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Google, in partnership with HKCSS, fortifies online safeguards for children and families in Hong Kong

HONG KONG SAR - Media OutReach Newswire - 4 December 2023 - Latest Google survey revealed parents’ concerns and changing behaviours when it comes to safeguarding children’s safety online.

In Hong Kong, over 8 out of 10 (82.6%) children spend 1 to 6 hours per day online, following Malaysia (83.8%) and India (82.8%) - the third-highest across 12 markets in Asia Pacific. With digital technology and internet continue to blend in children’s everyday life, 72.4% of parents in Hong Kong are confident in engaging their child on the topic of online safety, yet over half (52.8%) of them expressed that it is difficult to find age-appropriate, easy-to-understand examples to discuss online safety with the kids.

On Saturday, December 2, WebOrganic held the “Be a Smarter Digital Citizen” Recognition Ceremony cum Fun Day, where over 70 celebrated the completion of the programme promoting their digital literacy. The event was joined by (from left to right) Joyce Lai, Assistant Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (Corporate Communications and Compliance) Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data, Kingsley Wong, Deputy Government Chief Information Officer of the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer, the Hon Duncan Chiu, Legislative Council Member, Technology & Innovation Constituency, Joyce Ho, Acting General Manager (HKCSS-Information Technology Resource Centre), Michael Yue, General Manager, Sales & Operations, Google Hong Kong, and Betty Wong, Regional Corporate Communications Manager, Asia Pacific, Google.
On Saturday, December 2, WebOrganic held the “Be a Smarter Digital Citizen” Recognition Ceremony cum Fun Day, where over 70 celebrated the completion of the programme promoting their digital literacy. The event was joined by (from left to right) Joyce Lai, Assistant Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (Corporate Communications and Compliance) Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data, Kingsley Wong, Deputy Government Chief Information Officer of the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer, the Hon Duncan Chiu, Legislative Council Member, Technology & Innovation Constituency, Joyce Ho, Acting General Manager (HKCSS-Information Technology Resource Centre), Michael Yue, General Manager, Sales & Operations, Google Hong Kong, and Betty Wong, Regional Corporate Communications Manager, Asia Pacific, Google.

Recognition Ceremony cum Fun Day celebrated joint effort between Google Hong Kong and HKCSS’s WebOrganic on promoting online safety, officiated by LegCo member and government body

Realising the shared vision of promoting media literacy and online safety awareness among local children and youths and their parents, Google Hong Kong have teamed up with The Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS)’s WebOrganic on the “Be a Smarter Digital Citizen” programme. Leveraging Google resources and tools, WebOrganic held talks with 300 parents and children in Hong Kong on how to talk about online safety with children, with topics ranging from identifying internet scams, fake news and the optimal methods to prevent online frauds since February 2023, marking the Safer Internet Day. The programme also engaged with 1,000 students through WebOrganic’s school network, targeting to reach 3,000 in December after school examinations, through a series of videos (Primary & Secondary School Groups) developed with the support of Google.org, followed by completing worksheets and discussions to ensure they well understand the crucial concept of online safety.

Kingsley Wong, Deputy Government Chief Information Officer of the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO), said as he officiated at the Safer Internet Day 2023 – “Be a Smarter Digital Citizen” Recognition Ceremony cum Fun Day on Saturday, December 2: “The OGCIO has been working closely with various stakeholders to raise public awareness on cyber security through various promotional activities, including producing leaflets and radio announcements on different themes, organising seminars and competitions, and holding seminars in schools and different organisations, with a view to assist them to protect themselves in the digital world. In addition, the Government has provided a wide range of online resources with tips and techniques on defending against cyber-attacks, frauds and cyber-bullying through various channels, including the Cyber Security Information Portal and the InfoSec of the OGCIO, thereby helping the public recognise frauds and online traps.”

Joyce Lai, Assistant Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (Corporate Communications and Compliance) at the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (PCPD), said at the same event: “The ‘Be a Smarter Digital Citizen’ programme aims to empower children, youths and their families with knowledge about online safety amidst the rapid technological advancement in our society. This is very much in line with one of the key focuses of the PCPD this year - Protecting Personal Data Privacy for a Smart Hong Kong.”

