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ISPA leads in online safety

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An online safety project has been launched by South Africa’s Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA) aiming to educate local users about the safe navigation of the World Wide Web.

The first phase of the initiative has seen ISPA design posters in all 11 official languages that convey online safety messages. The English-language free online safety posters are available for ordering in pre-packed tubes of three posters. Each tube contains one each of ISPA’s “Protecting Children”, “Safe Money”, and “Zombie Botnet” themed posters. Posters in the other 10 official languages can be freely downloaded from http://ispa.org.za/social-development/poster-project/.

“By producing material that can be ordered by any person or institution that has an Internet connection, we’re optimistic about educating the maximum number of people as possible,” says Graham Beneke, ISPA chair. ISPA specifically aims to inform schools, universities, employers, Internet cafes and parents about the availability for ordering of its online safety posters.

The “Protecting Children in Cyberspace” poster, for example, contains text that aims to educate, encourage awareness and provides information on privacy for both parents and children.

Queried about South Africans’ access to the Web, Beneke explains that South Africa now has almost 25-million Internet users and is number six in the world when it comes to use of the mobile Internet by cellphone users.
“ISPA’s online safety project represents another in a long line of modest yet tangible steps towards the ideal of a local Web that feels like the kind of place it was meant to become – an environment of safe entertainment, comprehensive learning, enhanced productivity and fulfilling engagement,” says Beneke.

A second series of posters covering additional online safety topics, including cyberbullying, cybercrime and dealing with spam are currently being designed for release by ISPA later this year.