Board works to raise awareness of online threats among youngsters


ONGOING programmes on cyber security awareness are important to ensure children and teenagers protect themselves from potential harm.

Johor Family Centre of the National Population and Family Development Board (LPPKN) director Dr Salmi Jalina Jalil (pic) said her department had launched six online awareness programmes involving parents and children between August and September.

The programmes, she explained, touched on topics relevant to the general education system, such as cyberbullying, scammer threats, sexual grooming, sexual abuse, cyber security and paedophilia.

“The classes are conducted online via Google Meet and Zoom and as at September, we have managed to involve 239 parents and 122 teenagers aged between 13 and 17.

“The awareness campaign was based on our recent polls carried out from May to June, which included 1,161 mothers and 1,776 fathers on their readiness to face digital technologies of today.

“The results showed that 62% of fathers were worried that their child might get addicted to gadgets, 55% voiced concerns over negative social media influence and illegal websites while 49% inspected their children’s phones.

“As for mothers, only 24% were concerned about gadget addiction, 19% on online negative influence and only 26% checked their child’s phone,” she said when contacted.

Salmi Jalina said the programmes were specifically designed to educate teenagers on what to do when confronted with concerns in real-life circumstances, as well as ways to better protect themselves from becoming targets.

“We also inform parents about their choices for monitoring their child’s online activity and how to safeguard the entire family from an online threat,” she said, adding that the programme has been in place since 2017.

Salmi Jalina said LPPKN had also provided the myKafeTEEN application for youths aged between 13 and 24, which they could download from Google Play Store.

“The apps are provided for free for them to get in touch with doctors or counsellors on issues that involve teenagers, such as cyber threats and reproductive health.

“We also have a youth centre dubbed ‘KafeTeen’ located at four LPPKN offices in Johor – in Nusa Bestari, Batu Pahat, Kota Tinggi and UTC Johor Baru,” she said, adding that the centres offered counselling and medical service to help teenagers deal with social, physical and mental issues. — By REMAR NORDIN

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