DOJ issues guidelines to protect children from online abuse

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    THE Justice Department yesterday advised school administrators facilitating online classes not to share the ID and password of online meeting rooms to the public to protect children using videoconferencing services for their online classes from abuse and harmful contents.

    This was one of the guidelines issued by the DOJ-Office of Cybercrime (DOJ-OOC) to combat “emerging security risks associated with the utilization of various videoconferencing services in the conduct of online classes in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

    DOJ-OOC OIC lawyer Charito Zamora said among the security risks are the loss of confidentiality, availability and integrity of computer data, as well as the exposure of children to abusive strangers and harmful online contents.

    It said that school administrators should prohibit participants to join before the host, rename themselves, send messages to other participants, allow participants to access the file transfer and share their screens, allow participants to use annotation tools to add information to shared screens and share whiteboard during the meeting, and allow users to change their background with any selected image.

    Faculty members should never leave their students alone in the virtual classroom and they should always update the application downloaded to the latest version to protect it from cyber attacks.

    The DOJ-OOC said parents must teach their children to be discerning of information and contents online to reduce their risk of falling victim to online abuse and cyber attacks.

    The DOJ-OOC said the public should report irregularities or unwanted incidents during the conduct of online classes to law enforcement agencies so they can be investigated.

    The agency can be reached through tel. No. 85248216 or through email at cybercrime@doj.gov.ph while that of the National Bureau of Investigation Cybercrime Division can be accessed through telephone numbers 85238231 to 38 local 3455 or email at ccd@nbi.gov.ph.

    The Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group can be reached through mobile number 09985988116 or telephone number 84141560 and its email address is acg@acg.pnp.gov.ph.