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PAEDOPHILES are dangerous, not internet chatrooms. This is the message the government wants to get across through a massive advertising campaign launched at the beginning of the month.

It builds on recommendations from the UK's Task Force on Child Protection on the Internet and aims to educate parents about the dangers that lurk online but in a way that doesn't demonise chatrooms and newsgroups.

The government admits that it is difficult to know how prevalent the danger of children being approached by paedophiles in chatrooms is but believes incidences are low.

However, it is worried that the problem will grow as more children go online, citing evidence from the US and the UK. One estimate puts the number of abuse cases currently coming before the UK courts at one per month.

The pounds 1.5 million campaign is using adverts in national newspapers and magazines to encourage parents to "wise up to the net" and help their children to enjoy internet chatrooms while avoiding exposure to inappropriate conversations or "grooming" approaches by paedophiles.

The "wise up to the net" website will offer parents and youngsters an A-Z of the internet, straightforward advice and links to sources of help for anyone who has concerns.

In addition, anyone who sees something suspicious online is urged to contact the Internet Watch Foundation either by e-mail to report@internetwatch.org.uk or by phoning 0845 600 8844. Trained monitors will then investigate the complaint and report the matter to the police if appropriate.

A further phase of the campaign aimed specifically at children will also use adverts on radio, in cinemas and youth magazines.

The idea is to encourage children to "know the net" and avoid putting themselves at risk by giving out personal details or phone numbers online.

www.wiseuptothenet.co.uk

HOT HINTS

Sound alert

YOUR keyboard will no doubt have small lights to indicate if your caps, num and scroll lock keys are on or off. When you're busy typing, it's easy (even for experienced typists) to accidentally hit one of these keys, which might force you to type lots of text again. To be alerted when you've pressed one of these keys, click on the start menu, then control panel. When the control panel window opens, double-click on the accessibility options icon. When the dialogue box appears, click on the check box next to togglekeys and click on OK. Now whenever one of the lock keys is pressed, your PC will beep to let you know.

COMPUTER BITS

l A WEBSITE that searches archived material for surfers may be inadvertently breaking the law. The Wayback site is a free service that has archived more than 10 billion web pages going back to 1996. However, the web bots used to track down and record the pages are picking up copyrighted material and are unable to filter pirated material or pornography. To use the Wayback Machine, users type in a web address in the search box, select a date and then begin surfing on an archived version of a selected web page.

http://web.archive.org

l IBM is developing a device that will translate text into a number of languages. Called InfoScope, the handheld device is equipped with a digital camera that takes snapshots of the text the user is interested in. The image is then sent to a remote computer over the user's mobile phone.

The server identifies text in the image and then translates the words into the selected language. Within 15 seconds, the translation is relayed back to the device and superimposed on the photographed scene.

IBM believes the device could be in the shops within two years.

www.research.ibm.com

WONDER WEBSITES

www.ifyoutravel.com

Finding the perfect holiday no longer involves sifting through hefty brochures as this site demonstrates. IfYouTravel provides a searchable destination database with mini spin-off sites offering tips, video clips and resort information. The Waxed area caters for those looking for a bit of an adrenalin rush.

www.upcomingmovies. com

TO keep abreast of all the latest developments from Hollywood, visit this site for a behind-the-scenes look. Providing previews of the movies heading our way in the coming months, each appetiser gives cast, crew, and plot information, and includes original commentary from the Upcomingmovies site.

www.xp-erience.org

IF you've got a copy of the new Windows XP operating system (above), check this website out for some invaluable advice, downloads

and guides. Updated daily, the XP-erience site offers users with handy software patches, the latest XP news and a chatroom for discussion with other XP users.

CAPTION(S):

INTERNET SAFETY: Making chat rooms a safer place
COPYRIGHT 2001 Coventry Newpapers
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Dec 15, 2001
Words:774
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