Many countries around the world continue to face the ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic that began around this same time last year. While its impact did not come into full effect until earlier this year, the shift it made for everyone to explore the internet and online platforms are clearly apparent. Businesses, schools, and even personal activities were communicated online more than any other time in our history. With connectivity around Fiji continuing to grow, the demand for online users to be safe and vigilant also grows. We urge you to be safe when interacting online. Be cautious about engaging with individuals that you may not know offline. Make sure to double check news about the virus with notable resources such as the World Health Organization. And report online abuse because a safer online journey begins with you.
Interpol's 2019 international child sexual exploitation database recorded more than 3,800 identified victims and more than 10,000 identified offenders. What does this mean for Fijians? It means that we must work together to protect our children from these online exploits. With the evolving trend of simply giving our mobile devices to our children and teenagers and continuing with our daily work, the deceptive yet subtle implications of the online world can lead to drastic and lasting effects While the covid-19 pandemic gives a rise to children accessing online platforms for education, entertainment and much more. We encourage parents to take heed of parental safety tips that can help protect our children online. Educators are also urged to familiarise themselves with their duties as frontline workers in continuing to shape the minds of our future.
Intimate images, explicit content, and other abusive digital communication are surfacing all across the internet in Fiji. While this is not new, it is vital for you, your family and your communities to be vigilant online. If you receive a image or video that was not intended for you, do not share it, do not forward it to someone else, delete it and report the content if you can. Let the person who sent it to you know that it is not appropriate. Start conversations in your home and communities around responsible online behaviour such as not accepting friend requests of online profile that you are not sure about or have never met offline. Being safe online is a collective effort that requires, parents, guardians, institutions and businesses to be socially responsible for how we engage on the internet.
In efforts to promote online safety, the Commission works to raise digital literacy and empowering Fijians to use the internet and online platforms safely and responsibly through community awareness programs, secondary school and university online safety sessions, and collaborating with stakeholders.
The Internet is basically a global system that is used to connect us and together we can help make it a better place.
That if you are on social media platforms and you come across content you don't think should be online, you can protect your online space by reporting the post, comment, tweet, picture or video directly on the platform! Check out these links below to learn more about how you can protect your digital space today!