The Code of Conduct on Protection of Children on Cyberspace is scheduled for issuance in the fourth quarter of 2021.
This is expected to deal with harmful content on forums on social networks whose members are mostly children.
According to the Information Security Administration of the Ministry of Information and Communications, a number of public and closed groups with many children as members have appeared on social networks. These include harmful content. One of them is Team 2k9, with up to 821,000 members, who are mainly children aged 12 and 13. In this group, members share negative, misleading information as well as 18+ information. Other groups are Team 2k10, with 217,000 members; Hate Parents, with nearly 5,000 members; Psycho-station for Wibu, with 190,000 members; Team 2k10-2k looking for a lover, with 19,000 members; and FA 2k-2k9 – seeking a lover, with 204,000 members.
The Information Security Administration said that during Covid-19, children have been exposed to the Internet much more, while some parents have not strictly managed their children’s activities on the Internet. Children currently account for one-third of Internet users but many of them do not have digital skills and are curious about using the Internet.
Photo: According to experts, it is the curiosity and inquisitiveness of children that will push them into the hands of bad content on the Internet.
Nguyen Minh Duc, founder and general director of CyRadar Information Security Joint Stock Company, told ICTnews that online learning and entertainment brings certain benefits in terms of cost, ensuring safety during the epidemic, but the online environment is full of potential pitfalls and it is children's curiosity that will push them into the hands of bad people. The expert said that schools and parents should take the initiative in providing children skills to protect themselves in the virtual world.
Also, parents should take advantage of technology and equip themselves with cybersecurity knowledge to know what their children are learning and playing when their parents are not around. They should apply technologies to filter age-inappropriate content, block bad websites, harmful content, and groups on social networks that can cause distortions of people's thoughts and actions, Duc said.
To protect children in the online environment, the Ministry of Information and Communications advised the Government in June to issue Program 830 or "Protecting and supporting children to interact healthy and creatively in the online environment for the period of 2021 - 2025".
Program 830 is aimed at "dual goals": protecting private life and preventing and dealing with acts of taking advantage of cyberspace to abuse children, with special attention paid to equipping children with age-appropriate knowledge and skills so that children can recognize and protect themselves in the online environment; and maintaining a healthy network environment, developing an ecosystem of Vietnamese products and applications for children to learn, connect, and entertain in a creative way.
The Ministry of Information and Communications has also established a network to rescue and protect children in the online environment with the participation of representatives of the Ministry of Information and Communications, the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, the Ministry of Education and Training, social organizations, and businesses.
The Ministry of Information and Communications will request the Ministry of Public Security to investigate and criminally handle those who organize and operate groups on social networks that violate the rules; expand the network to rescue and protect children in the cyberspace; and issue a Code of Conduct on protecting children in the online environment in the fourth quarter of 2021.
A study conducted in Vietnam and some countries shows that minors are likely to be exposed to toxic challenges online. What should parents do to reduce the risks?
Children often spend a lot of time learning, playing and exploring on the internet. Besides the undeniable benefits, unseen threats are also part of cyberspace.