EU con raises awareness of Internet safety in Europe

Cell phone operators vow to take steps to better protect kids from predators, adult content.
Written by ZDNET Editors, Contributor

In order to educate the public on an increasingly difficult problem, the European Union hosted the fourth annual Internet Safety Day on February 6, reports the BBC.

Thirty-one countries participated in events to raise awareness of Internet safety among parents, teachers and kids.

"I am calling upon all decision-makers in the private and in the public sector to help make the Internet a safer place for the most vulnerable of our society," said Information Society and Media Commissioner and organizer of the event, Viviane Reding.

The issue of kids bullying others by cellphone has prompted 20 of Europe's leading mobile operators to agree to offer greater safety measure for youngsters using cellphones. These include controlling access to adult content, awareness-raising campaigns for parents and children, and the classification of commercial content according to national standards of decency and appropriateness.

In conjunction with voluntary cellphone company regulations, a "blogathon" was held to showcase the materials produced by hundreds of schools around the world dealing with the risks and rewards of net use - as well as a conference to promote responsible Internet use among youth.

"There's a huge gap between what the children use technology for and what older people do with it," Redng said.

"Older people use it as a tool but for younger people it is a way of life," said Dr Denise Carter, a research fellow at the Cyberspace Research Unit (CRU) at the University of Central Lancashire, which coordinated the event.

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