afaqs! news bureau
Digital

Google introduces ‘Be Internet Awesome’ programme for kids safety in India

The initiative will help Google India continue its work around misinformation, fraud and threats to child safety.

Google has significantly increased resources dedicated to its trust and safety teams in India. The teams include product policy analysts, security specialists and user trust experts. They support over 10 vernacular languages, enabling the central team to benefit from the local nuances and inputs.

The tech giant recently launched its global programme, 'Be Internet Awesome', for children in India, in partnership with leading comic book publisher Amar Chitra Katha, to interweave Internet safety lessons across eight Indian languages. As a part of this initiative, it has also launched an enhanced Google Safety Centre.

This initiative is aimed to help Google India continue its work around misinformation, fraud, threats to child safety, violent extremism, phishing attacks and malware. It will further strengthen Google's global trust and safety operations of over 20,000 people, who are dedicated to identifying, fighting and preventing online harm.

“Our north star is to make the Internet helpful for a billion Indians... every single day, more people are placing their trust in the Internet and adopting new services. All of us, in the technology industry, have a responsibility to honour their trust," Sanjay Gupta, India country manager and vice president, said at the recent 'Google for India' virtual event.

Google has also rolled out an ad film that highlights how Internet safety is of utmost importance for kids, who are now spending more time on the web. Developed in collaboration with online safety experts, 'Be Internet Awesome' provides tools for kids, parents and educators, including a free web-based game and a classroom curriculum.

According to Gupta, Google treats user data with utmost responsibility and gives users complete control over their data. “As technology becomes more accessible, the barriers are lowered for bad actors as well and, hence, the work to enhance trust, must go hand in hand. We need to ensure that our children continue to learn and explore the world safely with the Internet.”

The launch of the newly expanded safety centre in Hindi, Marathi, Malayalam, Kannada and Telugu, and in Bengali, Tamil, and Gujarati by the year-end, will serve as a single destination covering important topics like data security, privacy controls and online protections.

The 'Be Internet Awesome' campaign includes an interactive experience called 'Interland', where children can participate in a series of fun and challenging games. They can also learn how to safeguard valuable information, spot what's real and what's fake when online, etc. This gamified curriculum will be included in Amar Chitra Katha's popular series across eight Indian languages.

Google has also launched two additional ad films on the theme of Internet safety. The ads showcase how Google's services can come to the rescue of Internet users, while they're browsing the web.

Google's latest initiatives are supported by a series of global policies that it recently introduced. These include product changes to Google accounts for people under 18 across YouTube, search, location history, Play and Google Workspace for Education.