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Marking the Safer Internet Day

This year, on the occasion of the Safer Internet Day, an event was organized in the EU Info Centre and several expert presenters familiarized the heterogeneous audience with the methods for making the internet a safer place.

The event was organized as a panel discussion in two sessions. During the first session, 4 presenters held their presentations: Patrick Paquet from the European Union Mission, Irina Shumadieva from the Metamorphosis Foundation, Elena Stojanovska from the Directorate for Personal Data Protection (DPDD) and Aleksandar Tokarev from the IT company “Nextsense”, while Valentin Neshovski from the European Commission was moderating.

Patrick Paquet delivered the keynote speech, stressing that “for the EU, it is very important to deal with these issues collectively, since only an international response can successfully tackle the dangers”.

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Irina Shumadieva presented the information from the one-year work on the project “Children’s Rights on the Internet – Safe and Protected” supported by the European Commission. The possible internet safety hazards were comprehensively presented and advice was provided for avoiding and dealing with them.

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Elena Stojanovska explained the main forms of abuse on the internet: publishing photographs without consent, publishing someone else’s personal data in advertisements, identity and password theft, and the opening of false profiles. Despite the recommendations related to these abuses and intended for the users, she also highlighted the ones referring to the providers as well.

Aleksandar Tokarev held the last presentation, addressing the software options for protection from unwanted contents and other inappropriate activities of the children on the internet. He demonstrated several integrated options in the programs that we are using for browsing the internet, as well as additional applications that can help the parents in guiding their children towards positive contents and activities, at the same time protecting them from the negative ones.

Students from 4 schools from Skopje were invited at the event: from the primary school “Dimitar Miladinov”, high schools: “Rade Jovchevski – Korchagin”, the “Fifth private gymnasium” and “Josip Broz Tito”. The event was also attended by teachers, directors and representatives of the “First Children’s Embassy in the World – Megjashi”.

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The second part of the event was reserved for questions. The audience was interested whether the Directorate for Persdonal Data Protection has a strategy for personal data protection on a state level, whether there is a technical possibility to find out who is making false profiles on the social networking websites, whether and how safe are the electronic financial transactions, etc.

The representative of the Directorate for Personal Data Protection replied that there is no strategy for the protection of personal data on a state level “due to the fast technology development, but all the efforts are based on the legal frameworks and regulations, which are in accordance with the EU norms, and respect the principle of technical neutrality”. As for the other issues, it was said that technically, there is a possibility to locate the computer from which a false profile was created, but this requires a long procedure, and does not locate the perpetrator directly, whereas regarding the performance of financial transactions on the internet, the advice was to do these transactions on well-known websites.

The hour and a half panel discussion was held on February 11, marking the day of safe internet usage for the sixth time. This day is celebrated and marked in several countries in and out of Europe.

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