A four-year study on bullying (2007) found that 15 percent of the 11,227 children surveyed had received nasty or aggressive texts and emails, and demonstrated an annual increase in the number of children who are being bullied using new technology. (The study was conducted by Nathalie Noret of York St. John's University College and Ian Rivers of Queen Margaret University College, Belfast.)
This rise in bullying among children and adolescents through interactive technologies (online games, emails, Internet forums, text messaging, mobile and other electronic devices) has necessitated a push for social awareness about the problem. Commonly known as "Cyber-Bullying," this harassment includes the likes of online death threats, sending viruses, illegal entries into accounts of others and/or attempts to humiliate or ridicule someone in front of others in the network.
Optenet's WebFilter PC helps parents monitor their children's Web browsing activity at home and avoid cases of online harassment. To receive a free one-year license of Optenet's WebFilter PC visit http://www.optenet.com/en-gb/. Safer Internet Day 2009 is coordinated nationally by the UK's Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre and aims to raise awareness of online safety issues. The event is held in conjunction with Insafe, the European Safer Internet awareness-raising network which is co-funded by the European Commission. In the last year, more than 120 organizations from 56 countries took part in events ranging from sessions on safety in schools, juvenile competitions, meetings and conferences.
"There are many resources out there aimed at helping young people stay safe online " software and other tools which can feel reassuring. But none of these will help unless people take notice of what the threat really is. This is where CEOP comes in, providing information on what children are actually doing online and how offenders are using online environments to target young victims," said Jim Gamble, chief executive of the CEOP Centre.
Optenet's free WebFilter PC is one step towards protecting children online, in conjunction with awareness and education of the problem itself. To take advantage of a year of free Web filtering, users must simply download and install the tool from the Optenet Web site: www.optenet.com. Optenet is firmly committed to the protection of minors on the Internet and cooperates with and supports the efforts of the European Commission, as evidenced by its collaboration with CEOP in the UK and NGO Protegeles in Spain, where it sponsors all campaigns promoted by Protegeles to combat child abuse images on the Web.
According to Ana Luisa Rotta, European projects director for Optenet, "Parents have the responsibility to oversee the practices of their children on the Web, to detect suspicious behavior and intercede. Optenet's WebFilter makes this task easier as it allows parents to monitor Internet browsing, preserve critical personal information and create flexible rules to ensure responsible use of the Web."