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Feb 17

OSC Announcement

Uncategorized

17 February 2021

New Australian Alliance For A Safer Online Environment

Fiji’s Online Safety Commission has recently formed an allegiance with Australia’s Office of the eSafety Commissioner to tackle the growing concern of online abuse.
Supported by the Vuvale Partnership between the two nations through Australia’s Cyber Cooperation Program, the partnership will kick off with a Commissioner-to-Commissioner conversation about online safety and its impacts between the two nations.

The Online Safety Commissioner, Anne Dunn, said “Fiji and Australia share a commitment to creating a safe and empowering online culture among our citizens. In the absence of real-time content regulation from the social media companies, Fiji has taken on the responsibility of tracking online abuse and instituting a cultural shift towards safe online environments, and we are very keen to strengthen that effort with support from the Australian office of the eSafety Commissioner.”

As the country continues to rapidly increase in accessing technology and the online world, we must also take heed of extending the Bula Spirit we offer within our borders to the online communities we are a part of.
Australia’s High Commissioner to Fiji, John Feakes, said this partnership is an example of Australia’s strong commitment to its vuvale in Fiji to work together to keep our citizens safe while connecting with the online world.
“Working together to enable a safe and inclusive online environment will ensure that everyone can benefit from the opportunities digital connectivity provides.”

The aim of this cooperation is to utilise the wealth of experience of the Office of the eSafety Commissioner in online safety and best practices in collaboration with the Online Safety Commission to deliver specific initiatives with local content to help build and nurture online safety strategies that would strengthen our responses to online abuse.

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For more information, contact (679) 9980231 or email [email protected]

Dec 10

Safer Internet Day 2021

Awareness , Social Media

Safer Internet Day is celebrated around the world to spark intentional conversation around being safe online. This event started in the UK in 2004 and continues to grow as technology expands to our everyday lives. And next year we bring it closer to home with #fijiforsaferinternet.

2020 continues to remind us that the internet is here to stay. And Fiji is no different, individuals across the islands communicate with family and friends through online apps and the internet daily, we share photos, make and edit videos, and even search for some of the best entertainment on our mobile devices.

Safer Internet Day is a call to nations, businesses, NGOs, CSOs, and individuals to create a better and safer internet for all of us by being proactive and learning about the ways we can be responsible digital citizens today.

Join the conversation today and let us know how you are helping make the internet a safer place!

#fijiforsaferinternet #saferinternetdayfiji #fijisid21

Nov 09

Scam Alert: Phishing Emails

Awareness , Tech

What is Phishing?

Phishing is a type of online attack that tries to retrieve your financial or confidential information. Usually one through email, text message, or online messages.

How does it work?

An email or message is sent to you from what looks like a bank or financial institution or even a stranger. And it will usually ask you to click on a link and enter your personal details.

It is important that you do not click onto any of the links on the email or message.

The point of a phishing attack is to gain access to your financial or confidential information.

How can I protect myself?

Vigilance is key, here are some ways to be safe and secure:

  1. Do not click on any link(s) in any email, text message, or direct message that requests you to do something to get something;
  2. Do not respond, mark it as spam and delete the content right away;
  3. Call your bank to double check your accounts; and
  4. Change your password(s) frequently and activate a two-step authentication option if available and not already done.

If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact us or your nearest police post.

Aug 12

Pacific Law Enforcement Training

Conference , Social Media

Earlier this month, the OSC joined Fiji Police in a Cyber Safety Pasifika training.

The one day seminar was officially opened by Fiji Police Force Director SSP Serupepeli Neiko and helped participants understand the safety tools available for agencies to better cater for their respective citizens.

Facebook is the world’s largest social media platform and Fijians are no stranger to using the application daily. The platform helps us connect with family and friends around the world, communicate with loved ones about our daily activities and even share our thoughts on hot topics such as politics, education and more. The recent pandemic highlighted how technology, especially social media apps have become an integral part of our everyday lives.

It is important to be aware of simple security checks and privacy check up that you as a social media user can use to make sure that you are safe online. Although there is no 100% safeguard to the ills of being online, setting up important safety checks can help.

Some routine tips to keep in mind include:

  • Changing your passwords to your accounts and not sharing them with anyone;
  • Log off your social media account when you finish using is; and
  • Being cautious of adding friends or following people you may not know offline.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Fiji Police Force

Jul 20

#Stopthespread of online bullying

Awareness , Social Media

Online bullying has some of the most devastating effects on children and teens around the globe:

  • only 38% of children admit to their parents/guardians that they have been bullied online;
  • 33% of teens say they have sent explicit photos to someone else;
  • more than 60% of children that have been harassed online have mental health issues; and
  • more than 60% of female victims feel powerless because of online bullying

On a global level we see how such online abuse effects children of all ages. Across the central division in Fiji many students have also indicate experiencing online bullying at least once this year.

Children may not want to tell you if they are being bullied but here are some signs to look out for:

  • Rapid increase or decrease in weight;
  • Severe mood swings;
  • Losing interesting in being around family and friends;
  • Not wanting to go online anymore;

These changes are often subtle but vigilance is key. And having open dialogue about online safety and responsibility with your child is important.

What can I do to help?

