Safer Internet Day targets 5-7 year olds and Microsoft’s web browser

On Safer Internet Day, the UK’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre is promoting a cartoon to help children stay safe online, and making information and advice available via Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 8It’s the EU’s annual Safer Internet Day today and CEOP, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, is using it to raise awareness among children and parents. In particular, it’s promoting a new animated film, Lee and Kim’s Adventures, which aims to help children aged from 5-7 to understand “the concepts of personal information and trust” and thus stay safer online. Research published last year by Ofcom suggested that 80% of this age group use the net.CEOP has also worked with Microsoft to add features to the Internet Explorer 8 browser, mainly by installing a Web Slice, though it’s also possible to add search suggestions and Favorites (bookmarks). A Web Slice adds a button to the Favorites bar and shows a panel of content that can be updated from the site. In this case, the ClickCEOP button provides links that children can click for help with cyberbullying, harmful content and other problems, or ask for age-appropriate advice. see:Online safety push for five-year-olds
Children as young as five are being targeted in a new online safety campaign by the UK body charged with protecting children from abuse.The campaign uses cartoons to show five to seven-year-olds that people are not always what they seem.It is thought 80% of children in this age group use the web and one-in-five parents of this age group worry about who their children contact online. the tech becomes unfriendly
As Safer Internet Day emphasises ways for people to avoid trouble online, BBC News looks at what is behind so-called griefing and cyber bullying.One day while playing World of Warcraft, I was walking through Elwynn Forest as I completed a quest or two. Commission calls on social networking companies to improve child safety policies [news release]
50% of European teenagers give out personal information on the web – according to an EU study – which can remain online forever and can be seen by anybody. Today, Safer Internet Day, the European Commission is passing a message to teenagers: “Think before you post!”It welcomed actions to protect children using social networking websites taken by the 20 companies who signed the Safer Social Networking Principles last year. Most of these companies have empowered minors to tackle online risks by making it easier to change privacy settings, block users or delete unwanted comments and content. Yet more needs to be done to protect children online, the Commission says. Less than half of social networking companies (40%) make profiles of under-18 users visible only to their friends by default and only one third replied to user reports asking for help.”If we want children to think before they post, social networking companies should post the right information using the right language. Last year the European Commission urged companies to act, and I am glad that many have heeded this call,” said EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media, Viviane Reding. “However I expect all companies to do more. Minors’ profiles need to be set to private by default and questions or abuse reports have to receive quick and appropriate responses. The internet is now vital to our children, and it is the responsibility of all to make it safe.”At last year’s Safer Internet Day, social networking companies recognised the need for young users – and their parents – to feel safe when socialising online and signed the Safer Social Networking Principles. These resulted from discussions set up by the European Commission in April 2008 with social networking sites, NGOs and researchers. 18 companies signed the Safer Social Networking Principles in February 2009 and were joined by another two in June 2009.One year on, the Commission has published a report on the implementation of the Principles on the 25 sites run by the signatories – Arto, Bebo, Dailymotion, Facebook,, YouTube, Hyves, Windows Live, Xboxlive, Myspace,, Netlog,, Piczo,, Skyrock, SchülerVZ StudiVZ MeinVZ, Habbo, IRC Galleria, Tuenti, Yahoo!Answers, Flickr, and show that 19 out of 23 sites provide safety tips and information specifically targeted towards children and/or teenagers (this measure is non applicable for 2 services). This information is both easy to find and easy to understand on 14 sites: YouTube, Habbo Hotel, Hyves, IRC Galleria, MySpace, nasza-klasa, Netlog, One, Rate, SchülerVZ, Skyrock, Yahoo!Answers, Yahoo!Flickr, Zap.The report also shows that most of the companies empower minors to deal with potential online risks and employ a safe approach to privacy by:

  • Making it easy for users to block other users and remove comments from their profiles;
  • Making privacy options easy to change so that users can choose whether only their friends or the entire world can see what they post online;
  • Giving users control over the display of their online status (which allows other users to see whether they are online or not).

