"Safer Internet Program" launched in Yerevan

"Safer Internet" month-long program launched today at the Yerevan school named after Chekhov. This year celebrations are taking in more than 60 countries on all 5 continents across the world, including all 27 countries of the European Union. Safer Internet Day 2010 celebrates the theme "Think B4 U Post". Since 2004 European INSAFE network advocated safe and responsible usage of Internet and mobile technologies, empowering users to benefit from the positive aspects of internet whilst avoiding the potential risks.

In the frame of the Safer Internet program Media Education Center in partnership with Microsoft Armenia, World Vision and Internet Society of Armenia will hold a series of seminars and public discussions. Safer Internet Program is aimed at raising public awareness about safe and responsible usage of the Internet and fighting illegal content. According to coordinator of the Safer Internet program in Armenia, Narine Khachatryan, born in an information revolution era this highway of knowledge provides unprecedented and unlimited possibilities for study and research. At the same time, the global communication network, where everyone has access, hides multiple threats especially for children and youth.

The laws in virtual networks are similar to the norms of behavior in real life, Microsoft Armenia director Grigor Barseghyan said. And therefore, adherence to these standards can help to effectively use Internet resources.

According to the director of Media Education Center Haykaz Baghyan, a new website www.saferinternet.nt.am was developed with links to and a collection of teaching and learning resources devoted to e-safety and social networking. The web-site contains sections on blogs, chat rooms, social networks, file-sharing and filtering. Armenian users can read about Internet-related risks, such as cyber-bulling, fishing, farming, Internet fraud and identity theft. It contains useful tips to parents, children, teenagers and teachers on safer and more responsible behavior on the web. Media education Center examined more than 10 000 web- sites and created “Internet safety zone” containing 3 000 links to educational sites.

The Safer Internet monthly program is timed to the World Safer Internet Day, celebrated on the first Tuesday since February 2004 by INSAFE with support of the European Commission. Expanding from year to year, this initiative brings together people to fight against illegal, harmful and obscene online content.

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