Remember to remain calm and have an open conversation with your child. Let them know that they are not alone. Set up screen time and allow them to only use the devices in a common area such as the living room.

Fijians value community and we can express this same value in our online communities. Social media apps like Facebook give us an opportunity to build virtually any community we like. And this starts at home, stop the spread of online bullying by talking to your children today.

Apr 02

Be Safe Online During Covid-19

Awareness , Social Media

Be Safe Online During Covid-19

Now more than ever, most of us are staying connected online as a result of physical distancing from family, friends, colleagues and networks.

While the internet is a great way to keep in touch with family and friends, work from home, explore new online hobbies, or be entertained; it also has some risks.

Here are some tips for being safe online during covid-19:

  1. Be aware of who you are interacting with online;
  2. Maintain strong passwords and consider changing your password if you haven’t done so in the past three months;
  3. Stay alert for scams that may arise;
  4. Monitor your screen time so that you can also share quality time with those in your home; and
  5. Remember to verify any news about the virus, curfew hours or allowed activities during the lock down period with other notable sources such as WHO and the Ministry of Health.

In the meantime, remember to wash your hands thoroughly, stay at home and stay physically distanced.

Oct 10

World Mental Health Day 2019

Awareness

It’s World Mental Health Day today! And it is also Fiji day which makes this is a great opportunity for you to check in on your family members.

October 10th is not just any regular day for Fiji and this year we celebrate our 49th year of independence.

We also take a moment to commemorate the importance of mental health. You can use the hashtag #LetsTalk to be a part of a global dialogue today. The theme of the day is “suicide prevention”. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that every 40 seconds, someone completes suicide. The organisation also said “…many children and young people engage in this kind of behavior as a result of violence, sexual abuse, bullying and cyberbullying.”

Last year a new study in the United Kingdom found that online bullying makes young people more than twice as likely to self harm or attempt suicide. According to Lifeline Fiji it is estimated that every 36 hours a Fijian attempts suicide.

These are stark realities show that online abuse has a far reach into our own personal worlds. Let us stand together this Fiji Day for the wellbeing of our mental health. One of the easiest ways to do that is to be safe and responsible when using online platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.

Simple acts like limiting your social media time or eating well can all help to improve your mental health. During this Fiji Day celebration, join the conversation with your family and friends and #LetsTalk.

Oct 02

Pacific Online Safety Workshop

Conference , Social Media

Increased access to technology across our communities has given Fijians the opportunity to engage with online platforms such as social media more and more. With this, comes the reality of developing online safety habits that would help us build and cultivate a safe online culture for all Fijians.

Last month, the OSC along with delegates from Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu attended an online safety workshop hosted by Australia’s Office of the eSafety Commissioner and New Zealand’s Netsafe NZ to glean from the expertise and experiences of our neighboring countries. The workshop included learning Australia’s approach to tackling online bullying, image based abuse and other prohibited content from representatives from the Office of the eSafety Commissioner, the Australian Federal Police and their Attorney-General’s Department.

With the support of Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and their Cyber Cooperation Program, attending the workshop coincided with being an attendee at the 2019 eSafety Conference where global participants shared great insights into online safety practices and ways to look forward to develop the “online world we want”, as rightfully themed.

Credit: DFAT Australia

Photo Credit: DFAT Australia

 

 

Sep 27

FNU Online Safety Awareness

Awareness , Social Media

Recently, the Fiji National University (FNU)  and the Commission organized an awareness campaign around the country for online safety. Last month, the Commission took part in the campaign by speaking to students at different campuses about the Online Safety Commission.

The Commission visited FNU campuses in the central, western and eastern divisions. During the visitation students had the opportunity to discuss their concerns regarding online safety, learn more about the Commission and develop ideas around maintaining safe online behaviors among their peers.

The space provided students, staff and the OSC a change to engage in dialogue on different online trends they noticed on their campus. This included what some considered a rise in online bullying, the need for greater awareness on how to be safe online, developing context definitions of online abuse, positive use of online platforms.

The awareness program brought clarity to the role of the Commission and developed insight into how students from one of Fiji’s leading universities relate to online safety.

Jul 03

IDADAIT 2019

Awareness , Social Media

IDADAIT is the International Day Against Drug Abuse & Illicit Trafficking. It is usually marked on the 26th of June as a day to bring awareness to such abuse. One of the ways Fiji participates in this global awareness is through the Substance Abuse Advisory Council of Fiji (SAAC) through the Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts.

In recent years, SAAC has expanded the scope of its week long program to include social topics such as domestic violence, healthy lifestyles, and internet safety.

This year, the Commission partnered with SAAC to raise awareness for online safety. The theme for IDADAIT 2019 was “Healthy child, Proactive family, Safer school, Better Fiji”. There was a program developed for schools to participate in each day of the week to address the different social topics. The program included assigning Thursday as the day for “Internet and Social Media Awareness”.

On the assigned day, the Commission and various stakeholders went to high schools around the central division to share insight on different ways students can be safe online. This included giving short speeches, making presentations and having one on one conversations with students and teachers.

The awareness program provided a space for the Commission to engage with students, talk about online safety and promote proactive steps towards creating a safer online community for all Fijians.

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