Posts and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) has joined organisations across the world to mark Safer Internet Day (Tuesday, 9th February).This year’s theme is ‘play your part for a better internet’ and provided an opportunities to explore the responsibility we all have to help create a kinder online community.
The POTRAZ has led the way in supporting and protecting children from the alarming rise in cyberbullying incidents by providing them with ongoing guidance about how to protect themselves in the cyber world and conducting extensive research into the issues children experience.
“Children and young people need to be aware of some of the potentially negative aspects of the technologies. Harmful activities can include bullying and harassment, identity theft and online abuse (such as children seeing harmful and illegal content, or being exposed to grooming for sexual purposes, or the production, distribution and collection of child abuse material),”stated Potraz in their Child Online Protection Guidelines.
As of the last POTRAZ report Zimbabwe has 12 million registered mobile phone users.
It is import to note that the day was named ‘safer’, not ‘safe’ Internet Day because the Internet will never be entirely safe in this state of affairs. The best we can do is to educate on how to reduce and manage risk. The good news is that you can steer away most of the threats by being a responsible Internet user.
The guidelines, which are in line with those adopted by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), will help in the “protection of our youngest and most vulnerable digital citizens – our children,” Potraz said.
Children mainly use social media even when they are below the age restriction of 13, research released to mark Safer Internet Day 2016 has revealed.
The World Wide Wed wasn’t designed with security in mind. To make things worse, we forget that our digital foot prints are bigger than we think. Cybercrime is no longer about brute force. It subtly infiltrates your system, stays hidden and extracts data without any detection. Both, children and parents, are not spared from perils of the Internet.
Online bullying has also been identified as a major cause of concern and Potraz says “there are increasing numbers of bullies and real forms of bullying online” that range from offensive websites to harassing text messages, and the sending of unwanted photos via mobile phones. You have to be kind of resilient, you have to understand that if someone does say something mean about you, or attacks you somehow online, or if you notice that someone is being harassed — you have to use common sense for staying safe.
The bottom line is that everyone should know it is impossible to be 100% protected, unless you consider complete Internet abstinence as a solution. However if we implement safe internet practices we can all play our little part and make the Internet Safer.