Today marks the annual ‘Safer Internet Day' and is geared to promote safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones.

 

Especially geared towards children and young people around the world, the event will see a wide array of activities taking place across Europe, ranging from workshops to concerts and seminars.

 

To mark the day, (ISC)2 has announced the availability of an online volunteer training program designed to help information security professionals around the world communicate confidently and effectively with school children.

 

Developed with the support of Childnet International, it combines presentation materials for the classroom developed by former school teachers with practical advice on effectively communicating with children. It also addresses child protection issues for adults working with school children and the relevance of the subject areas to current educational curriculum.

 

Tackling concerns that include social networking, cyberbullying, viral emails, spam, identity theft and more, the program is targeted at children aged 11-14 years of age.

 

Once they have completed the training, volunteers gain access to and permission to use the presentation and supporting materials, all of which are updated regularly by Childnet, with consultation from the (ISC)2 community on current security issues.

 

John Colley, managing director, EMEA at (ISC)2, said: “The promotion of a responsible online society will depend on such programs that can change behaviour, forcing out the bad habits that leave people and companies vulnerable. Reaching school children, many of whom are the current technology experts in their homes, enhances a responsible culture for now and in the future.”

 

Meanwhile Webroot is supporting ‘Safer Internet Day' with an invitation to all online consumers to visit its website for a free security scan of their PC.

 

Paul Lipman, senior vice president and general manager of Webroot's Desktop Business Unit, said: “As we acknowledge ‘Safer Internet Day', we encourage users to get in the habit of thinking about security when surfing online. This is particularly critical given the continued growth we've observed in the volume of online threats.”

 

Finally, Bloxx has compiled top tips for parents on keeping children safe on domestic internet connections, and free from risk:
 
1. Take an interest and communicate with your children about their internet use. Make sure you are aware of the potential safety and security risks associated with internet use and convey them to your children.
 
2.  Set some basic guidelines on which sites are acceptable, when they are permitted to surf the internet and for how long.  Limit the time children spend online to a reasonable amount.
 
3. Ensure that children are aware of the legal and security risks associated with downloading copyrighted material such as music, games and films.
 
4.  Place the family computer in a communal area such as the family room or/living room where you can easily see what sites they are visiting.
 
5.  Make sure they are aware never to give out any personal information or passwords to anyone no matter who they say they are.
 
6.  Ensure that they select the limited profile or private profile option on profiles for social networking websites such as Facebook and that they only add people they know to any friends lists.
 
7. Install web filtering software that enables you to limit access to particular sites and restrict the content they have access to.
 
8.  Make sure your anti-virus and anti-spyware software is up-to-date and running properly.

 

9. Only download files from reputable sources.