In commemoration of the Safer Internet Day, Google through its philanthropic arm, Google.org, has launched a pan-African $1 million fund. With this, Google will support innovative project ideas by nonprofits and social enterprises around digital literacy and online safety of children, young people and families.
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The World Internet Safety day was held yesterday and had in attendance many stakeholders, schools and companies in Nigeria such as: the social media giant, Facebook. Facebook announced that it will be partnering with 9 African organisations to raise awareness about internet safety and security.
Also, making presentation on the online safety fund, Google Africa, Head, Brand & Reputation, Mojolaoluwa Aderemi-Makinde disclosed; “Providing organisations with funds to help support the online safety efforts for children is one thing. We are also looking at expanding programs around internet literacy through our landmark program for kids- Be Internet Awesome.
Starting today, we are launching Be Internet Awesome in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. We will be working with our partners across the region to teach kids how to be safe, and confident explorers of the online world.”
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The Safer Internet Day
The Safer Internet Day is an initiative that originated in the European Union two decades ago. Today, over 150 countries worldwide celebrate this day. The year 2020 Safer Internet Day came up on Tuesday, 11 February, 2020 with several stakeholders joining forces across the globe to work together for a better internet.
Just like every country has a committee that advocates for safer internet usage, the International Center for Leadership Development Nigeria (ICLDNG) is at the forefront in Nigeria. The organisation is working tirelessly against cybercrime among Nigerian youth. It’s also working with various stakeholders to create a platform to raise purposeful young leaders in Nigeria. Generally, ICLDNG will be leveraging technology and helping teenagers to develop the digital skills they need to stay safe online.
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Google In Africa
Google believes that online safety is not only for children but also for grown ups. They believe everyone needs to be cautious online and careful how they interact with the web.
Mojolaoluwa cited some of Google’s effort to support online safety in the past, “Last year, we launched a refreshed Google Play Protect experience with built-in malware protection for Android devices. This has prevented more than 1.9 billion potentially harmful application installs from unknown sources since it was announced.”
In 2019, Google also launched its advanced protection program, Online Safety Roadshow; expanded its Web Rangers Club, and built Password Checkup. The Advanced Protection Program safeguards the personal Google Accounts of anyone at risk of targeted attacks; such as journalists, activists, business leaders and political campaign teams.
The Online Safety Roadshow and web rangers club has enabled Google to reach over 100,000 kids, parents and educators. While the Password Checkup is a program that scans hundreds of millions of passwords everyday to warn you if your passwords have been compromised anywhere on the web.
Aside from this, “Google has plenty of resources to keep kids and families safe. You can learn about the resources by visiting the Google Safety Center. The team is also building, developing and investing in tools and projects to keep families safe.” Says Mojolaoluwa
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Google has made it known that the 2020 Online Safety Fund will be administered by a third party partner, on behalf of Google.org. The expression of interest form for the fund is also available and you can indicate your interest to participate here.
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