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Insafe Newsletter Issue 67 - December 2011/January 2012 (News Item)


Welcome to the 67th edition of the Insafe newsletter, as we fast approach the end of yet another year.

Now that the festive season is upon us, technology gadgets are sure to be top of the wish list for many children and young people. Whether Santa brings the latest mobile phone or smartphone, video game or console, a netbook, notebook or an upgrade to the family PC, we can be sure that youngsters will explore their new gadgets with excitement and vigour. However, we must also be sure that they can use these new gadgets safely and responsibly too.

This month we bring you news of a range of tools and resources to help you – as parents, carers and educators - to help keep children and young people safe online, while still experiencing and embracing the many opportunities that new digital technologies bring.

For example, colleagues in Austria give tips on using smartphone apps, colleagues in the Czech Republic tell us of their Advent billboard campaign, while colleagues in Hungary, Luxembourg and the UK share top tips for parents over the Christmas break.

And, as always, you’ll find a mix of news, events and resources from across the Insafe network to keep you informed and up to date on a range of eSafety issues.
On that note, we wish you a happy, restful and safe festive season. As this is a combined edition of the Insafe newsletter for December and January, we’ll be back with the next issue in early February 2012, when we hope you will be joining us in celebrating Safer Internet Day on Tuesday 7 February 2012.

We hope you enjoy this edition of the Insafe newsletter. If you would like to contribute an article for a forthcoming issue of the newsletter, or the Insafe blog, please contact the Insafe Team. And if you’ve found this newsletter useful, why not forward it on to a friend or colleague and encourage them to subscribe too? Subscribe via the newsletter page on the Insafe website.


Focus... Christmas is coming

[Austria] Tips for parents in dealing with apps
Smartphones are enjoying increasing popularity, but not only with adults: children are also discovering the many advantages of the devices and may easily fall for particular apps. Apps are small programs that can be downloaded from the internet to a smartphone and used there. But how do you make sense of apps on your smartphone…and what deserves your particular attention as a parent?

[Czech Republic] Outdoor campaign for Advent
The Czech National Safer Internet Centre has launched an outdoor campaign focused on the most frequent mistakes people make on the internet. Covering photos of children online and announcements of holidays on social networking sites, the campaign aims to empower people to avoid serious problems in both the virtual and real world.

[Hungary] Smartphones under the Christmas tree?
In the Christmas gift-buying season, parents are often seen standing helpless in front of shop windows thinking what their teenage children would choose. Smartphone manufacturers and mobile operators run large campaigns, so as the answer would be their latest model! Many incredible opportunities are hidden in these phones, but as a parent it is prudent to think about how to help adolescents to make truly ‘smart’ use of these devices before giving them as a present.

[Luxembourg] BEE SECURE before Christmas: Your child's new smartphone could be a poisoned present
Christmas is coming. Many children will receive their first computer or smartphone, while others will get game consoles or mobile gaming devices. Nowadays, most of these devices provide internet access. For many children, it will be the first time they will own a personal device to access the net, sometimes without their parents even being aware. This is why BEE SECURE has launched a special mini-campaign on its internet portal, mainly targeted at parents.

[Russia] Russian Safer Internet Centre greets the New Year with a new web portal
The start of 2012 will see the launch of a new website from the Russian Safer Internet Centre. New forms of awareness work, specialisation of awareness materials, the need for better regional outreach and representation require new forms of information delivery – hence the focus for the new site. The new Safer Internet Centre web portal in fact consists of three awareness parts – for children, for youth and for adults.

[Slovakia] Four new stories in the Sheeplive series
Four new animated stories have been published on the website in the run up to Christmas in Slovak, German, Slovenian, Polish and Estonian language versions. The new section is devoted to various themes: ‘A Thousand Friends’ discusses the phenomenon of Facebook friendship, ‘The Other Side’ describes the desire of children to have the best mobiles, ‘Carnival Mask’ tells of the danger of imitating action heroes from the internet or television, and ‘Fireworks’ warns children of the risk of injury from the production and use of explosives.

[United Kingdom] A technological Christmas? Information and guidance for parents
There is often a 'must have' gadget each Christmas and it’s usually technological. Parents can be swept along and not necessarily consider all aspects when making some of these present purchases, for example online access and age ratings. The UK Safer Internet Centre has produced some content that any school or organisation may wish to include in any communication such as a newsletter, along with a new publication titled ‘A Parents’ Guide to Technology’.


Campaigns, training and resources

Updated Pan-EU Youth platform invites discussion and debate from young people The Pan-EU Youth website has recently received a major content update, as we move into the next phase of the project. The new ‘Talk about…’ section, for example, presents a topical – yet thought provoking – news story, where we invite the opinions of youngsters. The latest story considers recent research that found that young people place more importance on access to social media and technology in the workplace than they do on salary. If you know a young person with a view on this, we’d love to hear from them!

