Latest Digi survey shows ongoing challenges as cyberbullying increases amongst Malaysian youth
SHAH ALAM, 15 June 2017 - In conjunction with the 'Stop Cyberbullying Day 2017', Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd (Digi) reiterates its commitment to educate more children and youth in Malaysia on cyberbullying. This is part of a global 'Be a Cyberhero' digital and social media campaign initiated by Telenor Group with a goal to engage four million children by 2020 across its 13 international markets, in online safety practices.
Half a billion children in Asia is projected to have Internet access by 2020. Through this campaign, Digi and Telenor Group hope to educate these young Netizens about cyberbullying and the practical ways of addressing it.
Philip Ling, Digi CyberSAFE Programme Manager said, Digi has been very active in creating awareness on cyberbullying and advocating safer internet experience for all. 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. Simply put, we are helping them to strengthen their digital resiliency levels and at the same time, to instill digital citizenship amongst our children.''
Malaysia has over 20.1 million active internet users, with 16.8 million active on social media. With the rise of internet usage in this country, the risks of internet abuse including cyberbullying becomes more prominent.
This year, Digi continues to work closely with partners such as CyberSecurity Malaysia, PDRM, UNICEF as well as supporting MDEC and the Ministry of Education through several initiatives such as 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. These initiatives will ensure that Digi continues to expand its reach and widen the scope in the effort to create safer internet experience to all Malaysians.
Cyberbullying happens to all regardless of age
Recently, Digi ran a 'Be Smart, Use Heart' survey with 96 undergraduate students, aged 18 to 20, the first for this age segment. The purpose of this survey was to identify the level of awareness and experience with cyberbullying of this age group as well as to compare them with findings from previous surveys.
''From this dipstick survey, we can safely infer that cyberbullying has the potential to escalate amongst 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. 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. 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,'' explained Philip.
Taking a stand with the 'Be a Cyberhero' Campaign
According to Zainab Hussain Siddiqui, Telenor Group's Director for Social Responsibility, the 'Be a Cyberhero' campaign supports Telenor's wider commitment of supporting SDG#10 Reduced Inequalities. ''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, 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,'' said Zainab 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.
Be part of the campaign