Microsoft and CEOP collaborate on child-friendly version of IE8

CEOP web slice

Microsoft has teamed up with the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) to launch an enhanced version of Internet Explorer 8 aimed at keeping children safe online.

The browser dubbed Internet Explorer 8 Click Clever Click Safe adds a toolbar button that gives instant access to information on cyber bullying, viruses, sexual abuse and the like on the CEOP website at all times.

"Internet safety advice needs to be at your fingertips and not hidden away," said CEOP chief executive Jim Gamble. "Parents and children should not have to go searching through numerous web pages to find the help they need."

"The new CEOP-customised Internet Explorer 8 browser will embed advice, help and report services directly into the toolbar to provide a constant, reassuring presence for families who will be one click away from the support they need," he added.

"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," said Microsoft business and marketing officer Matthew Bishop.

"It allows people to get information on a whole range of issues it's a one-stop shop for a family's online safety needs, and parents do need that reassurance and support."

According to Government research released in December, nearly one in five young people have come across inappropriate or harmful content online, while one in three said their parents didn't know what they were up to when they were surfing the web.

In the past, CEOP has lobbied the likes of Facebook and MySpace to include its "panic button" on their sites, but without success.

"We give them the button to put on every page," Gamble said last year. "Will children be safer? Yes. If you have not got this button, the question is why not." The social networks countered by saying they already had an established abuse-reporting procedure in place.

Users can download Internet Explorer 8 Click Clever Click Safe free of charge, or simply install the web slice on their existing browser if they are already using IE8.