Grandmother Sonia Livingstone, from North Finchley, in New Year Honours list

This Is Local London: Professor Sonia Livingston OBE Professor Sonia Livingston OBE

A grandmother determined to show how the internet can have a positive influence on children has been named in the Queen's New Year Honours list.

Prof Sonia Livingstone, of Holdenhurst Avenue, North Finchley, was given an OBE for her services to children and child internet safety.

The 55-year-old is a professor of media and communications at the London School of Economics.

She has been researching how new media affects the children for 20 years - and also advises the Government on the risks it can pose.

She said: “I wanted to get the message out that the internet can bring positive things for children, so we need to keep them safe without restricting their opportunities.

“I’m really passionate about it. I want to show people it can be a fabulous and wonderful opportunity - but we have to stop being so scared of it.

“We need to make sure children can’t get to awful places at the click of a mouse.”

For the last 20 years, Prof Livingstone has been speaking about internet safety in schools and advising the Government on what policies can be put in place.

This includes ensuring parents have a greater control on what their children can and cannot see, to make their settings appropriate to their beliefs.

She added: “We need to look at taking really illegal, appalling content off our servers and making it a much more youth-friendly place.

“I was very pleased when I found out I had been given my OBE. It’s a wonderful honour.”

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