ictQATAR Celebrates Safer Internet Day

Thursday, February 28, 2013
ictQATAR Celebrates Safer Internet Day

The Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology (ictQATAR) marked the 10th annual Safer Internet Day through a public event about online rights and responsibilities organized in partnership with Qatar University and QatarDebate on February 28, 2013, at Qatar University. Titled, “Connect With Respect”, the event featured two panel discussions and a debate moderated by QatarDebate. 

"We would like the world to celebrate Safer Internet Day through “Connect With Respect” organized jointly with Qatar University and QatarDebate to raise awareness about the challenges faced by Internet users.  This year's theme of online rights and responsibilities also aims to engage diverse stakeholders groups including children, young adults, parents, educators, and service providers in Qatar. We need to be aware that we have a shared responsibility to make the internet a safer and better place for all," said Fatma al-Nuaimi, Cyber Safety Section Manager, ICT & Society Division, ictQATAR.

In her opening remarks at the event, Dr. Bana Buzaboon, Psychologist, highlighted the challenges today’s youth faces while in cyber space. She also addressed the psychological and social risks resulting from irresponsible use of the Internet as well as the responsibilities and behaviors the youth should observe while communicating with others through the Internet.

Buzaboon recommended a set of guidelines for the youth to keep themselves safe online, namely enabling the secure browsing functionality in the social networks, not to befriend any unknown persons, communicate responsibly and to not violate the others’ privacy.  She emphasized the importance of respecting the others’ opinion during discussions on a topic or even adding comments on posts.

"It is very important to raise awareness about cyber safety, safety measures and how to implement them consciously to Internet users. This will enhance their confidence while online and also help protect them from the online risks," said Sabah Al-Kawari, Qatar University student, and Al-Rayyan TV presenter.

Over the years, Safer Internet Day (SID) has become a landmark event in the online safety calendar. Starting as an initiative of the EU SafeBorders project in 2004 and taken up by the Insafe network (www.saferinternet.org) as one of its earliest actions in 2005, Safer Internet Day has grown beyond its traditional geographic zone and is now celebrated in more than 90 countries worldwide, and across six of the world’s seven continents