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How to tell Micky Mouse from a danger mouse

Do you know what your kids are clicking online?

Published on January 31st 2013.

How to tell Micky Mouse from a danger mouse

WOULD you let your child go for a stroll alone in a red light district? Be exposed to graphic scenes of torture, carnage filled combat and 24 hour abuse? Or would you allow them to be chatted up by any passing stranger?

Course not, stop being mad, you say. Yet that's what you potentially did when you bought them that iPod, Blackberry, PS3 or netbook for Christmas. You may, unwittingly, have opened the gate and allowed your precious one to take a walk on the wild side, as risky as if you'd plonked them in the middle of a busy city, said see ya, and got off home. How could you? Idiot.


It sounds like a massive exaggeration, but the good and bad and the  sometimes very ugly of the internet continues to hook the modern world – and no more so than children. Frequently, however, it is their adult carers who are the most naïve.

This weekend, the Disney store in Liverpool One will be playing its part to support Safer Internet Day. Provided you leave your cynicism and your wallet at the door for a second, it may not be such a Mickey Mouse stunt after all. 

Its stores are plugging a range of activities to mark the global awareness-raising day, which actually falls on February 5. Before then, on Saturday and Sunday (Feb 2 and Feb 3) parents in Liverpool will be taught how to help their children “Connect with Respect” and have the opportunity to address concerns around internet use and safety with experts from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre. 


How The Internet Should BeHow The Internet Should Be

Charlotte Aynsley, CEOP project director and safety consultant, said: “Our work focuses on protecting children: we want every parent and child in the UK to know how to stay safe on and offline. Kids are increasingly digitally aware nowadays, often leaving their parents struggling to keep up, and Safer Internet Day provides a very timely reminder of the need to know how to stay safe online. 

Alongside the activity in store, Disney says it has produced content to educate kids about online safety while they learn how to be “a good online friend” by making friendship bracelets. 

They have also roped in the X-Factor's Ella Henderson, herself just out of school, who has recorded a short film for Disney Channel giving children advice on how to cope.

How The Internet Shouldn't Be

How The Internet Shouldn't Be

Disney owns the kids' virtual world Club Penguin, an innocuous place where millions of young players buy and sell items for their polar avatars. 

 Lucy Woodward, its director in Europe Middle East and Africa, said: Our founders were three dads looking for a safe place online, where their kids could have plenty of fun and that’s really what Safer Internet Day is all about."

Ella Henderson Disney RecruitElla Henderson Disney RecruitWith a seriously grown-up $700m in the bank from selling the site to Disney, these days the Brighton founders' kids are presumably enjoying plenty of fun surfing - on a beach in the Pacific somewhere. 

Meanwhile, Disney have pledged to donate £3 million of media across their network of channels, websites, magazines and stores to help drive safety education among the less internet savvy who buy into their world. 

For those who perhaps do not, there is plenty even a know-all can pick up by visiting the Safety Internet day website here.

*Safety Internet Activity Weekend, The Disney Store, Liverpool ONE, Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd February.

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AnonymousJuly 8th 2013.

Seriously, the most important thing any of us can do to protect our children from abuse is to stop buying and promoting Disney product. Be Vigilant!

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