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EU Agency ENISA Launches Report on Cyber-Bullying & Online Grooming: 18 Protective Recommendations Against Key Risks

November 7, 2011

BRUSSELS and HERAKLION, Greece, November 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ –

The EU Agency ENISA, the (European Network and Information Security
Agency) has launched a report on cyber bullying and online grooming
(preparing sexual abuse); warning that misuse of data (data mining and
profiling) harms minors. The report identifies the top emerging risks and
makes 18 non-technical recommendations for their mitigation. One key
recommendation is to strengthen Member State’s law enforcement agencies.
Other recommendations point to safeguards adapted to the needs of youth’s
cyber activities.

Digital devices and the internet now play a significant role in
children’s lives. Today’s young people live their online lives in both
private and educational settings. This is an environment radically different
from that of their parents, in their childhoods. Risks in a child’s online
environment can be detrimental to their physical activities and social
skills, argues the ENISA Expert Group on Internet risks.

The Executive Director of ENISA, Prof. Udo Helmbrecht comments
[http://www.enisa.europa.eu/about-enisa/structure-organization/executive-director ]
: “Our children run the risk of becoming victims of online grooming
and cyber bullying; therefore actions are needed to protect teenagers’ cyber
activities.”

The report details a scenario of 13-year old Kristie’s changed
behaviour, poor grades and negative attitudes due to abuse in her online
life. Many parents lose control, as they lack knowledge and tools to support
their children, the report argues. The Agency thus issues 18 recommendations
to mitigate identified risks. Among the key recommendations are:

Strengthening of law enforcement agencies by the Member States:
additional knowledge and resources is important. This additional strength is
needed to properly cover regulatory issues, statistical data collection of
misuse cases, and follow up on privacy breaches.

Civil society and social partners need knowledge sources regarding the
use of Internet and online services. Furthermore, sponsored online campaigns
to prevent grooming/cyber bullying should take place in social networks.

Parents/guardians/educators need better technological skills to overcome
the knowledge gap between adults and teenagers.

For teenagers, the mitigation measures for the identified risks include:

        - Use of specialised teenager security settings, and
          adaptation of existing ones to teenager needs
        - Privacy impact assessment for applications processing teenager's
          data
        - Development of mechanisms to allow deactivation of all active
          (online) components
        - Age oriented access control mechanisms
        - Among the top risks for teenagers, out of a total of 13
          identified, are: suffering serious loss of physical or mental health;
          irreversibly exposing important personal information online;
          discrimination based on your online behaviour, and misuse of personal
          data.

For full report,
[http://www.enisa.europa.eu/act/rm/emerging-and-future-risk/deliverables/Cyber-Bullying and Online Grooming ]
including all risks and recommendations to
different target audiences.

SOURCE ENISA – European Network and Information Security Agency


Source: PR Newswire