Microsoft builds panic button into Internet Explorer 8

Family PC

New webslice allows children to flag abuse from within Internet Explorer 8

Microsoft has launched a "panic button" for Internet Explorer 8 that's designed to help children deal with online abuse.

The button, which has been designed in conjunction with the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), allows children to flag abuse and get advice on subjects such as cyberbullying, harmful content and sexual abuse.

The button is essentially a "webslice" - a button that sits in the Internet Explorer 8 toolbar and provides instant access to the relevant sections of CEOP's website.

Parents and children should not have to go searching through numerous web pages to find the help they need

"Internet safety advice needs to be at your fingertips and not hidden away," says Jim Gamble, the chief executive officer of CEOP. "Parents and children should not have to go searching through numerous web pages to find the help they need. The new CEOP-customised Internet Explorer 8 browser will embed advice, help and report services directly into the toolbar to provide a constant, reassuring presence for families who will be one click away from the support they need."

Gamble has in the past made outspoken attacks on social-networking websites such as MySpace and Facebook, which have failed to implement CEOP's report button. "We have spoken to some of them and they are trying to pull relationships with CEOP closer to the surface but that is not good enough," Gamble told The Times last year. "We give them the button to put on every page. Will children be safer? Yes. If you have not got this button, the question is why not."

The sites responded by claiming they have well-established abuse reporting procedures of their own.

Now it seems CEOP is cutting out the middle man and working with companies such as Microsoft to make the button part of the browser.

The CEOP version of Internet Explorer can be downloaded here.

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