BT has helped to launch a child internet safety portal – with the backing of the Prime Minister.

David Cameron hailed the new Internet Matters.org portal, which was founded by BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media and helps parents safely surf the web with their children.

Research conducted by Internet Matters revealed that 74% of parents want more information and advice about online safety. To meet this demand, Internetmatters.org has been created as a one-stop hub, directing parents to valuable help and advice from the leading experts at organisations and charities in the child internet safety field.

The idea is not to scaremonger but to equip parents with the information they need to make informed decisions.

The Prime Minister said: “The launch of Internet Matters is a significant step forward in our mission to protect our children online.

“As a father-of-three, I take this issue extremely seriously because the internet is a fantastic resource for young people – a place where they can be educated and entertained – but this virtual world can also pose a great danger to children.

“This online portal will promote family filters and improve parents’ knowledge – and encourage them to talk to their children about online safety. Britain’s four main service providers have thrown their weight and their investment behind this, so I want to thank them and congratulate them on leading such a vital initiative. There is nothing more important than the safety of our children.”

PM and Strictly star back internet safety campaign

The portal was set live this morning by Sophie Ellis-Bextor and her mother Janet Ellis.

The singer and former Strictly Come Dancing star said that as a mother, internet safety was a subject close to her heart.

“Children these days are so lucky to grow up with access to the internet, it’s an amazing place for learning and discovery. Mum and I feel really strongly about internet safety and are proud to be working together with Internet Matters to make sure parents know how to get advice,” she said.

“Today’s parents need to deal with issues that didn’t even exist when we were growing up. There’s a lot for us to learn with everything changing so fast. I’m careful to keep an eye on my two boys, especially my 10-year-old who is at that age when he’s starting to explore the internet on his own.”

Carolyn Bunting, general manager of Internet Matters.org said the incentive would benefit both parents and their children.

“The internet is an amazing tool for children of all ages and is an overwhelming force for good. Internet Matters will help parents to understand the issues children can face online whether they’re five or 15.”

For more information, visit Internet Matters.