More must be done to educate and protect our children from the dangers of the Internet, and Internet safety starts at work.

That is the message from a Shropshire computer expert, who said he believes it is the responsibility of parents and not the Government to ensure children are safe when they go online.

Chris Pallett, managing director of Bespoke Computing in Telford, said if businesses educated their employees on the dangers of the Internet and adopted better practices themselves, parents would be more aware and able to protect their sons and daughters.

“There have been several sad and even tragic cases recently showing the darker side of the Internet and social media in particular,” he said.

“It is the job of every parent to educate their children about the dangers of the Internet just as it is about every other danger they will face growing up, whether it is road safety, stranger danger or underage smoking and drinking.

“A lot of parents just do not realise how dangerous the Internet can be or, even when they do, have no idea what their children are doing online.”

“One of the simplest and easiest ways to ensure parents know enough to educate their children is through adopting a ‘best practice’ approach in the workplace,” he said.

“Often a business blocks access to sites considered dangerous for a very good reason and that understanding needs to filter down to how we treat the Internet at home.”

“By educating parents in their day jobs, using the Internet safely becomes the norm which can then be taken from the workplace into the home.

“There are tools that employers can install on their computer systems for everything from basic filtering to blocking certain websites or even allowing staff to only access social media or non-business content at certain times of the day, such as during lunch breaks.

Mr Pallett said there were a number of free tools parents could download at home that will monitor and filter online usage, with similar but more sophisticated programmes for business.

For more information about ensuring employees use the Internet safely and responsibly in the workplace, Bespoke Computing can be contacted on (01952) 303404 or via its website at www.bespokecomputing.com.