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Update: GMA 7 embraced our advocacy and launched   “think before you click” campaign

Europe has Safer Internet Day, the US has National Cyber Security Awareness month, and early this year Singapore held a National Cyber Wellness Campaign.

And in the Philippines? Such a concerted effort remains a dream, but hoping this can be realized one day.

Recently, our PNP CIDG has confirmed an increase of crimes involving use of Facebook this year:

The CIDG said it received 25 complaints involving the use of Facebook between January 1 and June 14 this year. In comparison, the agency received 26 cases involving Facebook for the entire year of 2010.

Of the cases involving Facebook this year, 6 were estafa; 6 were libel; 3 each for harassment and hacking; 5 cases of identity theft and fake accounts; and 2 cases of pornography.

And more wrong doings resulting from direct or indirect use of social web could have been committed but remained unreported.

Given these, what have we done as a nation to address the situation? For one, the Philippine Digital Strategy is a good start. But aside from tapping the value adding effect of social web, the country needed a collective and synergized campaign from both the government and private sector to ensure our citizens are protected from online risks.

The Government, among many others, should ensure the following:

  • Passing of the all inclusive national cyber crime law
  • Integration of Cyber wellness in the curriculum as early as elementary education.
  • LGUs to pass an ordinance to ensure internet cafe’s
    • age appropriate games are applied
    • partnership with public schools for research work
    • posting of poster size warning of online risks, and preventive practices
  • Observance of a cyber wellness day, week or month to give emphasis of the safety tips.

The private sector, on the other hand, can do it’s part:

  • Media- use the tool at their disposal to educate it’s readers, listeners and viewers
  • Private corporations- incorporate cyber wellness in in their employee programs and support, thru their CSR, a cyber wellness campaign.
  • Academe-
    • set-up an anti cyber bullying policy and program
    • roll out a cyber wellness awareness for parents, teachers and nannies

And the most important contributor for the success of a cyber wellness campaign are us, the online users. We should take extra precaution and use social web responsibly. Responsible use of social web does not only entail protecting our selves, but respecting other users too. And for parents, we should take responsibility in educating our household, not only our kids, but our nannies too.

Pending the realization of our dream, we will continue to do our part in educating Filipinos. We have started and pioneered this campaign last year, and at the end of 1st season, we have conducted a total of  20 seminars across the country. This year, at the start of 2nd season, we were given opportunity to further spread cyber wellness campaign by  guesting at Unang Hirit and Reporter’s Notebook. Likewise, we are looking forward for my talk before employees of Commission of Appointments, seminar at Montessori, launching of Watcha Webtrap! Corporate edition, and a planned Cebu trip.

Someone asked why it appears that I am doing this single handedly. I have reached to the government and private sectors in various ways but our actions will not be defined by support or lack thereof by other people or groups. I believe that advocacy starts from your circle of influence and from there, keep the circle growing. Success is not defined by the “big splash” an advocacy may have created, but when citizens in general have heeded the warning, behaved smartly and influence other groups too.  But we are not doing this singlehandedly, we have friends that support the advocacy without expecting anything in return.

There is a real  need to educate our netizens, aside from what I have mentioned, what are the things that can still be done?

Shameless plugging:

On July 13, 2011, we will launch the corporate edition of Watcha Webtrap!: Setting up a cyber wellness program for your organization.

  • Go HERE to get details of the seminar or download the registration form
  • Send us the registration form at seminars[at]wsph[dot]biz
  • And call us at 994-8520