UANL Promotes Media Education to Stop Cybercrimes

 

Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon encourages media education in elementary and secondary schools of the state as Mexico ranked first worldwide in cybercrimes against minors.

 

Does any family member is an underage Internet user? Do they spend too much time on the Internet or social networks without adult supervision? Be careful! Mexico leads global statistics on cybercrimes against minors according to international organizations.
 
There are over 50 million Internet users in our country, of which 18 million are under age. One in five minors is approached by a pedophile on the Internet; only 25 percent of those tell their parents.
 
According to the Mexican Internet Association (AMIPCI), the average age at which children first use the Internet is between 3 and 6, representing 43 percent of the total child population. Only 20 percent of minors use the Internet under adult supervision.
 
Professor Deyra Melina Guerrero Linares and a 20-student group from the School of Communication submitted a proposal to the local Congress about incorporating a program in Nuevo Leon’s elementary and middle school about media education. 
 
“The number of minors who are victims of cybercrimes has been rising. During the past five years it has increased over two thousand percent. This is why we proposed media education in schools, to teach children how to use Internet and social networks safely”, she explained. 
 
Media education is defined as the process of teaching and learning the proper use of the mass media, focusing on the new media such as social networks. We want to teach them how to safely use, platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. 
 
The range of felonies committed against minor child are child pornography with 55% and with a 24% the disappearance of minors, and in some cases, threats, cyber bullying and sending sexual images. 
 
Guanajuato, Veracruz, Mexico City, State of Mexico, Jalisco and Nuevo León are the entities with red flags.
 
The proposal states:
  • Organize a roundtable with authorities, specialists and institutions in order to analyze the possibilities and options to legislate in Nuevo Leon with regard to computer-related crimes committed against minor children, and the matter of media education as prevention. 
  • Urge the Ministry of Public Education of Nuevo Leon to include on its academic programs the matter of media education in primary and secondary schools, focused primarily in the social networks, which includes training courses for teachers and parents. 
  • Encourage the State Government and the Attorney General’s Office to launch massive campaigns aimed to minor children’s trough the media.
  • A call to action to the National Congress and the Federal Government to accelerate the process in order to legislate in terms of cyber bullying against minor children. 
The process began in April 27, 2016 but it was actually until January 2017 that we started with the first working sessions. The Ministry of Education aims to incorporate contents of media education in the early months of the year.
 
“If carried out, Nuevo Leon will be pioneer in media education not only in Mexico but also in Latin America since there are South American countries that teach media education only as courses, events, and workshops, but not as a public policy”said Deyra Guerrero.
 
Tips to avoid being a victim of cyber crime:
 
  • Do not add unknown people to your social networks
  • Review security settings of your social networks
  • Do not post compromising photos on social networks
  • Any attempt of harassment should be reported to authorities
 
By: Eduardo Rodriguez Palacios
Date: February 28, 2017.
Photo: Daniel Zamora Aguilar.