Understanding children’s online safety

KUCHING: Serba Dinamik Group Berhad (SDGB) is collaborating with Cyber8Lab and eSafeKids in Australia under the e-Security & Privacy Channel (ESPC) to introduce Child Online Safety & Protection (COSP), the first real-time measure to help nations better understand their children’s online safety.

In a joint statement, the two organisations said the collaboration pays no less attention to the aspects of digital literacy, readiness and safety among Malaysians, especially youngsters towards realising Malaysia’s digital aspiration.

Mohd Abdul Karim

Serba Dinamik group managing director, Datuk Dr Mohd Abdul Karim said children nowadays grow up with intense exposure to the digital world — what they do on the internet and who they interact with online greatly influences their identity, wellbeing and development.

“It is important to note that last year, tech companies reported over 45 million online photos and videos on children being sexually abused – more than double what they found the previous year, are exposed to one or more forms of cyber risks, amounting to a ‘cyber pandemic’, including cyber-bullying, gaming disorder, reputational risks, risky content and contact and cyber-threats,” he said.

Abdul Karim also mentioned that with the ESPC, it could become a major collaborative online platform among strategic partners as well as government agencies locally and internationally.

“These efforts will together provide effective online education on protection and prevention solutions from cyber-crimes, abuses and misuses of cyber environment towards exploiting the children and less savvy internet users all over the world,” he added.

The first live webinar session conducted on Tuesday by Kayelene Kerr from Western Australia, was recognised as one of the most experienced specialist providers of Body Safety, Cyber Safety and Pornography education workshops.

Kayelene, from eSafeKids in Australia, is passionate about the prevention of child abuse and exploitation, drawing on over 23 years’ experience of study and law enforcement, investigating sexual crimes, including technology facilitated crimes.

Kayelene’s virtual topic on ‘Digital Wellness’ focused on how technology affects children’s bodies, brains and wellbeing. The session also focused on how to suggest conversation to help parents guide their children in setting screen time limits and to reduce the impact of screens on their sleep.

“Online learning became a necessity forcing schools and families to adapt as school curriculums were delivered to children online at home.

“It has a lot of benefits for children, at the same time, it has its risks. If not controlled properly, it can affect them mentally and physically, as well as making them vulnerable to cyber threats”, she said during the session.

The first ever COSP virtual session held by ESPC was powered by SDGB as part of the global movement in collaboration with over 18 industry and government agencies including Malaysian Technology Development Corporation (MTDC), TechLab Security, Computer and Communication Network System (SRKK), AustCyber and Department of Sarawak Women and Family (JWKS).

The second virtual COSP session entitled ‘Online Grooming’ will be available on Dec 15 at 8pm and will be moderated by Associate Professor, Col(R) Datuk Dr Husin Jazri, senior vice president of Cybersecurity of SDGB.

Anyone who would like to join the virtual session can register through the link at https://www.espc2go.com/resources/family-resources/

The session will focus on providing parents with an overview of what online grooming is and how online predators target children. The session will guide parents and teachers on how to help kids interact safely and securely and how to identify predator’s behaviour when they are interacting with them whilst online.