About 200 cases of Internet abuse reported

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About 250 calls were received on Helpline.sigur.info hotline over May-July, with 75 percent of them having proved to be real, as they signalled harassment and abuse on the Internet by verbal aggression, slander or personal data theft, the Save the Children organisation announced on Thursday.

‘According to the last Eurostat survey, the total number of Romanian Internet users is put at some 8 million. Since this is an area in which children and teenagers have more knowledge than their parents, we believe it is fundamental to inform them about the dangers existing in the virtual area and to prevent possible abuse.

We want to avoid the occurrence of serious cases in Romania, such as child abuse by the paedophiles’, organisation executive president Gabriela Alexandrescu said.

According to the reported cases, verbal abuse and slander prevail among the teenagers aged between 14 and 17, by means of messenger and e-mail, with the victims being mostly girls.

The main causes are various personal conflicts between the involved sides such as failed relations or revenge. The personal data theft takes place by taking over photos or phone numbers from the social networks and posting them on other Web sites against a damaging background.

Another danger facing the children who go online are the Web sites inciting violence, racial hatred or discrimination or pornographic sites. They also run the risk of getting in contact with abusers, whom the children meet in chat rooms or by exchanges messages and who may exploit a child’s naivety.

Those who called Helpline.sigur.info got information from the hotline operators relating the ways in which they can take action and the methods to protect themselves against such dangers.

The Save the Children NGO announced it had forged a new partnership with Kaspersky Lab, one of the world’s leading IT security solution producers, as part of Sigur.Info programme.

Sigur.Info is part of Safer Internet Plus, which is a programme backed by the European Commission aimed at promoting the highly safe use of the Internet and the new information and communication technologies by children.

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