017: the free phone number in Spain to help youngsters with social media problems

017: the free phone number in Spain to help youngsters with social media problems

The National Cybersecurity Institute (Incibe)'s cybersecurity hotline offers advice to children, teenagers and families any day of the year from 8am to 11pm

Almudena Nogués

Monday, 18 March 2024, 10:58


"If you are a child or teenager and you are worried about something related to the internet (you are being harassed on social media, an intimate image or video of you has been shared or your account has been hijacked) contact us and we will help you."

This is the letter of introduction with which the Spanish National Institute of Cybersecurity (Incibe) reminds minors that they have at their disposal a team of experts available 365 days a year just by picking up the phone: 017. The line - which is also open to families and other groups - is a free and confidential service that aims to shed light on cybersecurity for users.

The 017 hotline is open all year round from 8am to 11pm. Behind the line is a multidisciplinary group made up of psychologists and IT security experts who answer queries. Among them, under-18s can receive psychosocial, technical and legal advice on risk situations and conflicts arising on the internet, such as cyberbullying, dangerous groups or parental control and privacy.

In addition, the 017 team is prepared to resolve issues related to sexting, grooming or the responsible use of technological devices. In terms of online payments, they also provide information on how to avoid phishing or the theft of bank cards.

The helpline covers the following topics:

-Appropriate use of privacy, digital identity and reputation.

-Risks of sexting (sending images and videos of a sexual nature).

-Cyberbullying at school.

-Grooming (sexual harassment of minors)

-Strategies and recommendations for parental mediation on the internet.

-Accessing harmful content (violence, pornography, etc.).

Contact with dangerous groups (pro-anorexia and pro-bulimia, self-harm, extremism, hate speech, etc.).

-Protection against viruses and fraud targeting minors.

-Device protection and secure configurations.

-Excessive use of the internet.

Incibe's cybersecurity helpline was set up in February 2020 in line with the European Strategy for a Better Internet for Kids (BIK). Some of the more specific real cases dealt with by this service since its launch have been: verification against Covid hoaxes, impersonation on social media, scams, theft of video game accounts, impersonation via text messages, cyberbullying, problems of excessive use of technology or phishing.

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