Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM) today announced that the Company is collaborating with DQ Institute (DQI) to introduce the Child Online Safety Index (COSI), the world's-first real-time measure to help nations better understand their children's online safety status.
Announcing this collaboration, Dato' Noor Kamarul Anuar Nuruddin, Group Chief Executive Officer, TM said,
"TM is proud to be working together with DQI, a leading internationally recognised body dedicated to promoting digital intelligence, safety and well-being, to introduce the COSI. It is a timely and fitting kick-off of this collaboration, as today marks the Safer Internet Day. While telecommunication infrastructure and sophisticated ICT products are indeed instrumental towards realising Malaysia's Digital Malaysia aspiration, TM pays no less attention to the aspects of digital literacy, readiness and safety among Malaysians especially youngsters. Children nowadays grow up with intense exposure to the digital world – what they do on the internet and who they interact with online greatly influences their identity, well-being and development. Yes, technology has many benefits, but it also brings some challenges for young people, such as exposure to various cyber-risks. It is important to note that almost two-thirds (60%) of children aged 8-12 surveyed across 30 countries are exposed to one or more forms of cyber risks, amounting to a 'cyber pandemic', including cyber-bullying, gaming disorder, reputational risks, risky content and contact, and cyber-threats. I'm also pleased to note that for the first time, the COSI results have shown that Malaysia ranked 3rd in the world after Spain and Australia."
"At TM, we're committed to helping children and teenagers get the most out of technology and become more confident and resilient when they are online. 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 online conduct. Simply put, we are helping them to strengthen their digital resiliency levels and at the same time, to instil digital citizenship amongst our children. This collaboration with DQI helps us to increase awareness and advocate action on the safety of our children online. TM has already been working closely with the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (KKMM) on child online protection for many years. We have embarked on various initiatives and public awareness campaigns to ensure a safe online environment for children," continued Dato' Noor Kamarul.
Dr Yuhyun Park, Founder of the DQ Institute, said: "Malaysia is the third safest country we surveyed for children online will come as welcome news to Malaysian parents. But no nation, no matter where they are ranked, has cause for complacency. What we are witnessing is a global cyber-pandemic with high exposure to multiple forms of online risks threatening children across all the countries we surveyed. Everyone in society has a role to play in turning this around. Businesses, from social media and telecommunications to hardware and gaming companies, should make child online safety a core business principle. Most importantly, parents must be aware that they can make changes and reduce online harm. Helping children discipline their digital use from an early age is a necessary starting point for mitigating cyber risks. Primary schools also must teach students digital citizenship as part of their standard curriculum. Through the index, Malaysia and other countries will be able to identify areas of improvement through global benchmarking and then better focus on deploying initiatives for their children's online safety."
Safer Internet Day is celebrated in over 100 countries globally in February each year to promote the safe and positive use of digital technology for children and young people. It takes place on 11 February this year, with the theme "Together for a better Internet".
The DQ Institute (DQI) is an international think-tank that is dedicated to setting global standards for digital intelligence and to ensuring the safety, empowerment, and well-being of individuals, organisations, and nations in the digital age.
The COSI measures six (6) different pillars namely: cyber risks, disciplined digital use, digital competency, parental guidance and online safety education, social infrastructure (government policies and ethical industry practices for child online protection), and connectivity. The COSI was announced by the DQ Institute as part of the #DQEveryChild global movement in collaboration with over 100 organisations including Singtel, AIS, Optus, TURKCELL, Twitter, World Economic Forum, and JA Worldwide since 2017. The data was collected from over 145,000 children and adolescents in 30 different countries from 2017-2019 as part of the #DQEveryChild. It is aimed at empowering children with comprehensive digital citizenship competencies from the start of their digital lives using online education and assessment program DQ World.
Based on DQ World, the COSI was developed as the real-time analytic platform for child online safety check for nations. It serves not only to understand their level of child online safety, but also the level of the impact of online safety and digital citizenship initiatives of nations. Through the index, nations will be able to identify areas of improvement for their children's online safety issues through global benchmarking and they can then target those areas and improve through deploying relevant programs and initiatives. By being linked with DQ World assessment tools and its global database, the COSI will be automatically updated as the nations' progress with their initiatives. Through this process, it will help effectively coordinate various efforts to enhance child online safety and digital citizenship around the world, thus making it possible to measure global progress on this front.
"The creation of a Digital Society is in fact a pillar under our Digital Malaysia aspiration. TM will be partnering with DQI to drive the adoption of the internationally-recognised Digital Intelligence Quotient (DQ) as the measure of 'digital intelligence' of society, organisation and individual in Malaysia. We are now discussing specific areas of collaboration, and details will be announced soon. TM via its innovative and comprehensive products and solutions will continue to lay the foundation for Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR4.0) – serving a more digital society and lifestyle, digital businesses and industry verticals, as well as digital Government," concluded Dato' Noor Kamarul.
Over the years, TM, as a mindful corporate citizen and a responsible nation builder, has been leading the development of the industry towards empowering Digital Malaysia beyond products and services through its Corporate Responsibility (CR) initiatives. The initiatives are aligned towards establishing a Sustainable Digital Nation by embedding technology, creativity and innovation elements as well as digital solutions in all its activities. For instance, in Education under the Social pillar, TM has touched the lives of thousands of students and the surrounding communities nationwide through its Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) initiatives and School Adoption Programme. TM also strives to deliver better learning education experience for students via holistic and trendsetting education solutions via its Yayasan TM (YTM) Scholarships and education arm, Multimedia University (MMU) – towards preparing the future digital workforce. TM also prepares students for Industry Revolution 4.0 through Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programmes which include TM 3Ducation Programme in 3D printing, TM Nano Maker Kit Programme in data logging and TM Robotics Programme in programming. For young entrepreneurs who embarked on their journey with Technical & Vocational Education and Training (TVET), TM also complements their skills with digital knowledge for them to propel their businesses into the digital era.