Parallel Session 1 - Safer Internet
Parallel Session 1 - Safer Internet
Safer Internet Programme
– our 10 years
Hana Hrpka, prof.
President of Brave phone
In order to examine children's habits and experiences on the Internet,
with emphasis on the exposure to inappropriate messages and questions
received via e-mail and "chat" conversations in Croatia, Brave phone
carried out the first research in Croatia in collaboration with the Child
Protection Center in 2004. The sample for this research was 4000 children.
The results have shown:
• that the majority of children (39%) learned how to use the Internet
independently, experimenting or reading trade journal.
• 26% of children are always alone while using the Internet,
• 27% of children were exposed to messages with sexual content, mostly
images of nude persons and sexual activities. Most of these exposures
occurred while the children surfed the Internet (67%),
• a quarter of children who have been exposed to messages with sexual
content states they had a disturbing emotional reaction,
• the disturbing fact is that 27% of children responded that they would go
to a meeting with a stranger alone, unaccompanied by an adult.
In 2008 Brave Phone and Child Protection Centre conducted a new research on
the experiences of children when using modern technologies named The use
of new media by children, possibility versus the risk?! on a sample of 2700
pupils who were finishing primary school and the first year of high school in
the entire Croatia.
The results have shown:
• 95% of children said they have a computer (desktop or laptop) at home and
85% of them stated they have Internet access at home.
• 54% of children and young adolescents said they encountered a website
that contained pictures of naked people or people in a sexual intercourse
although they didn’t want to.
• Furthermore, 28% of children and young people have opened a message or
a link containing pictures of naked people or sexual activity although they
didn’t want to.
• Boys are significantly more likely to report the (unwanted) exposure to
• 81% say they use the Internet to communicate with others, this refers to
slightly more girls than boys.
In 2013, Brave Phone and Child Protection Centre conducted a national
research on the experiences and behavior of children on the social
network Facebook and the Internet in general and the relationship
between these experiences and their personal and psychological
characteristics, habits of safe use of the Internet and other characteristics
on the sample of 1489 children in Croatia, aged 11 to 18.
• 93% of children have a Facebook profile, while 18% have more than one.
• 68% of children, created their profile before 13, the age when it is allowed to
create a profile on this social network
• 84% of children view their profiles and set posts on their mobile phones which
they always have with them.
• Every fifth child spends more than three hours on Facebook, and half of the
children in the sample view their Facebook profiles during classes.
• 78% of families there are no rules set about the use of Facebook
• children aged 15 to 16 who are the most endangered group for both the
experiencing and perpetrating peer bullying.
• 12.1% of them experience abuse on Facebook, while 9.6% of them are abusive.
• Children involved in abuse via Facebook more often say that they would be
willing to meet the unknown person they met on Facebook.
• Children who both experience and commit abuse on Facebook are at highest
risk -have most emotional and behavioural difficulties: impaired self-image,
more anxiety and depression, more anger and unacceptable behaviours than
children who only commit the abuse via Facebook.
• 26% of children spend their free time most often on the Internet
• children who have poor control over their use of the Internet- one of ten
children think that they neglect their regular school obligations due to the
• At the same time every third child thinks that s/he should spend less time on
• the majority of children on Facebook has between 300 and 500 friends
Increase in the number of children who use
Ćosić i Profaca, 2009)
(Hrpka, Katalinić i
Buljan Flander, 2010)
Centre and Brave
Role of Brave phone in the field of online protection children
prevention and response
Based on the results of these surveys we conduct a Safer Internet programme .
What did we do in the last 10 years:
• 5 volunteer trainings: every two years, two lectures titled “Safe Internet –
theoretical knowledge and practical application”. The first education consists of
theoretical part about opportunities and risks of using the Internet, while in the
second one the volunteers become familiar with the workshop approach in
getting this topic closer to the children.
• 976 prevention workshops with 764 children from the local community
• lectures / discussions / workshops for children, parents and teachers across 57
classes (for about 600 children and 700 parents and teachers from different
elementary schools, high schools, children’s homes and libraries all over Croatia
• 1012 e-mails, chat and forum questions in which children, parents and
professionals are asking for help
• Since 2008 we’ve celebrated Safer Internet Day every year by organizing
discussions for children and parents, creating special web content and
organizing children’s visits to competent institutions, e.g. Police Department Department of Juvenile Delinquency.
• an expert meeting „The safety of children in elementary school”
• a national conference on child safety on the Internet organized by the Republic
of Croatia Ministry of the Interior
• the professional scientific meeting “Violence against and among children” in
• 6 international conferences „Keeping children and young people safe online”
organized by the Nobody's Children and Insafe in Warsaw and Sarajevo
We also visited the Safer Internet Centre in Prague and Safer Internet Forum in
This year, 2014, we organized round table on the topic od cyberbullying where we and
most important stakeholders in this field in Croatia presented results of their work
(representatives of Carnet, Ministry of education, Schools, Children)
In 2008 UNICEF and Brave phone launched a campaign named "Break the
Chain!" with the aim of stopping cyberbullying among children.
• we distributed 550,000 flyers for children and parents on the prevention
• we put up informative posters in all elementary schools and high schools
• during the campaign, the number of calls Brave phone received was
increased by 37 percent
• we organized the programme of prevention of electronic violence in 154
schools across Croatia
• we distributed 150,000 brochures „Child on the Internet“ in 14
• we launched an application for making Facebook settings safer to use
• in 2014 we made a brochure called “Safe surfing for children, parents
and teachers” and printed 4000 copies
• we created a memory game “Safe surfing” for children in lower grades
of elementary school so that they could become familiar with the
advantages and disadvantages of the Internet
• we sent the packages containing the brochure, the memory game and
a workshop to 581 schools as well as 195 packages containing the
brochure and a workshop in all the counties in Croatia
BRAVE GUARDIANS - SAY NO TO VIOLENCE - a project supported by T-Croatian
The main goal of the project is to empower children and the school as a
community in the prevention of cyberbullying among children, based on
examples of good practice in other countries and the results of scientific research.
25 schools participated in this program
30 professionals and teachers were involved as volunteers and have gone through a
one-day training organized by Brave Phone
Every professional / teacher was supposed to share the knowledge and prepare a
minimum of 4 workshops with eight students from grades 5-8 and continue to be
involved in communicating with the children about the issue of cyberbullying. However,
in the first educational workshop many of the associates included an entire generations
of children, so a much bigger number of children was involved.
attendance at four follow-up meetings with the specialist from Brave Phone
creating a poster with the children
two focus groups were held – with children who were Brave guardians and with
professionals / teachers.