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Focus on PARE, the internet safety initiative

Focus on PARE, the internet safety initiative

9 days ago | by: David Kodjani

PARE ( Protected, Alerted, Empowered, Educated) is an awareness and information campaign for users of Beninese cyberspace and child protection online.

Supported by the government, this initiative raises awareness among young people and parents on


  • the proper use of Internet tools and possible threats such as exposure to offensive content, 

  • the dangers of uninformed use of social networks, 

  • online gambling by minors, 

  • malicious software, 

  • phishing, 

  • fake news and scams of all kinds. 


PARE works to ensure that young people and parents can enjoy the benefits of the Internet safely. 


Youth need guidance and support in the safe use of the Internet. Parents have a major role to play, both as educators and as prime targets for cybercriminal activity.


To achieve the objectives of this awareness campaign, the agents will focus on 3 main themes: child protection online, personal digital security in the face of the dangers of cyberspace and scams of all kinds.


Parental control


Regardless of age, many young people nowadays use digital devices very frequently. They connect to the Internet via these devices and use it differently depending on their age group.


However, the use of the Internet is not without risks for young people, and this can be a concern for parents. Every parent wants their child to be able to enjoy the trends of their generation without coming across content that is inappropriate for their age.


Parental control is a monitoring system put in place by parents to control their child's use of Internet-connected devices. It helps reduce the risk of children discovering or coming across inappropriate content.


To perform parental controls, it is necessary to have software installed on the child's device. This software can block the installation of certain types of unwanted applications and software.



Read also - Togo / ATBEF: Adolescent Sex Education Project



Phishing


Phishing is one of the most recurrent dangers on the Internet. It is a fraudulent technique that consists of using social engineering to deceive victims. 


These victims are unaware of the danger that surrounds them, and disclose sensitive information such as credit card numbers, passwords for various accounts, and even personal information relating to the identity of the victim. 


To protect yourself from this practice, you must be careful to guard your personal information and not disclose it to just anyone. This means carefully examining where the e-mails come from, checking if possible that the person you are addressing is indeed trustworthy, or using software such as anti-spam. Beware of messages with an anxious tone, links and/or suspicious attachments.


In practice, you should never click on links with unknown content, only access HTTPS sites, check the security certificates of the sites, and only open emails from contacts you know.


Sextortion


Sextortion, also known as sexual blackmail, is a blackmail technique that consists of threatening the victim with the sharing or publishing of sensitive and intimate content if the victim does not follow the instructions of the perpetrator. In the case of sextortion, the extortionist is able to demand even more intimate content from the victim. 


The blackmailer may also demand a sum of money by threatening the victim with sharing their personal sexual content.


The victims have a typical profile: teenagers. The extortionist preys on victims who may not have the maturity to respond appropriately, making them more likely to respond to the blackmailer's demands. However, this does not mean that an adult cannot be victimized. 


There are many ways to resist this attack. The first step is for anyone who is threatened to stop communicating with the blackmailer. Also, do not respond to the extortionist's requests. The next step is simple: keep the evidence of the event, and then tell an adult or the appropriate authorities such as the police.


However, the best solution is prevention. The golden rule to avoid sextortion is to never share or post sensitive content on social networks or other communication media. 

Avoiding communication with people you don't know; using strong passwords to protect your information; blocking strange accounts and requests; hiding your webcam; and learning about modern internet threats are all effective practices to prevent this serious crime from reaching you.


In summary, the Internet is a fabulous tool but you should always be very careful when using it. 


Translated by Koboyo KANABIA