New Internet Explorer 9 Edition Targets Child Safety

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft has released a customized edition of its popular Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) web browser, this one intended for use by children.

In addition to adding links to online safety sites, the new version includes content protection that is switched on, by default.

The new children's edition of IE9 has been developed with the help of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), a British organization that includes police officers, government officials and representatives from some major tech firms, including Microsoft.

Bookmarks, Tabs Bring Safety to Forefront

The updated browser works in much the same way as the standard Internet Explorer 9, and comes with bookmarks for various CEOP services.

The browser is also set-up so that, when it's launched, it automatically opens tabs for Microsoft's Bing search engine and the Thinkuknow web page, which contains advice for parents and children on safer browsing.

Additional safety options are available through dedicated icons that appear in the Taskbar (the large row of icons at the bottom of the screen in Windows 7).

Right-clicking these icons produces a "jumplist" of icons which have been set up separately for parents and children. The list for children contains more links to CEOP advice services. (Source:

However, the list for adults offers choices when the person using the site is:

    a) a parent,

    b) a teacher / trainer, or

    c) a child fitting into one of three age ranges (5-7, 8-10, 11-16).

With any of the child-oriented options selected, the browser automatically blocks content deemed inappropriate based on age.

Facebook Rejects "Panic Button" Proposal

CEOP has previously demanded that social networking sites (like Facebook) include a "panic button" to automatically file a report with the agency concerning inappropriate web content or unwanted communication from strangers.

Facebook refused to do so, and said such measures would detract from its own online reporting and investigation system. (Source:

The release of the special browser was timed to coincide with Safer Internet Day, a European-based campaign to highlight the importance of taking precautions online.

This year, the campaign is based on the theme of family members of all ages working together to enjoy the world digitally.

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