Vietnam preparing policies for safer cyber environment for children

The Ministry of Information and Technology is collecting suggestions for the essential draft Code of Conduct to protect children on the cyber environment, considering that this virtual space possesses both useful information and harmful content to the young.

Vietnam preparing policies for safer cyber environment for children ảnh 1

It is advisable not to let children use the Internet without monitoring (Photo: SGGP)

Vietnam now has around 15 million under-16 children, who are considered the most vulnerable to harmful effects like bullying, attacks, scamming, and even sexual assaults on the cyber environment.

Reports from Kaspersky reveal that in Vietnam, the most popular websites to the young under 16 are audio-visual sites, social networks, and computer games (accounting for 44.7 percent, 32.5 percent, and 8.6 percent respectively). YouTube is the most used app (at 28.8 percent), followed by Zalo (15.7 percent) and Facebook (15 percent). Among the top 10 most used apps are two famous online games, namely Arena of Valor and Free Fire MAX.

Seeing such a high frequency of Internet use among the young, the Code of Conduct to protect children on the cyber environment should be released to regulate proper behaviors for Internet users and shield children from potential risks. Simultaneously, the Code introduces methods to report any suspected action which aims at abusing children and to raise the public’s awareness of possible dangers to young people.

This Code of Conduct has clear regulations for businesses, organizations which provide Internet services, online platforms, and digital content to prioritize protection for children on the cyber space; along with necessary policies and community, ethical standards to shield children from harms on the Internet.

In June 2021, the Prime Minister signed Decision No.830 to approve the program ‘Protect and Support Children to Create Healthy, Innovative Interactions on the Cyber Space in the Period from 2021-2025’, with a dual target of protecting the private life, preventing and handling any action that takes advantage of the cyber environment to abuse children while maintaining a healthy Internet environment, developing an ecosystem of useful domestic apps, products to help children learn and entertain online.

The program has introduced various initiatives, tasks, and breakthrough solutions to exploit advanced technologies like Big Data to collect data and deliver early warnings about any potential content violating the laws related to children or information not suitable for their age. The program is the first national one in Vietnam about children protection on the cyber space.

A network to rescue and protect children on the Internet environment is formed thanks to this program, with the main responsibilities to upgrade the public awareness, share valuable experience regarding the matter, receive and timely handle reports from the community about child abuse on the Internet.

In related news, Google cooperated with the National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) under the Information and Communication Ministry to launch the Google Security Center for the Vietnamese, with a clear focus on children, in hope that Vietnamese citizens can access basic knowledge about information security and methods to ensure information safety.