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Call made for internet safety lessons to be given to five year olds

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By John Glenday, Reporter

February 5, 2013 | 2 min read

Internet safety campaigners have called on the government to implement mandatory safety lessons for children as young as five, reports the BBC.

Campaigners backing the move claim it is necessary to protect the vulnerable from online pornography and clamp down on the growing practice of children transmitting indecent images of themselves to others.

ChildLine says it fielded some 3,745 calls referencing abuse conducted via the internet or mobiles last year, most of them made by callers aged just 12-15.

In response they are calling for lessons to be provided by all schools on internet safety with young people recruited to provide tips to others on internet safety – in addition to a requirement for ISPs to make it easier to install online blocks.

Claire Lilley, of the NSPCC, said: "We are facing an e-safety time bomb. Young people tell us they are experiencing all sorts of new forms of abuse on scale never before seen.

The internet and mobile phones are now part and parcel of young people's everyday lives. They are the first generation who have never known a world without them.

"The benefits are huge, both socially and educationally, but so too are the dangers."

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