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Cloud based protection supplier urges for active online child protection

Optenet : 23 November, 2009  (Technical Article)
With growth in online predation, inappropriate content and cyber-bullying, Optenet is reminding parents of the need to take an active role in protecting children from the dangers of the internet
As the BBC's annual telethon charity initiative 'Children in Need' is televised, Optenet, a pioneer in enabling Software as a Service (SaaS) security offerings in-the-cloud, would like to remind parents and guardians to ensure protection of minors whilst using the Internet.

Last year's Children in Need Appeal raised an amazing £38 million which is already starting to make a difference to the lives of disadvantaged children and young people. Throughout the years, children using the Internet have been faced with different challenges, as the level of threats online has risen. This is due to increased use of technologies such as social media websites including Facebook, MySpace and Bebo.

As children and young people are encouraged to spend more time on the Internet, both for education and entertainment, there is some simple advice for parents who would like their children to enjoy the benefit of the Web without the growing risks associated with it.

The increasing amount of inappropriate and harmful content being disseminated via the Web makes it difficult for parents to single-handedly safeguard their children online. Optenet, a provider of technologies that protect more than 100 million end users and is deployed globally at over 75 ISPs, believes that although parents are ultimately responsible for what their children view, they need the help of security solution providers and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to give them the technologies that can make this a manageable task.

"Web Filtering functionality identifies and blocks inappropriate content on the Internet in real-time and this security service can be activated on-demand by contacting your ISP. The service requires no installation or technical knowledge from parents," explains Ana Luisa Rotta Soares, special projects director at Optenet.

"Cyber-bullying is another growing concern," adds Soares. "Parents not only have the responsibility to protect their children from being bullied, but also have the duty to guide their children in becoming responsible online citizens. Building a 'culture of responsibility' for online child safety should begin early, as soon as they start using the Internet."

Optenet's 'in-the-cloud' security solutions empower ISPs to offer a secured Web experience to their customers without the hassle of downloading software on multiple machines. End-users simply have to order the service from their ISPs in order to be protected throughout their household, as long as all the computers are using the same connection.

Originally launched more than 12 years ago as an Internet service provider dedicated to creating a safer Web experience for minors, Optenet is now a Web content security vendor that brings filtering and security capabilities to service providers and enterprises across the globe.

Since its founding in 1997, Optenet has been firmly committed to eliminating the digital divide through effective education and safe usage of the Internet, especially for children. For this reason, Optenet has helped create a number of child safety initiatives, including Securenet, a European network of child sexual abuse hotlines, as well as NetProtect II, Sift and Infonet, programs that aid in the production of filtering and online classification systems. All of these efforts have been endorsed by the European Commission's Safer Internet Program. In addition, Optenet's latest project, Selecta, uses language analysis techniques and tools to automatically classify Internet content.

Optenet is also affiliated with NGO Protégeles, the International Association of Internet Hotlines, INHOPE, as well as a member of the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF).
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