Youth Online Safety 2014 event

“The Smile of the Child” participated in the event «Youth Online Safety 2014, organized in cooperation with Microsoft Hellas and under the auspices of the Hellenic Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs and the Hellenic Presidency of the European Union.

Athens, 11 February 2014 - The aim of this event, held over the last 9 nine years by Microsoft Hellas, was to inform and raise awareness among young people on the safe use of internet and the dangers of the misuse of online technology. Emphasis was given to the proper use of social media, the phenomenon of internet addiction and its damaging effects for young people as well as the serious problem of cyber-bullying. Students of secondary education were among the participants who exchanged views on the issues discussed.

“The online dangers are not enough to demonize” said the Deputy Minister of Education, Simeon Kedikoglou, adding that “Internet implies so many benefits in our daily lives that we should put every effort in order to protect children from the online dangers”. Lia Komnenos, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility and Public Relations of Microsoft Hellas, presented key findings of the annual survey MCSI (Microsoft Computing Safety Index), conducted by Microsoft to 10,000 internet users in 20 countries. As she said, "research shows that people do not take all the necessary steps to enhance security when they are online. This means that there is a need for educating people and especially children, parents and teachers in order for Internet to be a tool of communication and entertainment without any fear or danger”.

Costas Yannopoulos, Chairman of “The Smile of the Child”, referred to the phenomena of cyber-bullying and gaming addiction, highlighting the duty of all to educate and protect children and young people. In addition, he shared the experience of “The Smile of the Child” through the implementation of the online platform YouSmile saying that “this experience enabled us to realize the magnitude of the risks lurking behind the screen”.

“The Smile of the Child” participates over the last 4 years to this event contributing to raising awareness among children and teenagers.