The Department of Justice, through the Office of Cybercrime, has issued guidelines to protect children who uses videoconferencing services for their online classes from abuse and harmful contents.
DOJ-OOC Officer-In-Charge lawyer Charito Zamora said that they decided to issue the guidelines due to the “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.”
Among these 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, Zamora said.
To prevent and protect children from these risks, the DOJ-OOC advised school administrators facilitating online classes not to share meeting room credentials, both the ID and the password to the public; and always set meeting configurations as follows: accept meeting participants’ request to join individually, provide a standard naming instruction for the participants, start meeting with participants’ video off, require a password from the participants, mute participants upon entry and disable desktops and screen share for participants who are not assigned in the virtual meeting room as hosts.
The OOC also 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 also never leave their students alone in the virtual classroom and they always update the application downloaded to the latest version to protect it from cyber attacks.
As for the parents, the DOJ-OOC suggested that they 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.
“Parents are encouraged to promote and implement proper etiquettes to be observed by children under their supervision. There is still no substitute for parental involvement and supervision when it comes to digital literacy and good cyber citizenship,” it added.
The DOJ-OOC said the public should report any irregularities or unwanted incidents during the conduct of online classes to law enforcement agencies so that it can be properly investigated.
The DOJ-OOC can be reached through telephone number 85248216 or through email at [email protected]
while that of the National Bureau of Investigation Cybercrime Division can be accessed through telephone numbers 85238231 to 38 local 3455 or email at [email protected]
Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group can be reached through mobile number 09985988116 or telephone number 84141560 and its email address is [email protected]
Most schools are opting to use either the videoconferencing mode or through the use of modules to sustain formal education amid the COVID-19 pandemic as face-to- face learning is still not allowed.
Private schools have already started their classes last month while public schools are set to resume their classes on October 5.