ESET, a global leader and multiple award-winning cybersecurity company, has taken up the challenge to educate parents, teachers and students themselves on the need to stay safe online.
The team from ESET Nigeria office on Monday visited Halifield Schools, Maryland Lagos, where they sensitized both students and teachers on how to leverage ESET Safer Kids Online platform.
The team led by the Country Manager, ESET Nigeria | Ghana, Mr Olufemi Ake, also informed the participants about the full array of suite components, and some uncommon tools ESET has in stock to ensure that schools and their stakeholders are protected.
ESET recently launched Safer Kids Online platform, dedicated to enabling children to enjoy the full potential of the internet in a secure digital world, is launching these days and aims to make the internet safer for children around the world.
Mr. Ake told the participants that Safer Kids Online as ESET’s global initiative is targeted resources for children, parents and schools – all of which have been created in consultation with cybersecurity experts and a notable child psychologist.
He re-emphasized that the company will not rest on its oars until the mission is accomplished. “We are keen to improve awareness and understanding around children’s online safety, and to ultimately build a safer online environment, by educating kids, as well as their parents and teachers, about child cybersecurity,” he said.
“While surfing the net may seem relatively harmless, the truth is that children and young people can be exposed to content and situations they are not prepared for”.
Mr. Ake recalls a 2018 report which revealed that a quarter of parents said they were worried about their children disclosing details to inappropriate people online, and another 23% were concerned about cyberbullying.
“Yet, while they may harbor worries, parents don’t always have enough awareness of the risks their children could be facing, or the signs of what to look out for when something is going wrong. Safer Kids Online is set to change that with a plethora of resources, all packaged together in an entertaining and inspiring way”.
He said that the Safer Kids Online website was carefully designed with contents/ resources suitable for younger children, teenagers and their parents – a three-pronged approach that aims to ensure greater societal awareness.
On his part, the Marketing and Retail Sales Manager, ESET Nigeria, Mr. Olabanji Soledayo, said that education is the bedrock of staying safe online, especially for students.
According to him, kids are still being exposed to unwanted experiences online, but with adequate enlightenment they will be able to use the internet safely.
“In that report quoted by Mr. Ake it was found that there has been ‘an increase in parents of 12-15s and of 12-15s themselves saying that controlling screen time has become harder; however most 12-15s consider they have a struck a good balance between this and doing other things’”, he said.
“So, ESET understands that parental concerns about the internet are rising. In some cases, the parents are not even well equipped with regards to the skills to ascertain what their kids are doing online. This simple, easy to use Safer Kids Online platform by ESET will make life easier for these parents.
“For example, ESET Parental Control for Android includes the possibility of controlling inappropriate web content and managing the amount of time children spend on certain devices, while also analyzing the suitability of the applications they’re using.
“For the teachers, they should be able to learn and stay ahead of the children. We don’t want our children to suffer cyberbullying, cyberstalking and other vices that go on online at times,” Mr. Soledayo said.
Safer Kids Online platform:
Safer Kids Online will each month focus on a new topic, ranging from cyberbullying to protecting children from online predators, and will include a video series for kids aged 8-11, comics for older children aged 11+ and a more in-depth explanation of the issues for parents and schools through expert articles and vlogs.
Some of the confirmed monthly topics include selfies, and the potential risks around revealing sensitive information when sharing photos online, as well as the risks of children becoming online addicts and losing touch with the real world.
Other topics will provide advice on what children, as well as adults, need to be wary of when surfing the internet and downloading materials that may be bundled with harmful malware. Safer Kids Online will also tackle the topic of “haters gonna hate,” focusing on how to stay away from haters and online trolls.
The program will also include monthly quizzes and prize contests to keep kids entertained, as well as regular newsletters on key issues to help parents navigate the latest news on how to stay safe in the online world. All these materials can also be used in schools alongside the specific school resources that focus on topics such as social networks, online games and antivirus and malware protection.
He said that the campaign will continue in other schools in Lagos.
Students and teachers of Hailfield Schools while sharing their lessons from the pep-talks, thanked the ESET’s team for ultimately creating increased awareness, and the provision of more technical support in the form of advice on how software can help to keep children secure.