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UN agency seeks protection for children online

The UN telecommunications agency is drawing up guidelines to protect children from sexual predators operating on the internet, cyber bullying, and the temptations of online commerce, AFP reports. "We must do everything in our power to create a healthy online environment for our children," said Hamadoun Toure, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunications Union. Recent surveys have indicated that more than 60 percent of youngsters online talk in chat rooms, three-quarters are willing to share personal information for commerce, and one in five could be targeted by a predator, the ITU said. The first drafts of the guidelines released May 20 are aimed policy makers, industry leaders, parents, and children. Youngsters are advised to be smart by setting limits, being cautious about accepting online invitations, and telling someone about their concerns. But they also need to be educated as "digital citizens in an online world that has no borders or frontiers," the ITU underlined, including by installing firewalls, anti-virus software, and spotting unusual communications…

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