Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q:A person has been writing bad things about me on social media and posts unflattering photos of me to embarrass me online. I am very affected by this and feel that I have been cyber bullied. What should I do?
You can consider reporting cyber bullying or harassment issues to the social media platform(s) where you experienced them, as most platforms have functions for users to flag inappropriate behaviours. MLC and Facebook has developed a handout, the Bullying Prevention Hub, to address issue of cyber-bullying which you might refer to for more information. Although the resource is targeted at teens, the principles apply for adults too.
Q:What is the Protection from Harassment Act 2014 and how can I seek recourse or protection under it?
The Ministry of Law and Ministry of Home Affairs introduced the Protection from Harassment Act 2014 to further strengthen protection for victims of harassment. The Act makes it an offence to harass others - whether it is committed in the physical word or online. Words or behaviour (including online posts) could be considered harassment if it is threatening, abusive or insulting, thereby causing alarm or distress to another person.
Avenues for self-help and civil remedies for victims of harassment are available under the Act. For instance, victims may apply directly to the State Courts for a Protection Order, which will direct the harasser to stop the harassing behaviour. Find out how to apply for a Protection Order at the State Courts’ website. Victims may also wish to consider getting legal advice from a lawyer, who would be best placed to advise them on the legal options available.
Q:I would like to seek help for my child’s gaming addiction. Who can I seek professional help from?
Disinformation and Scams
Q:What are some practical steps people can take to discern between real and fake news?
As online users, we should maintain a healthy scepticism over the information that we come across. Some questions to ask in the process of evaluation should include:
- Have we verified the news with multiple reputable news sources or fact-checking sites?
- Have we read beyond the headlines? Fake news capture attention with sensational headlines but if we take the time to read the article, it could be about an unrelated topic.
- Is the article based on first-hand information and directly from an involved party? Or is it from indirect information?
- How many points of view are represented? Are they from a variety of sources, including official and expert sources?
- Is the source of information from a reputable news organisation?
- Is the site a news site, an entertainment or satire site?
- How independent is the site? Would it have any agendas or biases?
Q:What should we do when we come across scams online?
When you encounter online scams, you can report them to the relevant authorities, e.g. credit card company, Police etc. If you are not sure what to do, you can also call the Anti-Scam Helpline (1800-722-6688) by the National Crime Prevention Council for help or find out more on www.scamalert.sg.
Personal Information and Security
Q:How can I prevent my personal photos and other information shared online from being misused?
On the internet, what we say and share with others, form our digital footprint. The information is often permanent and searchable, especially if the privacy settings of our social media accounts are set to “public”. To protect ourselves from the potential misuse of our information, we can start by connecting only with people we know offline, and using privacy controls to limit the audiences for our posts. When posting on a website or account that is public, we should also be aware that what we do and share is accessible to anyone, and avoid posting photos or other information that may be misused. Read more here.
Q:How can I protect myself from cyber threats like identify theft?
Always create strong passwords for your online accounts and do not use the same passwords for different accounts. You can create a complex password by using a mix of letters, numbers and symbols.
Also, be alert to email phishing scams that lure you to reveal your personal information (such as login details, credit card information) through emails. Look out for signs, such as spelling mistakes, that may suggest that it is a phishing email. Get more tips here and on the Cyber Security Awareness Alliance’s GoSafeOnline website.
Q:I am working on a project relating to media literacy. Can I speak to someone from the Council to find out more on relating issues?
You may wish to refer to the information and resources on our website to find out more about media literacy issues including cyber bullying, excessive media usage and discernment. If you require more information, you could get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Interview requests will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and will be based on our availability.
Q:I am working on a project relating to media literacy and hope to explore possible collaboration with the Council. How can I get in touch?
We welcome collaborations on projects relating to media literacy. Please get in touch with us at email@example.com with information regarding your project.
Q:I am carrying out a workshop on cyber wellness and media literacy. Can the Council provide a speaker?
Due to the high demand for speakers, we will assess each request on a case-by-case basis. You may consider approaching the organisations that provide trained professionals that are able to speak on the topic of your choice. These organisations include: