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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

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

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

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

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

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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