Nine out of 10 young Filipinos use the internet and are being exposed to potential dangers in the cyberspace like bullying and abuse but only five of 10 children are being guided, a recent survey of a non-government child care organization said.

Stairway Foundation had recently teamed up with the Department of Education and the Unicef in creating manuals online and lesson plans that will be integrated to the Grade 5 to 6 and Junior High School curriculum to protect Filipino children from cyber bullying and online child abuse.

The CyberSafe survey is an attempt to understand how children live online, Lars Jorgensen, executive director of Stairway Foundation said.

However, even half of the 1,268 children, who were asked were not being guided by their parents or teachers when using cyberspace, the survey showed that seven out of 10 young Filipinos do not engage in chatting with strangers while only three out of 10 children post personal information online.

“Cyberspace is a wonderful space however it is also a space that is full of potential danger,” Jorgensen said.

This statement was proven right when the survey results posted six out of 10,children have seen pornographic links using social media. These are mostly 7 to 12 years old while only half of the children aged 13 to 16 have seen pornographic links.

According to the survey most children believe that cyber bullying usually happens in social media with six out of 10 children aged 7 to 12 years old and eight of 10 children aged 13 to 16 years old confirming that cyber bullying usually take place in social media through photo editing, exposing one’s secret conversation, humiliation and creation of poser account.

Based on the survey two out of 10 bullies in cyberspace obviously fake profiles.

Moreover, children appeared to be more exposed in Facebook where nine out of 10 children post their selfies on the site.

The survey revealed that 60 percent of the children aged 7 to 12 would first approached their parents if a problem online arise while most of the teens aged 13 to 16 would first opt to ask their parents and before seeking advices from friends about it.

Although almost half of young Filipinos are good with letting their parents know about their activities online still Hal of them have never been guided.

Meanwhile, during the launch of the project, DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro, stressed that it will face two big challenges – children are now more advance in terms of using technology than adults while teachers, who will be a major stakeholder in this initiative, may feel threatened with the children being more familiar with the internet.

“That is why in this project, we involved the teachers. We will provide modules for teachers so that they will be the first to learn about cyber safety,” Luistro said.

DepEd believes that educating students, teachers and parents about online safety is the first step in protecting children from the risks in the internet and especially on social media.

The CyberSafe manuals aimed to guide children on the risks they face online such as cyber bullying, sexting, chatting, online privacy and pornography.

“Gusto namin na kahit wala na ang teacher at wala nang monitoring ng magulang at least alam nila kung paano mapoproteksyunan ang sarili nila (We want the children to learn how to protect themselves even without the teacher and their parents’ monitoring),” Luistro said.

Moreover, Jorgensen is confident that the project will pose a better outcome among young Filipinos’ safety and awareness in using cyberspace.

“The fact that the survey reveals that half of the kids on the internet have never been guided by anybody, it says a lot of hope. We are being aggressive in trying to help kids,” Jorgensen said.

Source: CyberSpace survey shows potential danger for children online

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