However, there has been less systematic implementation of other equally important measures designed to protect privacy:

  • 40% of social networking sites assessed make minors’ personal information visible only by their friends by default including: SchülerVZ, Facebook, Tuenti, Giovani, Flickr, Yahoo Answers, One, Habbo, Windows Live and MySpace;
  • Only 11 out of 22 make it impossible for the private profiles of minors to be found through search engines including: Arto, Bebo, Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, Piczo, SchülerVZ, Windows Live, Yahoo! Answers, Yahoo!Flickr and Zap;
  • While 19 sites out of 25 have a link for reports available at all times, only 9 (out of 22) responded to complaints submitted during the assessment including: Arto, Dailymotion, YouTube, Habbo Hotel, Hyves, IRC Galleria, MySpace, Rate, Windows Live. There is therefore an urgent need for better services to respond to users’ reports asking for help.

Background:The Safer Social Networking Principles for the EU were signed on 10 February 2009 by 18 major social networking service providers active in Europe, and joined by 2 further signatories in June 2009 ( IP/09/232 , MEMO/09/58 ). All signatories, except, provided their self-declarations to the European Commission by June 2009. The evaluation report of implementation of the Safer Social Networking Principles presented today is based on an analysis of the companies’ self-declarations and actual testing of the respective sites from end of October to beginning of November 2009.The Safer Internet Day is supported by the European Commission’s Safer Internet Programme and has been organised by INSAFE every year since 2004, with events in more than 60 countries in Europe and worldwide.The results of the report will be presented by the Commission and discussed at today’s Safer Internet Day event organised in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, with the support of Mrs Roberta Angellilli, Vice President of the European Parliament. online-17 golden rules for mobile social networks [news release]
Instantly online-17 golden rules to combat online risks and for safer surfing mobile social networks The EU ‘cyber security’ Agency – ENISA (the European Network and Information Security Agency) today presents a new report on accessing social networks over mobile phones, ‘Online as soon as it happens”. The report points out the risks and threats of mobile social networking services, e.g. identity theft, corporate data leakage and reputation risks of mobile social networks. The report also gives 17 ‘golden rules’ on how to combat these threats.Online Social Networking Sites (SNSs) have had an exceptional growth trend on Internet. 211Mn users (out of 283 Mn) in Europe use SNS, and, primarily, Facebook in 11/17 countries studied. The modern way of staying in touch with business or personal contacts is through SNS and other digital tools. Consequently, the ways people meet, share opinions, communicate information and ideas is changing. With growing popularity of SNS, the demand for instant, continuous access over the mobile phone has increased-i.e. mobile social networks (MSN). More than 65 Mn users now access the social network Facebook over their mobile device. MSN users are 50% more active than non-mobile users, and are estimated to be 134 Mn in Europe by 2012.Many MSN users also use their phone as a backup device for business mails, personal data, contacts, pictures, and access codes. As a consequence, a lost mobile phone can cause serious damage, e.g. when illegitimately used to access MSNs. Many mobile phones come pre-packaged at purchase, with built in MSN applications i.e. ‘on-deck’ services.Several stories from Italy, France, Spain, Greece, UK, witness that many SNS/MSN users are largely unaware of security risks, privacy issues and threats related to misuse of the information put online in an SNS and of proper online privacy protection. A number of unique MSN risks/threats are identified in the report. The ENISA report gives an overview of the situation and underlines that in particular MSN users need awareness on how to safer use social networks on a mobile phone to avoid unexpected and damaging consequences. Risks include identity theft, and serious damage to personal or corporate reputation, or data leakage. Two samples case studies:

  • Fake profile on Facebook. A professor at Turin University discovered someone else had created a profile for him at Facebook with offensive features, affecting his reputation.
  • Data leakage/corporate reputation. After a 2008 incident, Virgin Atlantic airlines later dismissed 13 staff members who had posted comments on Facebook which e.g. criticised the cleanliness of the company’s fleet and of its passengers. Similarly, British Airlines check-in staff at Gatwick posted messages on Facebook saying e.g. travellers were ‘smelly’ and criticised the chaotic operations at Heathrow.

The paper also gives a comprehensive view of the SNS world under the lens of the European directive on data protection (Dir. 95/46/EC). The Executive Director of ENISA, Dr. Udo Helmbrecht, comments:”This report provides practical, hands-on advice to the users of how to more safely be online, anywhere and anytime, when enjoying mobile social networks.”The paper includes 17 practical ‘golden rules’. Samples include:

  • Remember to log out from the social network once your navigation is over.
  • Do not to allow the social network to remember your password (this function is called ‘Auto-complete’).
  • Do not mix your business contacts with your friend contacts.
  • Report immediately stolen/lost mobile phone with contacts, pictures, or personal data in its memory
  • Set the profile privacy level properly.

For all recommendations, please download the full report.

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