DOJ issues guidelines for children’s protection during online classes
Robie de Guzman • September 25, 2020 • 2297
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) has issued a set of guidelines to ensure the protection of children from abuse and harmful content during the conduct of online classes.
The DOJ released the guidelines less than two weeks before the opening of Schoolyear 2020-2021 in public schools under a blended learning setting.
The Department of Education earlier said that classes will open on October 5.
In releasing the guidelines, the DOJ Cybercrime Division acknowledged that using video conferencing for online classes poses many security risks, including exposure of students to abusive strangers, harmful online content and loss of confidentiality, availability and integrity of computer data.
For school administrators, the DOJ advised to never share meeting room credentials – including the ID and password – to the public.
Meetings should also be set 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
Disable file transfer and screen share access for participants not assigned as hosts of the meeting
Participants also should not be allowed to rename themselves, send messages to other participants, and change their background with any selected image.
Students should also not be allowed to be alone in the virtual classroom, and a school administrator must always be present for supervision.
The DOJ also advised teachers to regularly update the application being used as every application connected to the internet is vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
The department, meanwhile, urges parents and guardians to guide their children on how to implement safety measures and to teach them how to discern information online to prevent becoming a victim of cybercrimes.
The DOJ also called on the public to report to authorities any irregularities or untoward incidents during online classes.
They may report it to the PNP-Anti Cybercrime Group through email email@example.com and mobile number 0998-598-8116; National Bureau of Investigation Cybercrime Division at email firstname.lastname@example.org and telephone number (+632) 8523-8231; and Department of Justice Cybercrime Office through email: email@example.com and contact number (+632) 8524-8216. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday said it has lodged criminal complaints against 80 persons allegedly involved in cybercrimes exploiting the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
PNP chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar said the cases involved spreading false information on social media, illegal online sale of medical supplies, and online scams.
Citing PNP data from March 2020 to August 2021, Eleazar said that the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and the Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) have filed 87 criminal complaints against 52 persons for proliferating fake news.
Eleazar said they were specifically charged with Unlawful Use of Means of Publication and Unlawful Utterances under Article 154 of the Revised Penal Code as amended to include Online Libel; violation of Republic Act 10175 or the Anti-Cybercrime Law; and violation of Presidential Decree No. 90, which makes rumor-mongering and spreading false information as unlawful.
Based on the reports, Eleazar said there has been an increase in the number of incidents involving the spread of fake news and unverified information about the COVID-19 pandemic on social media.
“We are appealing to the public to be discerning and wary of fake news. This is also a stern warning to all individuals or groups spreading false information on various social media platforms. We will go after you and will not hesitate to put you behind bars,” the PNP chief said in a statement.
The CIDG and the ACG also filed three criminal complaints against two alleged online scammers; and 31 criminal complaints against 26 alleged online profiteers, hoarders, and unauthorized sellers of medical supplies.
Seized from the unauthorized online sellers were: gallons of disinfectant; vitamin C capsules; forehead thermometers; facemasks; and several liters of isopropyl alcohol.
“Binabalaan ko ang mga manloloko at mapagsamantala sa kapwa na tigil-tigilan na ang ganitong gawain,” Eleazar said.
“You will face the full force of the law for your criminal activities,” he added.
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine National Police (PNP) has warned the public against individuals posing as members of the national police or the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to extort money and obtain personal information.
In an advisory, the PNP said they received reports from citizens about individuals claiming to be members of the military or the national police.
The said malicious individuals would inform their victims that they are on the list of suspected members of ‘Communist Terrorist Group-New People’s Army’. They will then extort money from the victims in exchange for removing their names from the list.
Initial reports said these individuals have extorted up to P500,000.
The PNP reminds the public to remain vigilant and make sure to verify the identities of individuals claiming to be members of the authority.
It also advised the public to observe the following safety protocols to prevent being victimized by scammers:
1. Think before you speak. Scammers want you to act and give out information;
2. If the activity is made through phone transactions, be aware that caller IDs can be easily spoofed by scammers, hence:
a. Verify phone numbers before calling back;
b. Use a different phone to call back;
c. Never divulge or share any sensitive information over the phone; and
d. Block automated calls
Meanwhile, the PNP-Anti Cybercrime Group is already conducting further investigation on the issue.
“We condemn these fraudulent acts and assure the public that our PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) has initiated an investigation and case-build up against scammers,” the PNP said in a statement. -AAC
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