

According to Ms Collis the simplest and most effective measure has been to move the terminals reserved for children into the view of library staff.

"I went down there and had a look at what they had done and I'm very happy," said the mum-of-three of Alabaster Close.

"I know there is a limit to what can be done and some children will beat the system but I think that a lot of children in Hadleigh had been going down there and seeing explicit material and now that will be reduced."

Ms Collis said that library staff had told her that only one child had been caught accessing unsuitable material since the changes had been made.

According to assistant director of libraries Cliff Evans staff in Hadleigh have:

N Moved terminals to make them more visible to staff

N Confirmed that all terminals in question had fully operational filtering systems

N Blanked offending sites and a range of other sites so that they can no longer be accessed

N Reviewed procedures and highlighted to parents that they can ask the library not to allow their child access to the internet. A number of parents have taken this up.

Mr Evans warned that filter software, or net nannies as they are sometimes called, are not a perfect solution. The system works by refusing the user access to sites that contain listed keywords and also by blanking known sites. However it is always possible that some unsavoury sites slip through and equally valid sites can sometimes be blocked because they happen to contain one of the listed words.

WEBLINKS

For more information on filtering software try:

www.netnanny.com

www.securitysoft.com

www.cyberpatrol.com

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