February 6, 2007 By Gina M. Scott
"The Internet offers tremendous opportunities to all. But many remain unaware of its darker side, from child pornography to sexual grooming online by pedophiles," said EU Information Society and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding. "Today, I am calling upon all decision-makers in the private and in the public sector to help make the Internet a safer place also for the most vulnerable of our society. In today's digital age learning how to avoid online pitfalls is a valuable life skill that all young people need to know. For this purpose, we need to spread the message about safer Internet use among teachers and parents as well as children themselves."
To mark Safer Internet Day, the results of a competition to create Internet safety awareness material, as part of a worldwide blogathon, will be published. The competition involved more than 200 schools in 29 countries, which teamed up to create safety material during the last three months. Entries in the competition addressed one of three themes: e-privacy, "netiquette", and the power of image.
Safer Internet events organized in the EU at national level include this year the following:
UK Home Office Minister Vernon Coaker, under-secretary of state for policing, security and community safety, said "Protecting children from harm is of the highest priority for the government. We will do everything we can to ensure children are protected -- whether that is in communities or on the Internet.
"The Internet brings huge opportunities for children -- but also big risks which we all need to be aware of. It's particularly important that people such as teachers, youth group leaders and other child welfare workers are fully aware of the issues surrounding the Internet.
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