Protecting children on the Internet

>> Children’s right to education, one of Vietnam’s priorities
>> Launch of a website to protect children in cyberspace
>> Combating disinformation: Vietnam shares its experiences

Children are exposed daily to cyberspace from an early age.

Photo: VNA / CVN

A report by the Ministry of Children (Ministry of Labor, Disability and Social Affairs), one of the members of the Internet Child Protection and Rescue Network, shows that in the first quarter of 2022, the Transition Center’s National Child Protection 111 received more than 202,000 calls and consulted about 10,600 cases. increase of more than 45% compared to the same period in 2021).

The department’s statistics also show that in the first three months of the year there were 147 child abuse cases, an increase of 30 children compared to the first quarter of 2021, including cases of violence, sexual abuse, abductions and disappearances … Nguyên Thi Nga, Deputy Director of the said department: “Cases of child abuse received by 111 call centers will be verified and linked to local authorities.”

A girl (who wishes to remain anonymous) says that she is regularly harassed by strange phone numbers and that her picture was shared in a closed group on the Telegram platform. Consequently, “I received countless messages with requests for more pictures, many fictitious messages, obscene and shocking comments. At first I thought deleting the pictures would stop everything, but the reality is that these things do not stop no, I get harassed all the time and my life is completely turned upside down “she says.

This is just one case among many of the girls who post pictures on social networks (Facebook, Instagram …) that have been stolen by “anonymous” people and then posted on closed groups or obscene websites. Many victims are then arrested, harassed, even abused. In fact, many are the ones who do not know that by providing too much information on the internet, personal pictures on social networks can lead to negative or even dangerous consequences for oneself.

Cyber-security expert Ngô Viêt Khôi said: “The more you use social networks, the more information about your preferences becomes clearer. This habit creates a large database of each person. This is information that social network operators collect every day, every hour. This data is then analyzed, processed and judged by artificial intelligence technology. “

How to report abuse

In April last year, Dà Nang launched a website and a mobile application for child protection in this central city.

Photo: VNA / CVN

Over the past few years, Plan International in Vietnam (one of the members of the Child Internet Protection and Response Network) has regularly received complaints about the insecurity of information on the Internet. Among these cases is the case of a girl whose photos were not only “stolen” and uploaded in closed groups, but whose phone number was also released.

The Child Internet Protection and Response Network recently launched the website with many features that help keep children safe online. The Department of Information Security (Ministry of Information and Communication) – the coordinating body of the said network – tested the “Tools” and “Report Abuse” functions. With the “Tools” feature, users only need to enter the website link and then submit a request so they can check if the website is safe for children.

As for the “Report Abuse” feature, if there are cases of child abuse or violence, harassment, fraud, bad website links, malicious groups or bullying … then anyone (including children) can also submit a report. With the use of the red 111 phone line, will also be one of the secure addresses that provide useful tools and software to help children participate in healthy interactions on the Internet.

In the two years affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, the number of children in Vietnam using Internet-connected devices (such as computers, smartphones, iPads, etc.) increased by more than 66%. And many parents worry when their children connect to the Internet. They may not know exactly what their offspring are doing in this cyberspace. Therefore, in addition to protective tools, parents should also always accompany their children on the Internet.

As parents, it is natural to want to protect their children, but many do not know how to do it properly. The solution of cybersecurity experts is to equip young children with the necessary skills and enough information so that they can identify the risks and fight back on their own.

A more secure and sustainable security network

Director of the MSD Sustainable Development Management Research Institute, Nguyên Phuong Linh, said: “Education is seen as the key to bringing a kind of ‘digital vaccine’ to this generation. These ‘digital skills’ are based on a series of’ Ss. The first is Safe, which means Safe; the second is Smart, Wisdom and Intelligence when using social media, the third is Super with the childish idea of ​​being like a superhero, not only protecting yourself but also having the ability to support and protect others on the internet.This may be a little high expectations for the younger generation , but it will help build a more secure and sustainable safety net. “

If digital skills are disseminated to all children and teachers, children will also have the opportunity to access digital technologies to create “resistors”, and faces these challenges and risks encountered online. Based on this, Vietnam should have national training programs for qualified teachers to guide children, but also help parents accompany their children in online activities.

Currently, Vietnam has a national standard for child protection. But with ever new problems arising on the internet, it is necessary to have more specialized devices in the case. Internet use is a child’s right, so it is necessary to equip them with knowledge and experience so that they can exercise this right in a fair, safe, legal and fair way.

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