Safer Internet Day 2012 Marked in Albania14. February 2012 - 12:07 — Dejan Georgievski
On February 7, the Safer Internet Day, Albanian Minister of Innovation and Information Technology Genc Pollo launched an awareness campaign for students, teachers and parents about the dangers of the virtual world, finally responding to at least two-years long calls for such a campaign to be enacted by Albanian civil society.
Measures to protect school children!
Representatives of the Ministry of Education noted that urgent action and measures is needed to protect the children from all the threats on the internet, and also emphasized the need for creation of structure that will control the implementation of those measures.
In addition to the cellular operators, a role in the monitoring and filtering of information distributed through school networks will be given to schools and families, to prevent the risks brought about by the information on the internet. An agreeement was reached, in discussion with the various stakeholders, to set up a supervisory committee to reduce the risk to children and adolescents.
"One measure to be implemented is filtering of content upon request of the Ministry of Education and Science (MES), to stop the pupils, students and teachers from access to non-educational content. We will enable blocking of problematic addresses that offers offensive or insulting content for students”, Deputy Minister of Education and Science Halit Shamata said.
94 % of children use internet on regular basis!
From the data collected from mobile operators, about 94 percent of children aged 12-17 years use the Internet on regular basis and represent the contingent exposed to greatest risks. Minors and young people are the most numerous users of internet but also the most exposed to risks of cybercrime.
For this reason, the campaign will take place in the schools of Tirana and Durres, the two cities in the country with largest numbers of internet users. The awareness campaign will be implemented under the motto 'All for a safe internet!' .
During the campaign, all mobile operators will send awareness SMS messages to their subscribers to safe-guard their children from unsuitable online contents; also, the public TV broadcaster and other commercial TV stations will air informative and educational programmes and public awareness video clip.
Internet cafes steal personal information from customers
On Safer Internet Day, the executive director of Consumer Protection Office, Altin Goxhaj told the media that abuses of internet use in Albania have reached such levels as to warrant a regulation to guarantee protection for consumers' personal data.
"Have a situation in which thousands of customers that feel unsafe when using the services of internet cafes all over Albania, knowing that internet cafe administrators have full, yet illegal, power over their personal data. Most internet cafes' computers use unregistered and insecure software and have installed spyware programmes to steal personal data”, Goxhaj said.
He noted that the CPO has received 18 complaints in the period 2011-2012, adding that those complaints have not been substantiated with concrete evidence, preventing them from being duly processed. Therefore, CPO decided to conduct an national investigation of internet cafe practices, and the results will be presented on March 15, 2012, the International Day of Rights of Consumers. (Source: article was based on reports in Albanian media)
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