Cyprus Mail

Call to action for a safer internet

Education Minister Costas Kadis

A conference titled ‘Create, connect and share respect: A better internet starts with you’ was held on Tuesday as part of this year’s Safer Internet day, which has the same theme.

“This year’s theme is a call to action for every stakeholder to play their part in creating a better internet for everyone, in particular the youngest users out there. More than that, it is an invitation for everyone to join in and engage with others in a respectful way in order to ensure a better digital experience,” an announcement said.

The Cyprus conference is an initiative of the ministry of education, Cyta and MTN. During the opening Education Minister Costas Kadis addressed 11 to 16-year-old students from schools across Cyprus.

“The main objective of the conference is to promote the positive power of the Internet, while at the same time highlighting the need for safe use by all, especially children and young people,” he said. “Today’s event is an opportunity for reflection on how we use the Internet. It is very important to foster responsible attitudes, ethics, respect and empathy for children, creating a better and safer digital framework for communication, entertainment and learning.”

Kadis noted the education ministry has for many years actively responded to developments in digital technology. At the same time, it promotes a range of practices and actions to educate students about the potential risks of the Internet.

Recently, the Council of Ministers adopted the National Strategy for a Better Internet for Children in Cyprus 2018-2023.

“Particular reference should be made to the fact that, within the framework of this strategy, the creation of the innovative Centre for the Use of Digital Technologies and Safe Use of the Internet is planned,” the minister said.

Since May 2017 the helpline 1480 aims to ensure that all users, children, adolescents and their families can receive advice and support on issues related to the safe, responsible and ethical use of the Internet and other digital media. It also responds to online / e-bullying issues, online games, social networking problems, and more. Users can report illegal content or actions such as child sexual abuse, racist and xenophobic material, and anything deemed to be in violation of applicable laws, he concluded.

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