“AWARENESS CAMPAIGNS ARE JUST THE FIRST STEP TO BEATING ONLINE GROOMING,” SAYS MARK BROOKS, GSEC1
January 09, 2008 (PRLEAP.COM) Technology NewsJanuary 9, 2008 - Panorama’s programme on Monday 7 January ‘One Click From Danger’ investigated the risk that many children face when using social networking websites and online chatrooms. Internet security expert Mark Brooks, from Global Security One (GSEC1), applauds the programme makers for highlighting the risks, but argues that while most children are aware of safe internet use, the problem cannot be solved by education campaigns alone.
“BBC TV’s Panorama would have shocked many parents about how their children spend their time online. Its research highlighted that 12 per cent of children admitted to meeting up with strangers that they found online, while three per cent of their parents thought their children would never do this. The programme highlighted that these encounters can lead to grooming by paedophiles and recommended a series of steps, such as not allowing children to use computers out of parent’s sight. Stranger danger is an unfortunate reality on the web.
“While the work of many campaigns such as Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) have proved successful in raising awareness of online grooming, it’s a misapprehension to believe that guidance about safe internet use alone can beat the problem. The collaborative nature of the internet means that children – as well as adults – will always network with strangers. Unfortunately, the programme made no reference to many of the technology tools available to help parents in the fight against online grooming.
“Using tools such as chat room monitoring that allows parents to check the content of chat room conversations remotely, provides greater control and can help protect children. For example, our own XGate security solution has an in-built dictionary which includes grooming language, patterns and phrases such as ‘sex’, ‘secret’, ‘meet’, ‘mobile phone number’, ‘age’, ‘webcam’ and ‘are you alone?’ The XGate automatically picks up these ‘trigger’ words and immediately alerts the parents by sending an SMS text message or email.
“Likewise, web filters can help parents control the types of sites their children can visit and time spent online. Identity protection tools also help keep personal information private, which is essential for adults as well as children. Remote desktop viewing gives parents the confidence to allow their children to use their PCs in their bedrooms by providing the ability to check screens from another room.
“Younger children, in particular, need protection from exposure to unsavoury content on the web, while older children and teenagers will be more curious and need higher levels of guidance and controls. It’s about offering the right advice and deploying the right technology tools appropriate for the child’s development. One size does not fit all.
“Until now, the growth of internet usage and social networks has outstripped the security industry that helps keep our children and personal data safe. At GSEC1, we believe that these features should be available to every parent for their homes and should be standard practice in schools. When deployed properly they don’t actually restrict internet usage but give parents confidence in their children surfing safely on the web. And that’s the spirit of the growth of the internet.”
About Global Security One
Global Security One (GSEC1) provides consumers and businesses with products that offer intelligent security for the wireless age.
GSEC1 was founded in 2000, initially providing networking security solutions to businesses. In 2007, it expanded into the consumer market and this year is on the verge of revolutionising the home security market, with the launch of XGate 2.0 – the first hardware-based security device.
The XGate is a router with a difference: it offers homes a complete security and safe internet usage solution. Key features include:
• Auto-configuration – easy set up for non-technical users
• Chat room monitoring – prevent children from becoming victims with remote management
• Secure banking – assurance of banking on approved sites only
• Live desktop view – remote monitoring of your home network from one PC
• Network Defence System (NDS) – business-grade quarantine controls
• Wireless security – out of the box security for a wireless home network
• Identity protection – keeps personal data safe
• Spam email control – plug in for Outlook to minimise unwanted emails
• Anti-virus and Spyware protection – dual protection to stop threats at the hardware gateway
• VPN client and service – connect securely between home and office
• Online gaming – same protection for consoles as PCs
• Web filters – specify control of times and types of website visited
• Built-in firewall – a secure perimeter around your network to protect against hackers
GSEC1 currently employs over 100 people, with a head office in Manchester and offices in Birmingham and Godalming in the UK as well as India and Taiwan.
For more information, please visit www.gsec1.com