Protecting Children In Cyberspace, Keeping Online Space Safe Is Everyone’s Responsibility

February 19, 2017

As the Internet continues to grow in a dangerous playground for young and old alike, Be the Change: Unite for a Better Internet, a one-day event hosted by Netflix, Inc, is part of the company's commitment to foster an engaged, safe and enabled online space for all.

"Our kids are the future and with that in mind being their focus, the centralised theme threads on the need for a culture of responsibility in a child’s life by every party, including government, law enforcement, industry representatives, educators and parents."

Stephen Balkam, Founder and CEO of US-based NGO, Family Online Safety Institute, notes how online safety is everyone’s concern, from pre-schoolers to grandparents.

“The Family Online Safety Institute brings a unique, international perspective to the potential risks, harms as well as the rewards of our online lives. This event is a valuable opportunity for us to share some of those insights and allows us to learn about local concerns and sensitivities.

“This in turn enriches all of the attendees and allows us to better formulate plans that work globally together, to protect children online,” he added.

There are common concerns and steps that can be taken around the world to better guide our children online and these include steps that acknowledge and mitigate potential harm that they could come to while allowing them a rich and fulfilling online experience, explains Balkam.

But of course, this only happens if everyone in a child’s life is cooperative.

A panel discussion titled Unite for a Better Internet: Empowering Parents To Guide Connected Kids was also held and K. Juslly Elis, Head of Department Outreach and Implementation, Advocacy and Outreach Division, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission voices out how empowering parents and childminders with information, tools and resources can go a long way toward ensuring children are safer and more responsible online which constitutes good digital parenting.

“We welcome and support multi-stakeholder initiatives that promote such practice,” added Elis.

The dialogue also covered cyber-security topics that touched on the greater awareness and management of content that is seen online and shared; who is able to contact children online; and protection against negative elements or behaviors like cyber-bullying.

On that note to all Malaysians, let's start practicing a safer and healthier virtual society!