Safer Internet Day 2017: on the front line against cyberbullying and sexting

From one screen to another. Smartphones and tablets seem to have now overtaken the television in the scale of preferences of young and very young Italians. As emerges from the recent report of the Osservatorio Nazionale Adolescenza (National Observatory for Adolescents), in fact, 5 out of 10 adolescents say they spend from 3 to 6 extracurricular hours with a smartphone in their hands.

A trend that inevitably has consequences, not always positive. In its report for 2016, the National Observatory on Adolescence points out that the increased use of smartphones encourages behaviors such as cyberbullying, sexting and the exchange of images and other private material on the Web. Thus, the cases of cyberbullying in Italy in 2016 increased by 8% compared to the previous year, while the exchange of hot images takes place always earlier, in an age between 11 and 12 years (and 25% of adolescents admit to having practiced sexting).

Institutions in the forefront against cyberbullying and sexting

To deal with the problem, which is increasingly assuming the dimensions of a social phenomenon, institutions have fielded several initiatives. The Parliament, for example, is about to pass a law that toughens the penalties for the authors of acts of digital bullying. From the association Soccorso Rosa Onlus, on the other hand, comes the ebook Bullo mi hai rotto, which helps to identify attitudes that lead to bullying and take action before the person targeted becomes a victim. In short, useful advice for young people to defend themselves at school and within the group of friends. Tips also come from the State Police who, in a post on the Facebook profile "A life of social", warns young people of any abuse made by peers or older boys and teaches how to defend themselves from misbehavior.

Safer Internet Day tips against cyberbullying and sexting

Be the change: unite for a better Internet ("Become the change: unite for a better Internet"). With this slogan, the organizers of Safer Internet Day 2017 wanted to highlight their commitment to the fight against cyberbullying and sexting. A commitment that materializes, on the Italian portal dedicated to the initiative, in a series of tips aimed at children and parents against abnormal behavior that can be recorded on the Net. The SID is an annual initiative conceived by the European Union and organized by INSAFE-INHOPE network, with the support of the European Commission, and aims to promote the culture of computer security and the conscious use of the web especially among young people.

(taken from YouTube)

With a clear and direct language, and leveraging a webseries dedicated to young people, the curators of the project "Generazioni Conconne" help young victims of cyberbullying to recognize the harassing actions and provide advice on how to behave. First and foremost, never feel guilty, but keep track and talk to someone you trust. Ignoring bullies, on the other hand, will neutralize their actions. Parents, on the other hand, will find a detailed explanation of what bullying is, how to recognize it and how to support kids to counter it.

(taken from YouTube)

Similar discussion for sexting. In the section dedicated to parents, the editors of Generazioni Connesse list tips that can help parents cope with the emergency but, more importantly, avoid it. In the section dedicated to boys and girls, on the other hand, they explain the risks of sharing with others photos in equivocal attitudes or while posing nude and how to behave in the event that a mistake is made and someone tries to take advantage of it. There are also two simple rules: don't share pictures of yourself without your clothes on and, if you do receive such pictures, break the "chain" and don't send them to any contact.

Italiaonline and Computer Security

Italiaonline, as the country's leading internet company, whose assets include Libero Mail with over 8 million active accounts, has always been in tune with the principles of Safer Internet Day and its email security standards are in line with the best in the world.

At the authentication level, Libero Mail was the first in Italy to develop the Secure Password service, which allows you to protect your account by double-checking the mailbox password and a verification code sent to the user via SMS: this is particularly important when accessing the account from a device or location that are not the user's usual ones.

With the Secure Password service, Libero Mail users can among other options set their computer as trustworthy, activate backup codes if the email is accessed from an unknown device, or even change the mobile number to which they receive SMS messages. In addition, Secure Password is also active for Libero Mail app, the application of Libero Mail that has exceeded 2.5 million downloads. A multimedia campaign is being developed on Secure Password, to further raise awareness among emailers about the importance of certain online behaviors that can put their password security at risk.

About Libero Mail's anti-spam systems, Italiaonline is leveraging the expertise of Cloudmark, a global leader in carrier-grade security, sender reputation and messaging infrastructure solutions. In particular, Libero Mail adopts three important technologies developed by Cloudmark to stop malicious traffic before it reaches the end user: Cloudmark Sender Intelligence reputation services, to enable the blocking and restriction of malicious emails through platforms that observe risky traffic; Cloudmark Authority, a content filtering using patented Advanced Message Fingerprinting algorithms, which can identify even variations in spam messages as belonging to the same threat and then block them; and the Cloudmark Security platform. Both Cloudmark Sender Intelligence and Cloudmark Authority are powered by data from Cloudmark's Global Threat Network, the largest commercially available messaging threat collection and assessment system in the world.

Italiaonline has also partnered with data solutions provider Return Path for over a year, implementing - first in Italy - a DMARC record (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance) for further protection against email fraud. By adopting the certification program of Return Path, Italiaonline has introduced the Feedback Loop feature provided by the provider to enable senders to be informed in case of complaint.

"Libero has always been characterized by technological innovation and service to users, especially email users, which is a strategic asset for us. Security is therefore essential to continue to be the most popular Italian email," commented Domenico Pascuzzi, National Marketing Director of Italiaonline. "In addition to the high protection systems we have in place, it is important to create a culture of information security: this is what we are doing with Libero Tecnologia. Among the most appreciated contents there are also those dedicated to security, which we propose with clarity, so that Libero and security is a recognized binomial".

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