Today, On Safer Internet Day, Google Philippines launched their ‘Cyberpeace: Creating a peaceful internet together’ campaign. Backed by the Department of Education, it aims to promote online safety to a wider audience. Google also partnered with the independent non-profit NGO, the Teach Peace, Build Peace Movement as well as Youtube Edu-creator, Lyqa Maravilla of Team Lyqa and Janina Vela to reach students in public and private schools nationwide. Mobilizing teachers, Youtube creators, employees, and volunteers coming from different fields, a pilot run was held at the San Francisco National High School in Bago Bantay, Quezon City.
The campaign tackles relevant and rampant issues present in the cyberspace like cyberbullying, online privacy breaches, safety threats, misinformation, and catfishing, among others. The internet can be a great place. It breaks barriers and connects people from all around the world—but it comes with its own dangers that may threaten one’s security and privacy. And in this hyper-connected world we live in, no one is truly safe. Research further revealed that 85% of Filipino parents do not feel comfortable when their kids are online.
“We want our kids and youth to be able to experience the best of technology—and parents should be able to feel confident letting them explore online,” said Google’s Country Manager, Bernadette Nacario.
With this goal, aside from integrating a digital citizenship curriculum called “Be Internet Awesome” in schools, Google also created free online tools that parents can use to ensure their child’s online wellbeing.
Google’s Head of Public Policy, Yves Gonzales, shared the following tools they have created like safe search, a Family Link app (that is available on both Android and iOS), Youtube Kids, and Google Authenticator. My personal favorite, Family Link is a great way to monitor children’s online and gadget activity, allowing parents to set screen times, see their child’s location real-time, set app downloads, and even lock the device remotely through the app. These tools help give parents the peace of mind with regards to what their kids see and who they interact with online.
Those interested to teach their schools or communities and partner or volunteer may reach out to Google or the Teach Peace, Build Peace Movement on social media. Let’s all strive to make the internet a better place. I believe a quote from DepEd Usec. Tonisito M.C Umali, Esq. sums it up adequately: “Wag po tayo magsawang mangarap para sa ating mga kabataan.”