Taipei, Many Taiwanese high school students are exposing themselves to safety and privacy risks through the use of social media apps, the Child Welfare League Foundation said Monday in presenting the results of a survey.
The foundation conducted the survey at 45 middle schools and high schools in December 2017 to gain insight into young people's use of friend-making apps, excluding Line, Facebook and Instagram.
It found that 37.7 percent of respondents have used friend-making apps and that about a third of those users spent an average of over 30 minutes per day on those apps.
Some 10.3 percent of the users said they did not conceal information about themselves when registering apps, including their age, the online social groups they belonged to, their Line account, and real name, the foundation said.
Friend-making app users were faced with inappropriate requests from their cyber friends, the foundation said, and most of these requests were to establish relationships and date.
Some were even asked by the other person to provide scantily-clad pictures of themselves or go to a hotel together.
Among these app users, 18.8 percent have gone on dates and 69.4 percent of their parents have no knowledge about their use of such apps, the survey found.
Huang Yun-hsuan (???), the foundation's executive secretary, warned that the emergence of friend-making apps enables teenagers and young people to more easily get acquainted with strangers on the internet.
When the relationship between these young people and their families is poor, they could easily turn to internet friends for comfort and could be easily tempted by online friends to run away from home, Huang said.
According to runaway cases reported to the foundation over the past 10 years, 24 percent of these cases were internet-related, Huang said.
The apps also have security flaws, the foundation said.
Based on an analysis of the top 10 most downloaded apps and several other popular friend-making apps among teenagers, seven of the apps indicated that only people aged 18 and above could use the app, but six of them did not have an age-verification mechanism.
To ensure young people's safety, the foundation urged the government to improve the mechanism for monitoring the development and management of apps and raise their age requirements for users.
The foundation's survey received 1,889 valid samples and had a confidence level of 99 percent and a margin of error of plus or minus 2.25 percentage points.
Comments Off on Taipei-Taiwan’s Tourism Bureau is promoting mountain tourism at the 4-day Taipei International Travel Fair that began Friday.
The bureau is focusing on five north-south mountain ranges — the Central Mountain, Xueshan, Yushan, Alishan and the Coastal Mountain ranges — in its pavilion at the fair, said bureau Deputy Director-General Chang Shi-chung (???).
Chang said there will be various exhibitions and forums on the mountains of Taiwan, as well as its unique cultural features such as historic trails and aboriginal lifestyles.
Taiwan is preparing to market 2020 as the Year of Mountain Tourism, after its efforts to position the country as an important international mountaineering destination in July, when the government allowed public access to the island’s national parks.
Previously, people who wanted to visit restricted “ecological protected areas” in Taiwan’s national parks had to apply for permits from both the National Police Agency and the Construction and Planning Agency.
Now, however, the Construction and Planning Agency has launched a new mountain permit application portal that requires mountain visitors to apply for only one permit and provides fast-track processing to expedite applications, the bureau said.
Much of Taiwan is covered by mountains, and it has 268 mountains of over 3,000 meters, according to the Tourism Bureau website.
That environment has made hiking and mountain climbing one of the favorite pastimes of Taiwan residents.
The number of permits issued to Taiwanese citizens and foreign nationals for access to trails in Yushan, Taroko and Shei Pa national parks has risen from 153,736 in 2016 to 187,053 in 2017 and 201,526 in 2018, according to Construction and Planning Agency figures.
In 2018, foreign nationals accounted for 7.24 percent of the permits issued.
There will be around 1,700 booths from 60 countries at the fair, to be held Nov. 8-11 at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center.
The fair, the largest of its kind in Taiwan, will feature South Korean and Japanese tourism operators amid growing local interest in travel to those countries.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel