TM, DQ Institute introduce first real-time measure for child online safety

The Telekom Malaysia logo is seen on the TM Tower in Bangsar November 22, 2018. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim
The Telekom Malaysia logo is seen on the TM Tower in Bangsar November 22, 2018. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 11 — Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) is collaborating with global think-tank DQ Institute (DQI) to introduce the Child Online Safety Index (COSI), the world’s first real-time measure to help nations better understand their children’s online safety status.

TM group chief executive officer Datuk Noor Kamarul Anuar Nuruddin said while telecommunication infrastructure and sophisticated ICT products are indeed instrumental towards realising Malaysia’s digital aspiration, TM pays no less attention to the aspects of digital literacy, readiness and safety among Malaysians, especially youngsters.

“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, well-being and development.

“It is important to note that almost two-thirds of children aged eight-12 surveyed across 30 countries 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 in a statement today.

DQI is an international think-tank dedicated to setting global standards for digital intelligence education, outreach, and policies.

Noor Kamarul also noted that the COSI results have shown that Malaysia ranked third in the world after Spain and Australia in terms of online safety for children.

Meanwhile, DQI founder Dr Yuhyun Park said through the index, Malaysia and other countries will be able to identify areas of improvement through global benchmarking and then better focus on deploying initiatives for their children’s online safety.

“Businesses, from social media and telecommunications to hardware and gaming companies, should make child online safety a core business principle. Most importantly, parents must be aware that they can make changes and reduce online harm.

“Helping children discipline their digital use from an early age is a necessary starting point for mitigating cyber risks. Primary schools also must teach students digital citizenship as part of their standard curriculum,” he added.

The COSI measures six different pillars—cyber risks, disciplined digital use, digital competency, parental guidance and online safety education, social infrastructure (government policies and ethical industry practices for child online protection), and connectivity.

The COSI was announced by the DQI as part of the #DQEveryChild global movement in collaboration with over 100 organisations, including Singtel, AIS, Optus, TURKCELL, Twitter, World Economic Forum, and JA Worldwide since 2017. — Bernama

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