"From this dipstick survey, we can safely infer that cyberbullying has the potential to escalate among this segment of youth due to the lack of awareness and resiliency skills, and not having a strong support network that they can turn to for assistance," he said.
"In contrast with previous surveys with younger youth segments, schoolchildren have greater awareness of the risks and have more support systems to reach out to," Ling pointed out.
Commenting on the survey size, he said, "Though carried out with a small number of subjects, the data collated from this 'Be Smart, Use Heart' survey provided us with valuable insights on the online behavioural patterns of this older youth segment in relation to cyberbullying."
Ling moved on to talk about the Digi and Telenor Group's continuing efforts to educate these young Netizens about cyberbullying and the practical ways of addressing the challenges.
"Digi has been very active in creating awareness on cyberbullying and advocating safer internet experience for all," he said. "This is part of the company's commitment to safeguard customers' digital life through its Digi CyberSAFE programme since 2011. To date, through this programme Digi has engaged about 120,000 schoolchildren from more than 7,500 schools nationwide."
"For us, connecting people doesn't just stop at providing them the benefits and opportunities that come with the digital world. It is about creating a safe online environment by equipping our younger generation with the knowledge and skills to identify potential risks, and knowing how to protect themselves as well as to exercise a positive cyber conduct," Ling said.
"Simply put, we are helping them to strengthen their digital resiliency levels and at the same time, to instil digital citizenship amongst our children," he said, adding that this year, Digi has been working closely with partners such as the Ministry of Education, government agencies CyberSecurity Malaysia, MDEC (Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation), PDRM (Malaysian Police), and UNICEF.
Some of these initiatives include creating a digital citizenship module to be used in schools' co-curriculum activities and engaging content for #mydigitalmaker Mobile Learning Unit, which will travel to more than 50 rural schools this year. In addition, Digi is also a part of a nationwide youth-friendly townhall sessions, #SayaSayangSaya that focuses on educating on cyber-grooming.
Moving on to Telenor Group's global 'Be a Cyberhero' digital and social media campaign, Zainab Hussain Siddiqui, Telenor Group's director for Social Responsibility, explained that the goal is to engage four million children by 2020 across its 13 international markets online safety practices.
Zainab said that this was part of Telenor's wider commitment of supporting SDG#10 Reduced Inequalities initiative. "Under online safety, we have pledged to train four million children so they are empowered to engage confidently and responsibly on the internet. Be a Cyber Hero campaign also supports our multiple on-ground initiatives now reaching scores of children, parents and schools across our markets."
"As part of this campaign [also in conjunction with Telenor's Stop Cyberbullying Day 2017], we have introduced a custom-made 'Be a Cyberhero' profile picture filter for social media, as well as cyberbullying tips graphics and multimedia. We would like to invite everyone to show their support in stopping cyberbullying by changing their profile pictures and spreading the message," he said, adding that more than 30,000 of Telenor Group employees across the globe are also playing a role, and are joining the online movement by changing their profile pictures to share positive messages against cyberbullying.
For more news on other Digi and Malaysian online safety initiatives, see:
- 'Mind-reading experiment' stresses importance of a secured online identity: Digi, CyberSecurity Malaysia
- Children want more guidance on being safe online: Malaysia report
- Digi CyberSAFE programme spreads through rural Malaysia
- 83% of Malaysian school children vulnerable to online risks: DiGi report
- Digi prioritises internet safety as 10,000 Malaysian schools go online
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