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Aug 05

Online Safety Champions Pilot

Awareness , OSC News

A pilot programme to help us stay safe and secure online.

The Commission embarked on an online safety champions programme to help community members, parents, advocates and university students learn more about how they could be safe online during this lockdown period.

We can all feel how quickly we had to adapt to our “new normal” after the April wave of this pandemic. Many of us find ourselves working from home, helping our children with their online learning, and even picking up some new dance moves through these Tik Tok videos.

And it’s all fun and exciting but there are some things that seem to make us wonder about how safe we really are on these digital platforms. That is what this seven week programme was all about. Introducing participants to various topics such as image based abuse, gaming online, abhorrent content, keeping our children safe online and much more.

Throughout the programme, participants had the opportunity to engage with the Commission more effectively, meeting virtually once a week to learn or explore various topics, discuss their experiences, share information on the OSC Facebook page, and learn how to report to the OSC.

Sign up today to join the Online Safety Community and find our how you too can be an online safety champion!

Jul 16

Fake news

Online Safety Tips , Social Media

We read about it, we share it, we talk about it, news is everywhere around us.

And technology helps us get the latest information right in the palm of our hands. But we have to remember that some information may not be true, accurate, or even real.

How can you tell the difference between real news and fake news?

Check out our top tips below for what to look for when looking for real or true information.

May 21

Digital Citizen

Online Safety Tips , Young People

Did you know?

That you are a digital citizen, using the internet regularly and effectively makes you a citizen of this digital space. And we are so glad that you could help bring Fiji's Bula Spirit to this space!

So how can you be a good digital citizen? Check out these few easy tips:

  1. Have a strong password. How do you know if it's strong? It's more than 8 characters. It's using lower and upper case letters. It has number and even symbols like @. But make sure that you don't write it down because other people might find it.
  2. Stranger danger. Keep a look out for profiles that are not who they claim to be. Having lots of friends is great and being a good digital citizen means knowing who you friends are both online and offline. So double check no matter what.
  3. Skip the unknown links. Scams and hackers sometimes send links saying things like "this looks like you" or "I thought this was you", don't click on it. It is not you, it's a scam. Remove and delete it immediately. Even if it is coming from someone you talk to online regularly. 

You, your friends and your family can be good digital citizens today. Bring your Bula Spirit with you on your digital profiles. Fiji is for safer internet, and you can do your part by being a good digital citizen right now!

May 13

Keep Our Children Safe Online

Online Safety Tips , Parents , Young People

During this lockdown period, we urge parents and anyone living with child and teens who have access to technology to take a look at some of quick online safety tips:

  1. Get engaged: For those in the Suva - Nausori corridor, the four day lockdown is a great time to do online activities with your children and teens;
  2. Set up screen time: Yes, we have all this time at home, but we don’t have to spend all that time online or on our screens. Whether you have an apple device or android you can limit the time someone spends on any particular app. To find out how, click here.
  3. Talk to your children & teens: A great way to find our what’s happening in your child’s online world is simply by talking to them. Ask questions, talk about how technology has changed from when you were child, have an opportunity to listen to their stories about what they found out.

While technology may not be new, engaging on online platforms is a reality that our children and teens are more advanced with which sometimes can leave us as parents a little out of touch.

Take this time to get to know your children and teenagers through the lens of the digital spaces they’re engaged in. While it may be new to you, it’s most likely something they’ve grown up with, and as a parent or guardian you can still help protect our young online.

May 10

Fiji and Australia Sharing Insights

Activity , Awareness

In the spirit of the Vuvale partnership Fiji’s Online Safety Commission (OSC) and Australia’s Office of the eSafety Commissioner (OESC) have been working together in having lead roles in the online safety space in the Pacific.

In this video, Australia’s eSafety Commissioner, Julie Inman Grant, and Fiji’s Online Safety Commissioner, Anne Dunn-Baleilevuka, had a vibrant online discussion on the partnership and online safety in general.

The Partnership is rooted on information sharing, research in the realm of online abuse and online safety materials thus paving the way in regulating the different online spaces and ultimately providing redress for online abuse for our citizens.

It is encouraging to see women taking leading roles in keeping our online space safe in a time where there is a rapid shift towards “being online.”

The Commissioner to Commissioner talk is a testament of this initiative from both the organizations through their respective Governments with the discussion ranging from producing online safety material in the different languages reflecting the multilingual nations and contextualizing online safety content specific to the two countries.

The Australian Commissioner Julie Inman Grant also address the issue of online bullying and how extensive its impact on mental health. Fiji’s Commissioner Anne Dunn-Baleilevuka stressed further how online bullying disseminated from the school setting well into early hours of the morning which could be devastating to a child. As pioneers into the field of online safety the lessons learnt would be the stepping stones for other nations as a way forward.

The spirit of Vuvale was emanating from the lively discussion thus strengthening the ties and ensuring that the respective organizations are adamant to work to better their nations as they move towards cultivating a safer, more inclusive, more respectful online experience. In the words of Julie Inman Grant (Commissioner OESC) “my home is your home.” Let’s all be safe online.

Apr 30

Domestic Violence

Online Safety Tips , Women

Our “Bula Spirit” has a way of finding good in the bad or finding something to smile about amidst a grim situation.

With the current lockdown period in the central division and containment areas around the country, it seems some of our Bula Spirit is struggling to be brought onto out online spaces.

A rise in online abuse reports and physical violence against women over the recent weeks attest to some of us dealing with unsafe homes.

While some welcome estranged family members back home, some may be finding this time more difficult than others.

While some working mums are excited to spend more quality time with their children, some are fighting to protect their children in their own homes.

Domestic and family violence is never one dimensional and technology advancements add another element to the mix.

Here are a few ways to stay safe online even during this lockdown period and please remember if you are in immediate danger, call 917 :

1. Change your password frequently on your social media profiles;
2. If a message is still in your message request folder, do not respond;
3. Call 1560 to speak to someone today.

Apr 20

Misinformation & Scams

Online Safety Tips , Parents , Young People

Covid-19 has given notable rise to information sharing on public online platforms such as social media. Many of us tune in for the live press conference held by the Ministry of Health on Facebook daily. And even with these live updates, rumours and unverified information make it to our newsfeeds quicker than we would like. So how can you keep an eye out for information that is more accurate? Here are a few tips to help you and your children be safer online:

1. For the latest Covid-19 information from Government check out
2. Check reliable sources: On Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, look for the blue checkmark next to the page name like the Fijian Government page, Online Safety Commission page, and much more.
3. Verify the information: Look at whether other notable sources are sharing similar information. Don’t just trust one source of information.
4. Critically evaluate the information and consider whether it is true, false, fake, unverified and do not share immediately unless you have verified the information.

It is very important to talk to your children during this time about the information they may come across online. Teach them how to critically evaluate information they come across online. And make sure not to forward or share information that is not verified by notable sources such as the Fijian Government or World Health Organisation.

Feb 17

New Regional Partner

Awareness , OSC News

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.

End

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

Nov 09

Scam Alert: Phishing Emails

Alert , Online Safety Tips , Scams

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

Activity , Awareness

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

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