Child-Friendly IE8: Does Little Combat Online Dangers

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft Child Exploitation and Online Protection Center (CEOP) to release a new version of Internet Explorer 8 that boasts a number of online safety features. However, while it is being heralded as a "child-friendly" version of the popular web browser, it proves to be nothing more than an informational source.

There is no doubt that a tremendous need exists for the protection of youngsters against the dangers that lurk online.

According to Microsoft, almost 64 per cent (two thirds) of those under the age of 18 have been contacted by a stranger while online. Further research reveals that 41 per cent of parents do not know if their privacy settings are enabled on their social networking profile, while 58 per cent of children claim that their parents do nothing to limit or monitor what is accessed on the web. (Source:

"Click Safe" IE8 Lacks Actual Protection

Still, the "Click Clever, Click Safe" version of IE8 does little to actually protect against online deviants. The browser comes with a web slice in the toolbar that offers children one-click access to advice on staying safe, including information on cyberbullying, viruses and hacking.

It also comes with a "Favorites" bar that includes links to the CEOP website and This allows parents to collect information on restricting browsing behavior of their children, while the search bar allows users to instantly peruse the CEOP and other online security sites for more safety information.

Despite being nothing more than an informational piece, Microsoft is nonetheless touting it as a child-friendly resource.

Safety Information is Vital, Says Microsoft

According to Microsoft representative Matthew Bishop, "Internet Explorer 8 'Click Clever, Click Safe' has been designed with the sole purpose of providing young people and parents with easy ways of finding information on how to stay safer online. As more and more young people are learning, playing and communicating online, it is vital we provide the appropriate safety information as we know this is one of the most effective ways of helping to protect people." (Source:

Those who are interested in the new version of IE8 can download the browser in two ways: in its entirety from the CEOP's web page or as an add-on that contains the CEOP tools.

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