More than 80,000 pupils have been given access to a free e-safety computer program to ensure they do not fall victim to cyberbullies or paedophiles while surfing the internet at home.
The county council is offering free downloads of CyberSentinel, which is already used in schools across the country. The program recognises key words that could signal danger, blocking associated content from appearing on chatrooms, social-networking sites or instant-messaging programs.
These key words cover cyberbullying, gambling, suicide and self-harm, as well as guarding against potential paedophiles.
The council hopes that the program will enable it to extend home internet use among schoolchildren, while guaranteeing their safety.
The scheme was launched by TV psychologist Tanya Byron, who said that such e-safety programs allowed children to explore the internet freely. "Parents may be tempted to prohibit internet use for their children, but this is not the answer," she said. AB.