What is the value of an internet where some of the most engaged users are not, and do not, feel safe? Rhetorical as that question might be, it is still one society is struggling to find a solution to. Cyberbullying, sexting, privacy settings, hate speech fake news, sharing of nude photos, child sexual abuse material online and stranger danger: the risk areas for children safe online are vast. As we’ve seen in many of Telenor’s Safe Internet initiatives globally, education is at the core of successfully building a safe internet. Telenor’s outreach has already reached 3 million children. In Bangladesh alone our colleagues have given more than 850,000 children the tools critical to safe internet use. Similar campaigns are in-train in Myanmar, while Digi’s Yellow Heart is both upskilling youth in digital skills and giving critical insight into the underlying behaviours around cyber safety.
With the speed of technological advancement and the continuing explosion of new platforms, education cannot be a panacea on its own. In addition to its safe internet program and digital tool, Bruk Hue (‘Be Smart’) focusing on prevention, Telenor Norway has recently launched Nettslett, an add-on service for its customers. Provided in the shape of an insurance add-on to youth-centred subscription packages Nettslett provides legal assistance for parents and guardians of youth experiencing abuse online. This sort of nuanced thinking around services could lead the way for increasingly innovative solutions in 2020 and beyond.
Statistics show that 500 million young people in Asia alone are expected to be online by the year 2021. Progress from collective efforts of the industry, governments and civil society in the coming years will determine the sort of internet experience they will have.
2. Promoting child-centric innovation