The Hon Duncan Chiu, Legislative Council Member, Technology & Innovation Constituency, officiated the same event and remarked: “Organisations such as the HKCSS are well positioned to connect members of the public and provide resources to enhance Hong Kongers’ digital literacy as they increasingly use digital applications in daily life. ”

Michael Yue, General Manager, Sales & Operations, Google Hong Kong, remarked at the opening of the event: “Every day, billions of people rely on Google products and services to find information and stay connected. We’re committed to building a safer internet, and everything we do for everyone, including kids and families, is created to empower, designed to respect, and built to protect. In addition to the products and features that are built with secure-by-default in mind and advanced with AI; in Hong Kong, as we continue to fuel Hong Kong to become a Smarter Digital City, we’re delighted to have teamed up with The Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS) on our Safer with Google journey to promote media literacy and awareness of online safety among local youths and families, by leveraging our educational resources.”

Joyce Ho, Acting General Manager (HKCSS-Information Technology Resource Centre), said: "WebOrganic and Google Hong Kong share the same mission to educate and empower local youths and families on the significance of online safety. The 'Be a Smarter Digital Citizen’ programme, entailing a series of talks, workshops as well as an engaging video campaign, have been empowering parents with internet usage strategies and promoting best practices from existing tools while enhancing children and youth's awareness of their responsibilities and risks as digital citizens; through 300 sharing talks since September 2023, we have successfully kept children and parents informed about digital safety, with 80% of the participants agreed that they have improved in knowledge of misinformation and digital literacy. More works are in progress; we look forward to inspiring more children and families about the importance of online safety and cybersecurity."

Google resources and secure-by-default features answer parents’ unwavering need to keep children safer online

Despite Hong Kong children ranked the third highest among APAC in terms of the time spending online daily, as revealed in Google’s latest survey on online safety, parents in Hong Kong do see the growing use of technology and its benefits to children as they can teach their children about online safety (67.1%), help their children explore unique interest (58.9%) and find high-quality educational content for their children (55.6%). As such, more than 7 out of 10 (72.2%) responded parents in Hong Kong expect to change rules for internet use as their children grow. 6 out of 10 parents in Hong Kong expect to use more online learning tools as their children grow. Google’s resources are here to help parents manage their relationship with technology and enable them to create healthy, positive digital habits:

  • Family Link: the new Family Link webpage for Hong Kong is an easy-to-use app to help establish digital ground rules that allows parents to manage their child’s account and devices as they explore online. Parents can set screen-time limits, manage the content their child can see and know their location when they have their device with them.
  • Be Internet Awesome toolkit: developed in partnership with The Net Safety Collaborative and iKeepSafe.org and available in Traditional Chinese, the curriculum, together with the Family Pledge, is designed to help parents teach children the skills they need to stay smart and safe online.
  • Gamified and engaging video content created for children: the free Interland game is filled with quests inspiring children to become a confident explorer of the online world, while YouTube Kids provides a more contained environment for kids to explore YouTube and makes it easier for parents and caregivers to guide their journey

With over two-thirds (67.5%) of parents in Hong Kong saying that their children have been exposed to inappropriate content online at least once, Google makes technology work for your family, with secure-by-default in mind. The new SafeSearch feature is now turned on by default for signed-in users under 18, which automatically blurs explicit imagery, such as adult or graphic violent content, meanwhile YouTube, as a platform giving everyone a voice and showing them the world, upholds five core principles to protect the entire community; we have also been leveraging machine learning technology, combining with human reviews, to remove over 2.5 million videos violating our child safety policies in Q2 2023, in which 69% of the machine-detected violent videos on YouTube had fewer than 10 views before being removed.

Visit Google Safety Center in Traditional Chinese for more straightforward and accessible information to keep you everyday safer with Google.

Hashtag: #Google #Cybersecurity #HongKong #Family #HKCSS


The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

The Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS)

The HKCSS is a statutory body established in 1947. Together with our Agency Members, we uphold social justice and equality in our mission to advance the well-being of the Hong Kong community. The HKCSS is committed to building an impact-oriented, collaborative and innovative social service sector, and co-creating a better society with stakeholders across different sectors. The HKCSS has over 510 Agency Members, with service units throughout Hong Kong, providing high-quality social services to those in need.


WebOrganic

WebOrganic, is a brand of HKCSS – Information Technology Resource Centre, aims to empower the needy in ICT applications by enhancing their accessibility, knowledge & skills, and digital literacy to achieve digital inclusion. Regardless of age, race, economic or physical condition, people should have a chance to access and make use of ICT for their learning and daily living, so as to enhance their quality of life. WebOrganic is the official implementer of "Safer Internet Day" which was initiated by the European NGO, Internet Safety (InSafe) in 2004, and since then it has grown beyond its traditional geographic zone and is now celebrated in approximately 180 countries and territories worldwide.