A majority of these users are children and teenagers, who are exposed to both benefits and dangers. In addition to close attention from parents and schools, a legal framework is needed to protect children from the risks of the cyber world.
While browsing the Internet, children may encounter unexpected information and people. Their personal information can be hacked. More seriously, children can become victims of swindles, exploitation, harassment, and sex abuse. Online game and smartphone addictions can harm children’s mental and physical health. Parents should teach children how to find and use information on the Internet.
Dang Hoa Nam, Director of the Department for Children of the Ministry of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs, said, “Parents play a very important role. They should be friends to their children and share information with them. We have to admit that parents often lag behind their children in terms of IT. Parents should learn, share, and spend more time with their children.”
A legal framework on child protection, particularly personal information, is being finalized. The 2016 Law on Children, and a government decree specifying certain articles in the Law on Children, the Law on Information Safety, and the Law on Cyber Security cover basic regulations of child protection on the Internet.
“Circular 9 of the Ministry of Information and Communication issued in 2017 defines duration, time, and warnings on media unsuitable for children. We need to specify administrative punishments and criminal charges for violators of children’s private information on public media and the Internet,” said Mr Nam.
The Ministry of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs, the Ministry of Information and Communications, and other sectors will work together to build specific laws on child protection.