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Guide published to help teachers, mothers and children stay safe and access legal content online.

19 November 2010 No Comment

KYM MARSH LAUNCHES GUIDE TO ENJOYING MUSIC, FILM AND TV SAFELY AND RESPONSIBLY ONLINE – Corrie star teams up with Childnet to help parents, teachers and young people Coronation Street Star Kym Marsh has teamed up with internet safety charity, Childnet International, to launch a new guide that keeps parents, teachers and young people well informed about how to stay safe and legal when downloading and accessing music, films and TV on the internet.

The guide – Music, Film, TV and the Internet – highlights the many legal digital sources of entertainment and outlines the implications of using illegal file-sharing sites. It also provides information on the safety and security risks of downloading entertainment illegally such as being exposed to computer viruses, receiving offensive material and theft of personal or financial information.

Music, Film, TV and the Internet also encourages parents and teachers to discuss with children the ethical considerations of illegal file-sharing – for example, how using legal sites to access film, TV and music ensures that artists and creators are rewarded fairly for their work.

The guide is available to download for free from today at www.childnet.com/downloading and will also be distributed to every secondary school in the UK by the end of November.

A new poll by Netmums reveals more than one in three mums (39%)  are unsure how to tell whether entertainment sites are legal or not and nearly two in three (60%) don’t understand the term ‘file-sharing’. Although 92% of mums say it’s important to encourage their children to access music, film and TV responsibly online, more than one in four (29%) don’t know where to direct their children to find legal entertainment on the internet.

At the same time, many parents and teachers may be unaware of some of the more serious consequences that arise from downloading content from illegal sources on the internet.  New research by Harris Interactive2 revealed that two in five people using illegal file-sharing sites unwittingly downloaded harmful viruses (39%) that damaged their computer.

In addition, one in three (32%) illegal file sharers were exposed to offensive or sexually explicit content by accident, and around one in eight illegal file sharers (12%) had to replace or repair their laptop or PC as a result of the problems experienced from using unauthorised sites.

Coronation Street Star, musician and mum to two teenagers, Kym Marsh, is supporting the launch of the Childnet guide and spoke of her reasons for doing so.

Kym Marsh said: “I find it incredibly hard to keep up with what my two teenagers are doing online so can definitely see the value of a new guide for muddled mums like myself who are concerned about safety issues.   As an actress and former musician, I’m also keen to raise greater awareness of the many ways to get entertainment safely and legally on the internet. When young people use legitimate sites to access music or TV content, it supports the many people who work in the UK entertainment industry. “

Lucinda Fell, Director of Policy and Communications at Childnet International, continued:

“We hope the guide will help parents and teachers to introduce the concept of responsible digital citizenship – the idea of behaving as safely and responsibly in cyberspace as you would offline. This is at the heart of what Childnet does.  We often hear from parents that while they are concerned about downloading and streaming, they are also confused about what can and can’t be done safely and legally. The new guide aims to give parents and teachers practical information to equip them in talking to children and young people about these issues.”

The guide is available to download for free at www.childnet.com/downloading

Siobhan Freegard,  co-founder of parenting site, Netmums, which surveyed 1,224 of its members for Childnet’s campaign, said: “Our forum discussions on internet safety suggest this guide will be welcomed by millions of mums across the UK. We will definitely be including a link to it within the internet safety section of the site.”

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