CARE: Christian Action, Research and Education

Online Safety
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We live in an increasingly digital age. There is no doubt that technology is extraordinary. It brings incredible opportunities but also daunting challenges, especially for children and young people for whom access to harmful online content is only a click or a swipe away.

CARE is committed to protecting the innocence of childhood and we are working towards a society where our young people are as well protected online as they are offline.

Topic primer

We are all more and more reliant on the internet to function in life. From keeping up with people on social media, to consuming the latest content from platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime or BBC iPlayer, our lives are dominated by technology. Alongside the brilliant advantages this brings, there are big concerns about the dangers of online harms. Questions like 'Are children safe enough online?' or 'Could we and should we be doing more to protect them online?' are ever present.

At CARE, we have two specific online dangers in mind:

First, accessing inappropriate material. In some cases, children will deliberately seek out pornographic content. This is specially an issue for boys. In other cases, children will accidentally stumble across adult content that they might find interesting or distressing, but which in either case is not good for them.

Second, online behavioural challenges which include cyber bullying, sexting and grooming.

It’s striking that when He was on earth, Jesus demonstrated a special heart for children (Matthew 19:14), even saying the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to them. At CARE, we are determined to improve online safety for our young people to make sure they are as adequately protected online as they are offline.

This matters because we understand better than ever before how easily and quickly children are accessing explicit adult content online. For example, a recent survey for the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) revealed that more than half of children had encountered pornography by the age of 11-13 years old.

One of the biggest myths is that what children look at online will not ever do them any real harm. The truth is that pornography not only corrupts the individual viewing it, but it also distorts reality and reduces God’s image bearers to mere objects.

Keep reading

There is more to read from CARE's perspective

Kids computer home

Q&A on the Online Safety Bill

The UK Government's draft Online Safety Bill is a hugely complex and controversial piece of legislation. This Q&A unpacks what's in the Bill, what some of the concerns are and the process to it becoming law.

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Baroness Howe of Idlicote
If we really care about chil­dren then we must not shy away from using the law to pro­tect them online, as we do very prop­erly offline.
Baroness Howe of Idlicote Former Crossbench Peer
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CARE is working hard to ensure children are protected online.

Find out more about our work on online safety and what we are calling on the Government to do.

Read about CARE's work on online safety

Resources

Here are a range of resources to help you dig deeper on the issue of online safety.

The Story Behind Age Verification

The Story Behind Age Verification

CARE has been quietly and faithfully working with parliamentarians and others to better protect children online for many years. To highlight how long it can take to effectively engage with legislation, we have put together a timeline to explain how UK laws have got to where they are now.

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Find out more about how age verification works

Find out more about how age veri­fic­a­tion works

The Association of Age Verification Providers have a range of helpful articles and publications which will help you understand how age checks can work in practice.

Find out more
Briefing: Online Safety Bill

Brief­ing: Online Safety Bill

Everything you need to know about the Online Safety Bill

The draft Online Safety Bill is expected to come before Westminster Parliament in 2022. It is without a doubt a hugely complex and controversial piece of legislation. This briefing summaries key details about the Bill, from its aims, to concerns, to the process before it becomes law.

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Protecting children online with Naked Truth's Ian Henderson

Pro­tect­ing chil­dren online with Naked Truth’s Ian Henderson

In this special CARE Session, co-founder Lyndon Bowring and Ian Henderson from Naked Truth Ministries talk about the importance of protecting young people online and how we can all play a part.

Watch
5 ways online porn harms your child

5 ways online porn harms your child

Our children are growing up as digital natives, exposed to online porn far too easily. There's more and more evidence suggesting specific ways online porn harms young people. Discover 5 examples of this.

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Good Digital Parenting

Good Digit­al Parenting

Explore these resources from the Family Online Safety Institute

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UK Age-verification law explained

UK Age-veri­fic­a­tion law explained

by the BBFC

Explore this guide for parents: how will age-verification protect children online?

explore

Recent online safety news

X twitter

X's new opt-in system for adult content isn't enough

The social media platform X announced new policies on Monday to restrict the accessibility of adult and violent content by blocking it from users under 18 or those who do not opt-in.

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Ofcom must abandon 'softly-softly' approach to enforcement of online safety rules

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'Ofcom too slow to act on OnlyFans safeguarding fears'

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Creating a 'deepfake' sexual image should be an offence, CARE says

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Porn 'nudification' ban mooted by Labour is backed by most Brits, poll shows

Opinion

Take action

You can make a difference today.

Together we can make a difference shaping our culture and society. Here are three things you can do right now…

Pray..

We believe God hears and answers prayer. Join us in praying about online safety.

Pray with us

Write to your MP.

Ask your MP to support age verification on all online pornography websites

Write to your MP

Discuss.

Explore CARE's work on online safety

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