The Women's Institute is shedding its ‘jam and Jerusalem’ image in favour of more topical issues,

And one of the new projects was unveiled this week, when the South Pennine WI, which covers Shepley, Denby Dale and Birds Edge, organised a guest lecture on family internet safety, held at Shepley First School.

The talk was given by Manchester University’s Dr Daniel Dresner, whose specialist area is cyber security.

The audience was mostly made up of parents eager to hear more about how they could safeguard their children and themselves from criminal intent on the internet.

He spoke about some of the problems facing parents, who often know far less than their children do about the computer technology and the world wide web.

Topics covered included internet fraud, cyber bullying and abuse.

Dr Dresner said: “The talk gave parents information on some of the things they can do to safeguard against crime - including parental controls and which ones are worth having - as well as pointing them in the right direction if they need further help.

“This is an area of concern for a lot of parents, and there is often a gap between the parents’ and the children’s technical expertise. Many parents don’t fully realise some of the routes that criminals can use to fain access to information.

“The aim was to fill in a few gaps in people’s knowledge, give some hints and tips, and wake people up to the actual dangers on the internet.”

South Pennine group President Janet Roebuck said: “Child internet safety is one of the most important challenges facing us today.

“We need to ensure that both parents and grandparents are armed with trusted information about the risks to children and what practical things they can do to keep them away from harm.”