New Delhi, India, February 08, 2016: In India, studies indicate that about 30 million urban children, under the age of 18, own a personal handset. It is also estimated that 134 million Indian children will come online by 2017. Where parents or guardians may have limited experience with the internet themselves, raising awareness and building knowledge among children, parents and their teachers about online risks is a priority for Telenor.
To advocate for a safe online environment for children, Telenor India organized
#SafeInternetForum 2016 calling on teachers, parents, government, cyber security experts, NGOs and private partners for responsible use of internet and strengthen the defenses for a safer internet experience for children
Speaking at the forum, Sharad Mehrotra, Chief Executive Officer, Telenor India Communications said, “Protecting and providing a safe internet experience for children through education and guidance is a focus for Telenor. While we extend the benefits of being connected and empower our customers with affordable services, we also encourage responsible use of Internet. Our webwise program aims to build defenses amongst children by guiding them on how to be safe online. In addition to this, we have integrated 1098 Child Helpline on our SIMs for easy access. These are small steps towards developing a safe online universe for our young users.”
At the Safe Internet Forum, Telenor announced initiatives to make Internet safe for the millions of Indian children who are expected to come online by 2017. Telenor has partnered with Child Helpline. Now all Telenor SIMs come embedded with 1098 number giving a direct and one touch access to the helpline. Customers can dial this free number and seek help on anything related to child rights and abuse.
“The Telenor group globally adheres to strict guidelines towards safety of our customers online. In line with that we follow stringent norms with respect to internet safety and security across all countries. I feel proud to see the efforts that Telenor India has put forward in creating awareness on internet safety and security and also in protecting children online. This is a key step towards Telenor group’s vision of empowering societies through digital services,” said Ola Jo Tandre, Director Sustainability and Head of Social Responsibility, Telenor Group.
To create awareness among parents around safe Internet practices, Telenor also launched WebWise – A Parental Guide at the forum. The book elaborates on what parents should talk to their children about internet access. It sensitises patents and gives real life examples to ensure online safety of children while they take a plunge in the digital world.
Telenor also presented findings of the Webwise survey which was conducted in 2015 with sample size of 3200 children across 10 cities eight states. The survey indicated that 95% children in the age group of 9 to 17 are accessing the internet from a range of devices today. The mobile phone is the preferred access device of children and 62.4% of them are spending up to 4 hours a day on the internet.
Telenor’s Webwise programme was launched in 2014 and has covered 35000 students in schools across the country. The Webwise workshops familiarize children, parents and teachers with safe Internet habits and ways to protect themselves from cyber harm while being online.
Bringing Child abuse Filter to India
Telenor Group collaborated with the European Commission’s CEO Coalition to make Internet a better place for children, and has worked with Interpol to become the first mobile operator in the world to introduce safety and child sexual abuse filters for mobile phones. Telenor has also joined industry forces to drive the establishment of the GSM Association’s Mobile Alliance against Child Sexual Abuse Content. In 11 of its markets now, Telenor customers are using child abuse filter which was introduced for the first time by Telenor Norway and Kripos (National Criminal Investigation Service Norway) 10 years ago.
In India, studies indicate that about 30 million urban children, under the age of 18, own a personal handset. It is also estimated that 134 million Indian children will come online by 2017. Where parents or guardians may have limited experience with the internet themselves, raising awareness and building knowledge among children, parents and their teachers about online risks is a priority for Telenor.