TM, DQ Institute introduce 1st real-time measure for child online safety

By TMR / Pic By RAZAK GHAZALI

TELEKOM Malaysia Bhd (TM) is collaborating with DQ Institute to introduce the Child Online Safety Index (COSI), world’s first real-time measure to help nations better understand their children’s online safety status.

Announcing this collaboration, TM group CEO Datuk Noor Kamarul Anuar Nuruddin (picture) said: “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 influence their identity, wellbeing and development.

“The Internet has many benefits, but it also brings some challenges for young people, like exposure to various cyber risks. Almost 60% of children aged eight to 12 surveyed across 30 countries are exposed to one or more forms of cyber risks, including cyberbullying, gaming disorder, reputational risks, risky content and contact, and cyber threats.

“For us, connecting people is also 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 online conduct.”

DQ Institute founder Dr Park Yu-hyun said Malaysia is the third safest country the institute surveyed for children online. “But no nation has cause for complacency. What we are witnessing is a global cyber pandemic with high exposure to multiple forms of online risks threatening children across all the countries we surveyed,” he said.

The COSI measures six different pillars — namely 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 data was collected from over 145,000 children and adolescents in 30 different countries from 2017 to 2019.

It is aimed at empowering children with comprehensive digital citizenship competencies from the start of their digital lives using online education and assessment programme, DQ World.

Based on DQ World, the COSI was developed as the real-time analytic platform for child online safety check for nations. It serves not only to understand their level of child online safety, but also the level of the impact of online safety and digital citizenship initiatives of nations.

Through the index, nations can identify areas of improvement for their children’s online safety issues through global benchmarking and they can then target those areas and improve through deploying relevant programmes and initiatives. By being linked with DQ World assessment tools and its global database, the COSI will be automatically updated as the nations’ progress with their initiatives.

Through this process, it will help to effectively coordinate various efforts to enhance child online safety and digital citizenship around the world, thus making it possible to measure global progress on this front.

“The creation of a digital society is in fact a pillar under our Digital Malaysia aspiration. TM will be partnering DQ Institute to drive the adoption of the internationally recognised Digital Intelligence Quotient as the measure of ‘digital intelligence’ of society, organisation and individual in Malaysia.

We are now discussing specific areas of collaboration, and details will be announced soon,” said Noor Kamarul.