"Bite Your Finger!" initiative in Latvia

  • Awareness
  • 26/12/2018
  • Latvian Safer Internet Centre

Latvian mobile communications operator BITE, in cooperation with the Latvian Safer Internet Centre (SIC), the State Children Rights Protection Inspectorate, and the State Police implemented an anti-cyberbullying initiative "Bite Your Finger!" to promote responsible use of mobile devices and the internet.

The goal of the initiative "Bite Your Finger!" is to promote the responsible use of mobile devices and the internet, as well as to stand up against online bullying among children and teenagers.

As part of the initiative, events were organised in Latvian schools. 2,500 km were made together with Latvian celebrities – or "cyberguards" – Markus Riva, Toms Grēviņš and Lelde Ceriņa, to educate pupils and their parents in five Latvian cities and towns on online harassment, also called "cybermobbing".

Pupils of grades 2-9 participated in the events, they had an opportunity to join in educational and attractive activities to get to know what is cyberbullying and how it manifests itself, how to identify it and how to react if you face bullying, how to reduce it and how to use mobile devices and the internet responsibly. These activities were moderated by a children and teenagers' psychologist, experts of the Latvian SIC, celebrities/cyberguards, as well as actors of the Riga Improvisation Theatre.

After meeting the pupils, the campaign team met parents to discuss the problem of cybermobbing and advise them on how they can help children and where they could seek help in case they suffer from online harassment.

An educational booklet "Bite your finger before hating online!" was also developed as part of the campaign and is available on the website of the Latvian SIC.

The tips in the booklet include:

  • Talk to your child more frequently – you will learn much more about their everyday life and relations with peers!
  • Promote the child's self-awareness; provide them with the opportunity of developing their talents and skills they may be proud of! Studies show that children with higher self-awareness levels are less subject to online bullying and can confront it more successfully.
  • Advise the child not to be afraid to seek help, to confide in parents and teachers!
  • Urge your child to call or consult with experts of the State Children Rights Protection Inspectorate by Helpline 116111, which is available 24/7.
  • Remind the child about the responsible use of the internet and mobile devices.
  • Implement safe internet usage rules.
  • Follow your child's activities on the internet, including social media.
  • Initiate conversations about online harassment, both with your child at home and with teachers and parents and other children at school.

For more information, watch a video report on the events below.

Find out more information about the work of the Latvian Safer Internet Centre (SIC) generally, including its awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services, or find similar information for Safer Internet Centres throughout Europe.

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