10 February, 2014

I make the Internet safer through education

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Category: European Action Day
Aileen Donegan
5 pm

By Martin Mlynár

On online safety, fighting hate speech and classroom bullying on Safer Internet Day 2014.

Understanding the Internet’s purpose may differ from one person’s perspective to the other. While some blindly believe that the online world is an open space without rules where all kinds of information and files may be independently shared; others can consider the Internet a dangerous and very risky place. The truth, which is unfortunately known by the minority, is hidden somewhere between these two variations. 

Whether we like it or not, a great mass of Internet users are unaware of Netiquette. This lack of knowledge results in misusing the Internet regardless of the laws and moral code. The current situation of online society requires improvements. Many people are facing hate speech or bullying on a daily basis. What’s obvious is that the change is required and the victims and targets of hate speech merit it. It is clear that nobody wants to be bullied, threatened, hated… But victims and targets of hate speech are mostly powerless. They have to deal with enormous problems on their own, as society is unfortunately unaware of this issue — or are just pretending to be unaware. Because of this fact victims and targets do not know how to get help.

From my point of view, education is the right tool to fight for a safer Internet. By educating children from an early age, as well as adults, raising awareness would be both natural and effective.


Online Safety

First of all, we should know what dangers we are confronting. Nowadays bullies may obtain our private information using various software apps called ‘Keyloggers’.

‘Keyloggers’ are software programmes you may install without any intention, which are usually hidden behind a picture or a music file. Their function is to log a computer’s activity including important visited sites (like Spamzilla), applications as well as pressed keys on keyboard. They are very dangerous due to the fact that older or illegal antivirus software is unable to detect them. What’s more, its author obtains full access to all your confidential data, including Facebook and e-mail login, debit/credit card digits and security codes. All this valuable data may be misused and the owner may suffer afterwards.

Solution – Ensure that your software is legal and up to date. Do not download files from unknown sources. These security measures may help you avoid possible dangers.


Schools and bullying

Very often children are becoming victims and targets of hate speech as a result of their differences, negative or positive differences. Bullies are teasing their victims and targets as a consequence of jealousy, fear or as a solution for their own complexes of their imperfections. This alarming problem is getting even bigger in schools, where children may be bullied by the same person in the online sphere. What is more, victims and targets may become upset as they are usually left on their own and there is nobody willing to help. You may wonder why is this situation is still unsolved. The answer is that student’s society is not acting against hatred caused by tyrants because students themselves want to stay aside in order to avoid bullying. Even worse is that teachers who should notice a change in student’s behavior pretend don’t notice.


If you feel that it is not right then step out of the crowd of ignorants and join the movement! I believe that by fighting for safer Internet as well as against bullies and haters, the world may be better place to live together. So do not stand aside from problems, but fight against them. Do not watch ones who are being bullied, help them.



1 Comment

  1. Alice

    Education of both users and educators is important.

    After a phase of research to understand better the discriminatory content that teenagers could face online, we have led pilot sessions with teenagers and educators in Spain, Belgium, Romania, Italy and the UK to discover different realities about discrimination.

    Now we are preparing an educational tool called the Anti-Discrimination Pack to help teenagers and educators educate themselves and the others against discrimination. So they can turn from passive users who witness discrimination to actors who take action for an internet free of discrimination and hate!

    We will talk about the project during our conference in Barcelona, March 13th $ 14th. http://digitaldiscrimination.eu/conference/



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