Cyprus Mail

Nine out of ten parents not fully aware of internet risks

NINE out of ten parents in Cyprus are unaware of the size of the risks associated with internet use by children, while only one in four monitor their children’s internet activity, according to a survey by EU Kids Online.

Hope For Children – a Cyprus-based non-profit organisation dedicated to protecting children’s rights – on the occasion of Safer Internet Day (SID) yesterday claimed nine out of ten parents are unable to handle the problem either due to ignorance or time constraints.

According to other research, Cypriot youth appear to be familiar with the concept of ‘security’, meaning protection against viruses that alter personal files and damages software, but not ‘safety’ – i.e. protection from fraud, malicious content and compromising personal data.

SID was designed to help raise awareness among parents and children on the risks and dangers lurking in the internet, most commonly translating into hate speech, discrimination, cyber-bullying, pornographic material, online solicitation of minors and corruption of children.

EU-member states acknowledge the need to protect citizens against online perils, and some have enacted legislation to that end through the Convention on Cybercrime of the Council of Europe.

Incorporating the Protocol on Xenophobia and Racism, the convention is the only binding international instrument on this issue and serves as a guideline for national legislative frameworks against Cybercrime, and facilitating international and inter-state cooperation.

In Cyprus, the convention was ratified and incorporated into law in 2004. Moreover, Cyprus has a specialised Data Protection Law to protect against exploitation of personal information.

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