According to a study by child welfare charity, the NSPCC, PC retailers are not savvy in the means of protecting children from online predators and unsuitable material. The charity visited a total of 28 major stores posing as a potential buyer, each time stressing that a child would be accessing the internet via the PC. The report concluded that only two of the 28 stores tested gave a suitable standard of advice.
Allegedly, many stores suggested unsuitable software that would not protect children from accessing inappropriate material, while others suggested manually entering each and every web address of concern manually into filters.
Zoe Hilton, policy advisor at the NSPCC, says: "The internet has created a whole new world where children are free to come and go as they please. They hang out and make friends, just as they do in the playground at school. We need to wake up to the fact that threats to children online are no less real than in the wider world.
"For some time we have been calling on companies to help by pre-installing software which is set to a high level of security. Parents can also help by educating their children about how to stay safe online. We cannot always protect children from seeing abusive, pornographic or violent material. Nor can we always keep them safe from individuals who are intent on causing harm, but this is a basic safeguard that the industry should be taking."