Internet Matters General Manager Carolyn Bunting and UK Minister for Internet Security and Safety Ba
Internet Matters

First ever Digital Safety Awards celebrates online pioneers

Internet Matters celebrates online child safety pioneers in first ever Digital Safety Awards

- Inaugural Digital Safety Awards gives accolade to organisations and individuals keeping kids safe online

- Winners include The Professionals Online Safety Helpline (POSH), tootoot, eCadets, YouTube Kids, Net Aware, and Parent Zone founder Vicki Shotbolt

- Baroness Shields, UK Minister for Internet Safety and Security, gives speech paying tribute to those who were recognised

Wednesday May 25, London. The most innovative products and influential people in child internet safety were last night recognised at the Digital Safety Awards, founded by Internet Matters and sponsored by EY.

A high-profile judging panel - including Baroness Sally Morgan and John Carr OBE - gave awards to innovative peer-to-peer programme e-Cadets, the groundbreaking tootoot app, the Professionals Online Safety Helpline, YouTube Kids, the Net Aware website and entrepreneur Vicki Shotbolt, who founded Parent Zone.

Baroness Joanna Shields OBE, the UK Minister for Internet Safety and Security, who attended the central London ceremony, gave a speech paying tribute to all those who entered.

She said: “The UK is leading the world in making the internet a safer place for children. The Digital Safety Awards recognise the dedicated community of leaders working to protect our children from potential dangers online and the innovative digital safety products being developed here in the UK. I’m incredibly proud of the work that is being done by Internet Matters, UKCISS, charities, teachers and parents, all of whom play a vital role. Congratulations to the very deserving winners on their awards.”

The award categories and winners were:

Best Education Product or Service - POSH - a free helpline for professionals working with children offering support on a number of online safety issues and tootoot - an app that gives students a safe environment to report cyberbullying and other issues

Best Innovation - eCadets – an organisation aimed at empowering youngsters to keep their peers safe with all their online interactions

Best Product or Service for Parents - Net Aware – an online guide from NSPCC and O2 to over 50 apps, games and social media networks

Best Product or Service for Children - YouTube Kids – child-friendly video content platform with easy access and new, rolling content

Digital Safety Entrepreneur of the Year - Vicki Shotbolt - CEO and founder of Parent Zone

Each award was judged by Baroness Morgan, former chair of Ofsted, Alice Webb, Director of BBC Children’s, John Carr OBE, Secretary of CHIS, Anna Feuchtwang, CEO of the National Children’s Bureau (NCB) and Andy Phippen, a professor at Plymouth University. A panel of young people organised by the NCB judged the entries for Best Product or Service for Children.

Carolyn Bunting, General Manager of Internet Matters, said: “We’ve had a huge number of entries in our first ever Digital Safety Awards which exceeded all of our expectations. I would like to congratulate all of the winners, who are changing the face of digital safety to help create a safer world online. It’s been really encouraging to see the amount of small companies and individuals through to larger corporations all showing they are committed to protecting the lives of our children now and in the future.

“A special thanks should go to the pupils who took time out from school to judge the Best Product or Service for Children. We felt it was only appropriate that an award for children should be judged by children. I’m also very grateful for EY to sponsoring the awards and hosting the event, and we’ll be back even bigger and better next year.”

Jean-Benoit Berty, Technology, Media and Telecommunications Leader for EY, said: “At EY, we realise the importance of internet safety as one of the key issues facing parents and young people today. Working with Internet Matters, one of the leading e-safety organisations, has been incredibly rewarding and we’re delighted to be involved with helping keep kids safe online. The event was a huge success - we heard from so many influential people and we hope to hear from even more in the future.”

Internet safety is one of the most important issues facing society today. Recent research published by Internet Matters revealed how:

Children spend 3 hours online on their smartphone everyday 36% of children message people they have met online and don’t know 75% of 11-12 year olds already have a social media profile

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