UK, May 1, 2013: Children aged two or younger are being allowed to use the internet, while many youngsters are spending much longer online than their parents realise, a new poll suggests. The Netmums survey questioned around 1,100 parents and about 825 children aged seven to 16. The findings show that three quarters (72.8%) of parents believe that their child spends under an hour a day online. But an analysis of the children’s poll suggested that on average, youngsters are spending two hours each day on the internet. The poll found that almost one in four (24.8%) have been bullied, 43.9% have pretended to be older to get an account on a particular site, 12.4% have received a sex text from other people, while 6% said they have sent sex texts, and 7.1% have met up with a stranger they met over the internet. The survey also revealed that almost four in five children (79.8%) have seen images or information about eating disorders and self harm on the internet, and over two in five (42.1%) admit that they have seen online porn. In many cases, children accidentally accessed this inappropriate content, but almost one in 10 (9.4%) revealed they found it on purpose because they were looking for it, while a further 18.1% found it by following links they were curious about.
USA, May 1, 2013: Culpeper County, Virginia announced today that Smart911 is now available to all citizens for free to enhance 9-1-1 emergency services. Smart911 enables citizens to create a Safety Profile online that can include any information about their household that they want 9-1-1 to have in an emergency. When an emergency call is made, their profile is immediately delivered to the 9-1-1 call-taker, resulting in far greater emergency response effectiveness and saved lives.
Canada, May 1, 2013: In order to increase public awareness of this growing problem, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, in partnership with CIBC, has declared May 1st as Belonging: National Day to End Bullying. In a show of government support, Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety, said: “Our Government recognizes that bullying is a serious concern for many Canadian families and communities. Through our Government’s investments in the National Crime Prevention Centre and education and awareness-raising activities, we are taking steps to address the problems of cyberbullying and bullying. On May 1st, I encourage Canadians to get informed and to speak out against bullying, so that together we can protect our young people.”
USA, May 4, 2013: The Cyber Bully Abuser Checklist (CBAC) is a 75-item education, assessment and data collection tool designed for parents, teachers, educators and pediatric professionals on a pre-pubescent, adolescent or young adult’s vulnerability and risk potential of being a cyber bully and/or engaging in cyber victimization of others. Designed by Michael Nuccitelli, a licensed psychologist and certified forensic consultant, the goal of the CBAC is to investigate and educate children on their vulnerability and risk potential of engaging in teasing, taunting, harassment and disparagement other children using technology. The CBAC has also been designed to allow teachers, educators and paediatric professionals to interview, collect data and engage in a dialogue with children on their Information and Communications Technology (ICT) practices.
USA, May 5, 2013: Results from the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey of 15,425 public and private high school students showed that one in six high school students (16.2%) has been electronically bullied within the past 12 months. Girls were more than twice as likely to report being a victim of cyberbullying than boys (22.1% vs 10.8%) and whites reported being the victim of cyberbullying more than twice as frequently as blacks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducts the survey on a nationally representative sample of high school students every two years to monitor six types of health-risk behaviors that contribute to the leading causes of death, disability and social problems among U.S. youths.
Canada, May 6, 2013: Signy Arnason, the director of cybertip.ca said her organization gets about two reports every month over concerns about children being approached through online gaming. Arnason said the number of video game-related concerns reported to the tip line doesn’t necessarily reflect the extent of the issue because the reports only come as parents become aware of problems with their kids. Cybertip.ca’s mandate is to protect children from online sexual exploitation by receiving and analyzing tips from the public about potentially illegal material and referring any relevant leads to the appropriate law enforcement agency and/or child welfare agency. The Vancouver police department receives from five to 10 complaints every year regarding attempts to contact children through a game console system. VPD spokesman Const. Brian Montague said: “There has never been one that we’re aware of where there has been a successful contact been between a predator and a victim; there has never been a meeting.”
USA, May 6, 2013: Websites and mobile apps directed to kids under 13 won’t get any extra wiggle room to come into compliance with new digital privacy regulations. The Federal Trade Commission voted unanimously to keep the July 1 implementation date for the updated Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule. The IAB said the FTC’s decision would be more than a disappointment for hundreds of stations impacted by the changed COPPA rules: “Companies now have less than three months from the FTC’s release of the FAQs to understand [and implement] the new rule. For many small businesses, this will be too much to bear, and the few quality children’s sites and services that exist today will suffer as a result.”