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DO you know that today is (Feb 11) is the Safer Internet Day.

Just like the other past Safer Internet Day there’s a theme and this year’s theme is "Together for a better internet". That's something we can really get behind—joining forces for a better online environment.

Over the years, Safer Internet Day has become an imperative event in the online safety calendar.

Digital technologies has been a great addition to our lifestyle, providing world of possibilities, closing geographical borders, furnishing us with information only at fingertips.

However, the Internet also opens up certain risks to users – especially the most vulnerable ones.

From cyberbullying to social networking, each year, Safer Internet Day aims to raise awareness of emerging online issues, ensuring access to a safe and stimulating online environment at the same time mitigating its negative side-effects.

According to Lucien Teo, user education and outreach manager at Google, the right amount of restriction is key.

“We believe that making the Internet safer for everyone is a collaborative work,” said Teo.

HEALTHIER INTERNET

Google is gearing towards a healthier and more fun Internet in the future. In 2017, the company introduced Family Link app, which allows people to create a Google Account for their child that resembles your their account. It helps a supervisor to set a certain digital ground rules that work for the entire family—like keeping parents in the loop while their kids are using Android devices.

Other than managing apps, the Family Link app allows the supervisor to keep an eye on supervisee’s screen time (by setting bedtime on your kid’s device).

“Having an app alone is not the solution. Set a good example,” said Teo, adding that parents too ought to be more thoughtful about their screen time.

“To make Internet safety more fun to learn why not play Google Interland,” said Teo. It's an Internet-based game that allows children (and adult too) to learn about Internet safety in “a much cooler, and fun way”.

Featuring four different worlds - Kind Kingdom, Reality River, Mindful Mountain and Tower of Treasure - each game offers related learning exercises. In Tower of Treasure, players will learn how to secure their secrets; to be mindful of what they share in Mindful Mountain; how to be kind online and stop spreading harmful messages in Kind Kingdom; and lastly identifying ‘fake’ in Reality River.

“You don’t need username or login so anyone can start playing and learn how to be a better Internet community, together for better Internet,” said Teo.

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