The Office of the Government Chief Information Officer, with its Computer Emergency Response Team, is currently embarking on a community awareness relating to internet use.

At this time when children have direct access to mobile phones and the internet, the awareness is targeting schools especially, to make students aware of issues relating to the use of internet, particularly social media, in terms of benefits, and best practices.

Awareness was also made to students, teachers, parents and the community at large on the impacts, which includes harmful digital content.

This includes pornographic material, hate speech and cyber bullying.

The team has already been in Tafea and Malampa provinces.

In their awareness and assessment of the issues present, they came across cases such as internet scams, indicated mainly by business owners and cases of ‘sextortion’ mainly in schools.

The team also found that many children knew what the internet or Facebook is.

A lot of feedback was also made by the village communities, church communities and schools that the team visited.

The team also informed communities about the benefits o using the internet for education, marketing of local products or tourism products such as resorts and bungalows.

Early this month the team was on Tanna and last week was on Malekula where it had the chance to interact with over 1,000 students that had gathered for the Malampa Inter-Secondary School Sports.

Yesterday morning the team had a session with school principals attending a workshop at Malapoa College and ICT teachers.

Communities have been encouraged to talk about issues relating to the internet or social media.

Overall the team says the community reaction was very positive about the awareness they were carrying out.

Meanwhile, the Cybercrime Bill has been completed and is expected to be tabled soon in parliament.