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May 31, 2023 / 22:33

Summer Online Safety Playground gives self-protection skills to children in Hanoi

Hanoi's children are equipped with essential skills and knowledge to select healthy and age-appropriate information through activities by Google and Vietnamese partners.

The scorching heat of the early days of June does not diminish the excitement and curiosity of Do Thi Thu Ha and her two daughters, residing in Nam Tu Liem District, as they joined games that needed their thinking skills and analyzed online data at the Hanoi Children's Palace today [May 31].

Ha's daughter, Pham Mai Anh, a fifth-grade student, told The Hanoi Times through these games, she learned about scams and how to avoid online threats. She also knew how to detect fake news and verify the reliability of information sources.

Ha and her daughters are among many parents and children experiencing game space that provides them with knowledge and skills to protect themselves and behave safely online.

"I find the games very interesting and informative to help me and many other kids know how to protect ourselves," she said.

 The playground attracts many children in Hanoi. Photo: Nhat Khanh/ The Hanoi Times

Ha, Mai Anh's mother, shared that as soon as she read about a safe online playground for children on the morning of May 31, she immediately arranged a time to take her children to participate in the Summer Online Safety Playground event, which will run until June 1 at the Hanoi Children's Palace.

Bui Van Tien, a resident of Tay Ho District, and his two children were also interested in the playground as they found soft skills to be safe online when the Internet plays a significant role in their daily life.

“I think these games help my children learn how to create passwords, secure personal information by sharing information with whom, deal with online bullying, spreading kindness and positivity,” he told The Hanoi Times.

 Kids enjoy games at the playground during the Google event. Photo: Google

Summer is also a time when children have more time to access the Internet, and families like Ha and Tien want their kids to use the vast resources on the Internet effectively for their learning and entertainment process and enhance their ability to connect and share information with others widely.

However, this leads to a risky situation when fraud, malware, and fake news are increasing and becoming more sophisticated, making even adults challenging to determine what is safe and what is not.

Therefore, protecting children in cyberspace is a topic of great concern to many parents and is also the purpose of the “Online Safety with Google” event.

 Children are playing a game on how to create the best passwords. Photo: Google

Expansion of initiative

Nguyen Duc Tuan, Director of the Vietnam Cybersecurity Emergency Response Team/Coordination Center (VNCERT/CC) under the Ministry of Information and Communications, said the program is a playground providing safe and effective internet usage skills for children, equipping parents with educational and entertainment content orientation for children.

The event is jointly organized by Google and Vietnamese partners, including the VNCERT, the Ministry of Education and Training, and the Hanoi Children’s Palace.

In addition to an interactive playground for children, there was also a talk show with the participation of educational experts, Ly Hai – Minh Ha family artists, and Google.

The talk show improves Internet safety skills and knowledge for parents, thereby directing children to experience the online environment effectively, especially during the Summer when children have more time to access the Internet.

 Delegates attend the talk show.

At the event, Tuan emphasized that this is a helpful program to raise awareness of people and children. 

Therefore, children can recognize and be able to protect themselves in the online environment, which is emphasized in Decision 830 issued by the Prime Minister, he added.

According to Google, this is the first time that educational games from the “Be Internet Awesome – The Safer with Google” project, a global initiative launched in 2021, have been deployed offline, helping children learn five fundamentals: Be Alert, Be Brave, Be Smart, Be Strong and Be Kind through playing Interland games.

Parents can also experience and be guided on how to use content management apps such as YouTube Kids, Family Link, and SupeX, learn how to orientate education programs for their kids and set limitations to prevent and avoid the risk of children accessing inappropriate content.

 Playing games highly engages children. Photo: Nhat Khanh/ The Hanoi Times

Marc Woo, Managing Director in charge of Vietnam, Google Asia Pacific, said that through the event, the company is committed to expanding the program to more schools, teachers, and students throughout the year, helping more children have a safe and positive online experience.

He added this playground will be given to the Hanoi Children’s Palace until August 31 to help children and parents have another meaningful summer activity.

From 2023, Google will continue to expand activities to increase internet safety skills and knowledge for Vietnamese people, including children, parents, and teachers.

According to its latest survey, this year, 87.7% of parents surveyed know how to start the conversation about online safety, whereas last year it was only 64% found it not difficult or not at all difficult.

Parents are also proactively searching for technology solutions to support their children’s learning (78.2%), finding high-quality educational content (72%), and guiding children on internet safety (64.1%).

So far, the Be Internet Awesome program has benefited over one million students and reached over 1,000 schools in Vietnam via online and offline training.