This handbook is intended for children, parents, teachers and everybody who works with children and we believe it will find its way to all those who want to work preventively in the protection of children and youth from the risks imposed by the Internet.
Internet has in recent years been more of a buzzword than all other media together. The number of users is getting bigger every year, and internet content is getting richer and more diverse. There are ever more new sites about various topics and possibilities of communication among the users are growing. The Internet is available to both the little and the big ones, to both those who know much and those who know almost nothing, to both those well- and those ill-intended. Some authors who study this phenomenon go even further – they label the whole generation born between 1977 and 1997 as ‘the net generation’, the first which was born into the environment of computers, the Internet and video-games.
However, it is important to know that the Internet, despite all the possibilities, is only a tool. The consequences of using it depend on how we use it. If we want to update our knowledge, see the news, write to our peers and develop our creativity, it can be immeasurably helpful.
Unfortunately, there are users who want to hurt others. In their hands the Internet can be turned into a powerful weapon.
Still, knowledge and being informed are our most powerful defence against its misuse, so that it can be available for all of us who want to learn, grow and have fun. That is the reason why it is important to know how the Internet operates, what risks there are and what we can do when there is a possibility that something bad may happen.
Many of us think that violence on the Internet can go unpunished and that we and the children can do nothing in order to prevent it. However, with proper and well-timed education, as well as with preventive programs, children can be protected against the risks of the Internet. In this education, parents and teachers are the main communicators of knowledge and coaches of protection skills.