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Credit: Department of Information and Communications Technology

Credit: Department of Information and Communications Technology

Philippines’ DICT holds Digital Parenting Conference to help protect children online

An announcement made by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) highlighted its first Digital Parenting Conference organised for its employees as part of their campaign on Child Online Protection. Positive responses are clamouring for another conference soon, this time on a national scale.

In line with its campaign on Child Online Protection, the DICT, held its first Digital Parenting Conference. Through its cybersecurity team, DICT held the training among its employees last 22 May 2018.

The objective of the conference was to raise awareness among parents on the responsible use of Internet and technology.

It also aims to equip them on the guidance and protection of children in this digital age especially those born in late 1990s as they are most in need of supervision on the use of digital technologies.

DICT Secretary Eliseo Rio, Jr. said in his welcome address, “The information age has given rise to the need of digital parenting. Parents play a key role in checking how the children use the digital media as they are the first and most important mediator. As the amount of time young people spend alone with digital media increases, the availability of parents for their interaction decreases; thereby introducing the role of parents as participants in co-learning with children.”

He acknowledged further that although the development of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) entails risks, there is also a great deal of advantages in its advancement.

Project Lead of Cybersecurity Policy Ms Genalyn Macalinao explained that it is vital for parents to have knowledge in ICT in order for them to know how to traverse the world of cybercrimes.  She enumerated cybercrimes and they are computer fraud, cyber terrorism, cyber extortion, and cyberbullying to name a few.

Computer fraud is the act of using a computer to take or alter electronic data, or to gain unlawful use of a computer or system.

Cyber terrorism is the politically motivated use of computers and information technology to cause severe disruption or widespread fear in society.

Cyber extortion is a crime involving an attack or threat of an attack coupled with a demand for money or some other response in return for stopping or remediating the attack.

Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place over digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets, which can occur through SMS, Text, and apps, or online in social media, forums, or gaming where people can view, participate in, or share content. It includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else.

This conference is just the beginning of DICT’s Child Online Protection campaign. Coordination with local government units (LGU) will follow, together with the promotion of outdoor physical activities to the “screen generation,” Ms Macalinao added.

Dr Michele Alignay, author and psychologist, provided valuable insights and a deeper look at the dangers posed by the internet.

She encouraged the participants to find the balance in the use of ICT as well as optimising opportunities for their children and eliminating the risks posed by cyberspace.

The conference was met with positive responses as requests for another conference, this time on a national scale, started pouring in. Unexpected media coverage graced the event, fortifying the DICT’s perception of the need for the program. The public demand prompted the Cybersecurity Office of DICT to fast track the event. 

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