[Bulgaria] Bulgarian Helpline goes mobile
Having in mind the uptrend in internet use via mobile phones among teenagers, as well as young people’s passion for new technologies, the Helpline of the Bulgarian Safer Internet Centre has developed an Android application for smartphones. The application is 9MB in size and can be downloaded from the Helpline website.

[Poland] Numa Numa – new e-zine for teenagers
Nobody’s Children Foundation in Poland, in cooperation with the Orange Foundation, has created a new educational tool – ‘Numa Numa’ magazine - designed for teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17. The name of the magazine refers to a viral video posted online as a joke, which unexpectedly acquired more than a billion views. It remains one of the most popular videos in the history of the internet and turned its creator into a celebrity.

[Poland] ‘Sheeplive’ project in Polish
In August 2011, just before the start of the new school year, the Polish Safer Internet Centre launched a series of educational cartoons ‘Owce w sieci’ (Sheeplive). The cartoons were originally prepared by the Slovak Safer Internet Centre and were awarded prestigious accolades and translated into several languages.

[Romania] New resource for kindergartens – Jester and the Mysterious Princess
Starting this winter, youngsters in Romania will have the chance to meet Jester and learn about online safety through his adventures. Jester and the Mysterious Princess is a colouring book with a story-poem, similar to a fairy tale, about the online world. This resource is created especially to target pre-schoolers, and it can be used by children individually or by the teacher, for example to be read out loud during story time. It also contains advice for parents and educators regarding children’s online safety.


Events, conferences and competitions

Safer Internet Day 2012 – just a couple of months to go!
Safer Internet Day 2012 is fast approaching. Around the date of the event - Tuesday 7 February 2012 - a wide array of activities will take place across Europe and the world, focusing on the theme ‘Connecting generations and educating each other’ with the slogan ‘Discover the digital world together...safely!’.

New Coalition to make a better and safer internet for children
On 1 December 2011, 28 leading companies came together to form a new Coalition to make a better and safer internet for children. Put together by the European Commission, priority actions for the Coalition include making it easier to report harmful content, ensuring privacy settings are age-appropriate, and offering wider options for parental control, reflecting the needs of a generation that is going online at an increasingly young age.

EU conference speaks up for kid's online rights
‘Building a child-friendly Europe: Turning a vision into reality’ - this was the objective the Council of Europe discussed with its partners at a conference in Monaco in late November 2011. Chaired by Princess Caroline of Hanover, around 200 representatives from governments and civil organisations debated topics such as justice, migration and violence against children. One special focus this year was on children and new media.

One month after: Reflections of the Austrian Youth Panelist on the Safer Internet Forum and Pan-EU Youth Panel
Murat (17) is a member of the Austrian Advisory Youth Panel and took part in the third Pan-EU Youth Panel and Safer Internet Forum in October 2011 in Luxembourg. One month after the event, we asked Murat to share his impressions with us.

[Estonia] ‘Smartly in the Web’ youth day in Tallinn
In October 2011, young internet users in Estonia were invited to participate in a ‘Smartly in the Web’ game day. The event was organised by the Estonian Safer Internet Centre at the Solaris Centre, Tallinn, in co-operation with other partners.

[Hungary] Date for your diary – international conference in Budapest, September 2012
The Hungarian Safer Internet Centre,, is organising an international conference in Budapest on 25-26 September 2012, titled ‘The effects of the internet on children and youth’.


Studies, surveys and reports

New study reports on parental control tools
Results from a recently-released study by the European Commission show that parental control tools tested have become more effective at blocking adult content and other harmful content since the first tests conducted last year. However the tools are less efficient at filtering content related to racism and self-harm (sites promoting anorexia, suicide or self-mutilation).

Recent research shows that most children are already ‘digitally mature’ by the age of 11
AVG recently released the next stage of its Digital Diaries research series – ‘Digital maturity’ - which found that by the time they are 11, most youngsters have reached ‘digital maturity’ or ‘digital adulthood’. Rather than spending time on child-specific websites, the majority of pre-teens are now on mainstream, adult social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

[Albania] Internet use amongst children and young people
Just a few years ago, going online in Albania was quite hard. But in the last three years, internet cafés have popped up almost everywhere, cheap ADSL connections became available and children have started going online on a regular basis. The fact that children were going online without having the simplest idea of what opportunities, risks and harm the use of internet could have, urged staff at Preca College, Albania, to take some action.


Insafe is a European network of Awareness Centres promoting safe, responsible use of the Internet and mobile devices to young people. It is co-funded by the Safer Internet Programme. Would you like to contribute an article for this newsletter or the Insafe blog? If so, please contact the Insafe Insafe Team.

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