PC resellers told to issue safe surfing advice
Members of the Professional Computing Association (PCA) will from today be obliged to offer guidance to customers about child protection and safe internet use when selling a computer. In the near future it could also be required to install child-protection software on all PCs as well.
The move has been made after the NSPCC called on the PCA to help protect children online. The charity found that many large resellers offered no advice at all to customers on child protection, even when it was clear that children would be using the PC.
“What our campaign is based on is ensuring that safety software is installed on all new PCs sold in the UK market,” says an NSPCC spokesperson. “What we’re saying to retailers is don’t sell computers without giving out advice and installing the software.”
The PCA is keen to install such software on all new PCs, says the NSPCC, which is also considering the benefits of tutorials for customers on how to set up a computer to prevent children from accessing inappropriate content.
“When selling into the domestic market or any other environment where it is likely that a computer will be used by young children and other vulnerable people, a PCA Member must give appropriate advice with regard to safe internet use,” says a new amendment to the PCA’s Code of Practice.
PCA members can direct customers to the NSPCC’s website, which includes a guide to helping children surf safely. In the longer-term, both organisations will collaborate on a flyer which can be distributed easily by retailers.
“This is a positive step in the right direction by the PCA and hopefully it will result in all computer retailers adopting the same approach,” says Zoe Hilton, NSPCC policy advisor.
“The internet has opened up a new, exciting world for children but it also has its share of dangers. Introducing this kind of measure will help them surf more safely.”
The PCA has 850 members in the UK, most of whom are small computer resellers.