Unite for safer internet, says Flow

[Saint Lucia] (February 7th, 2017) – As the world observes Safer Internet Day today, leading telecommunications provider Flow is urging all stakeholders to join together to make the internet a better place for all, especially young children and teenagers.

“From cyberbullying to social networking, each year Safer Internet Day aims to raise awareness of emerging online issues and chooses a topic reflecting current concerns,” said Jeanelle William, acting Country Manager, Flow.

This year’s theme is ‘Be the Change: Unite for a Better Internet’.

“Safer Internet Day is celebrated by hundreds of countries around the world and at Flow, we are concentrating our efforts this year on promoting the healthy use of the internet and connectivity among our young people,” said Mrs William.

In some of its markets across the region, Flow will today deliver an interactive presentation about Safer Internet Day to Teachers, students and various Parent-Teacher Associations.

“The internet provides excellent learning and communication opportunities but it also opens the door to some unwanted elements,” said Mrs. William.

She added, “As the region’s leading telecommunications provider it is our responsibility to share our knowledge and provide relevant information as it relates to the effective and safe use of the internet. Our children are spending more and more time online, and with this trend, we are seeing a diversification in the dangers they face.  Parents must make it a priority to familiarize themselves with the devices and media that their children are using.”

As part of Safer Internet Day activities, Flow is providing parents and children with safety tips on how to use the internet more safely. Here are just a few:

  • Keep computers in a high-traffic area of your home and establish limits for which online sites children may visit and for how long. Most children also have mobile access so make sure to monitor cell phones, gaming devices and laptops as well.
  • Remember to surf the internet with your children and let them show you what they like to do online.
  • Encourage regular dialogue with your children and make it your business to know who is connecting with your children online.
  • Set rules for social networking, instant messaging, e-mailing, online gaming and using webcams.

According to research conducted by internet security company ESET to mark Safer Internet Day, millions of children around the world are being exposed to a wide range of online threats at an increasingly young age, with less than half of parents using parental controls to block unsuitable material.

The research also noted that over the last eighteen months, almost eighty percent of parents bought their children an internet-enabled device. However, parental controls available within anti-virus software, online or the device itself are only being used by half of all parents.

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