Microsoft, Google Spread Awareness On Safer Internet Day
As Safer Internet Day is celebrated globally today on February 7, 2017, IT majors such as Google and Microsoft among several others are making an ardent effort to promote digital literacy and spread awareness around internet safety. Google India has announced the winners of the second edition of the Web Rangers initiative in India. As part of this contest, young kids were asked to create and run their own online safety campaigns in the form of social campaigns, posters, videos and apps.
“Many of the internet users in India are coming online for the first time. We need to simplify and amplify ways by which they can stay safe. Safer Internet Day provides for an important opportunity to engage and encourage young users across the country to learn more about keeping themselves as well as their peers and families safe online,” said Chetan Krishnaswamy, Director, Public Policy, Google India.
Sunita Mohanty, Director, Trust and Safety, GoogleIndia said, “We are constantly improving our automatic protections, but we also want to make sure our users are empowered with the controls to adjust their security settings to ensure a safe experience. A big thank you to all the young people who shared with us their brilliant ideas and campaigns and helped us in our endeavor to make the web a safer place.”
Google has developed the “app analyzer”, a modified version of Safe Browsing that specifically hunts for dangerous apps in Google Play, other app stores, and on the web, and warns users on identifying any unsafe application. In addition, Verify Apps, a separate protection runs directly on Android devices, proactively checking more than 6 billion apps and 400 million devices every day. Launched in 2015, Web Ranger’s Program aspires to empower young Indian netizens to make responsible choices online and provide them with the right tools and knowledge to make these choices.
Microsoft too has a long-standing commitment to online safety. It has been an active supporter of Safer Internet Day each year, since it started in 2004. It collaborates with advocates, industry partners and governments worldwide to develop solutions and promote effective public policies that help protect people online.
On this day, Microsoft is challenging people around the world to embrace “digital civility” and treat each other with respect and dignity online. Microsoft released the findings of a survey conducted across 14 countries through its Digital Civility Index (DCI).
Some of the interesting findings of the survey indicated that 63% of Indian respondents have already been exposed to an online risk. Over 44% of Indians experienced their most recent online risk within the past month, indicating higher frequency and 69% Indian respondents expressed concern over an online risk.
Undoutedly, youth were more confident than adults in managing uncivil behavior, and were more knowledgeable about where to get help if needed. However, only 50% youth and 35% adults knew where to get help. Males in India reported more risks across categories - 64% compared to 61% for females. Whereas more females tightened privacy controls (61%) compared to males (50%) after experiencing online risk.
“On Safer Internet Day, Microsoft is using the Digital Civility Index to amplify awareness and demonstrate the need to further educate young adults, parents, educators, and policymakers about the real-world consequences of negative online interactions, which can have serious consequences. We hope these findings will serve as an evidentiary base for a global drive toward digital civility and increase accountability among internet users,” said Madhu Khatri, Associate General Counsel, Microsoft India.
Khatri said that the Digital Civility Index is part of Microsoft’s continuing commitment to fostering safe, inclusive interactions online, and to raise awareness on the need for digital civility.
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