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Parental supervision urged for children surfing Internet
Times News Service
October 28, 2013 , 8 : 56 am GST
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The two-day event is being organised by ITA’s Oman National CERT in an effort to tackle cyber security issues faced by children, teenagers and young adults. Photo – Jun Estrada/Times of Oman
Oman's Information Technology Authority (ITA) launched its Child Online Protection (COP) Strategy Framework workshop yesterday in cooperation with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
Launched at the City Seasons Hotel Muscat, the two-day workshop titled 'Building the National Strategy for Child Online Protection', was held under the patronage of Dr Salim Sultan Al Ruzaiqi, CEO of ITA and was attended by international speakers, as well as experts from both government and private sector entities.
The two-day event is being organised by ITA's Oman National CERT (OCERT) in an effort to tackle cyber security issues faced by children, teenagers and young adults based on a multi-stakeholder approach.
Goal of workshop
Engineer Badr Ali Al Salehi, Director General for Oman's National CERT, opened the workshop with a welcome speech for the guest of honour and the participating audience.
Talking about the goals of the workshop, Al Salehi said, "The workshop aims to create a national strategy for the protection of children surfing the Internet by establishing a number of policies and strategies that will help protect them. An effort has to be made to put in place a joint action plan at the technical and procedural level to enhance protection of children on the Internet."
He stressed the importance of cooperation and partnership between the public and private sectors, which would help prevent online risks and provide a safe online environment for children.
Al Salehi stressed the role and responsibility of the various stakeholders in ensuring that children remain protected from any risks posed by the Internet and invited everyone to discuss the opportunities and challenges in this regard.
Regarding the development of information technology and communications, and the difficulties faced by the authorities in protecting children online, Al Salehi said, "Not only has the Internet become a major day-to- day time-consuming tool for children, but it has also turned out to be an important part of their lives.
Statistics show that 60 per cent of children and teenagers talk in chat rooms or chat on a daily basis and, that three out of every four children are willing to give personal information about themselves and their families to purchase or request products and services."
Guide and caution
Al Salehi added, "Parents have to be responsible and aware of all the risks concerning the safety of the child, including the Internet. They have to guide and caution their children in such a rapidly growing world that deploys Internet. They must learn to use the internet and make a distinction between its pros and cons, not to mention knowing when to set boundaries and when to impose restrictions, as this is the need of the hour to ensure safety of the children."
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