1 in 4 children may agree to meet online stranger

This is compounded by another study by MCMC that 37.6% parents were unaware of parental control over Internet usage

By HARIZAH KAMEL / Pic By BERNAMA

ONE in four children may agree to meet strangers on the Internet based on a study by Digi CyberSAFE2015, said Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

According to the DPM, this was compounded by the findings of the Internet Consumer Study 2018 by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) that 37.6% parents were unaware of parental control over Internet usage.

“According to a study by Digi CyberSAFE2015, one in four children surveyed might agree to meet someone they had recently met on the Internet,” she said after launching the Safer Internet Day (SID) 2020 — Malaysian Chapter and the Fostering Digital Fluency in the 21st Century Forum in Putrajaya yesterday.

“While over 70% of parents apply Internet rules and restrictions or sit next to their children when they use the Internet, only 12.2% use parental control services and 7.4% do nothing.

“Some parents also use gadgets as a medium to control and care for their children; in other words ‘cyber nanny’,” she added.

Dr Wan Azizah, who is also the women, family and community development minister, stated that the government views the cyber threats against children seriously.

She also launched the “Mendidik Anak-Anak Digital” (Educating Digital Kids) book published by CyberSecurity Malaysia which highlights the types of cyber threats that could threaten child safety such as cyber bullying, cyber security, Internet addiction, cyber crime and social media threats.

On a separate issue, Dr Wan Azizah said the government is still drafting legal frameworks to address gender-based discrimination.

The ministry, she said, will give full attention to the legislation once the sexual harassment bill is tabled in the Dewan Rakyat.

So far, 16 engagement sessions have been held involving various parties, namely the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim), non-governmental organisations and experienced academics with relevant expertise.

“Currently, the ministry is focusing on the process of drafting a sexual harassment bill that is expected to be tabled in Parliament this year,” she said.

Last December, she announced that the government would set up a special tribunal to hear and address sexual harassment cases in the country.

The special tribunal would also be included in the sexual harassment bill as an effort to improve the existing justice system.