‘Abtal Al Internet’ protects children

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Saudi Gazette

“We want children to learn how to protect their personal information online, avoid inappropriate content, hackers and spammers, while exploring the Internet with confidence,” stated Tarek Abdalla, regional head of marketing at Google Middle East and North Africa, during the launch of one of Google’s online free programs, ‘Abtal Al Internet’, which translated into English means ‘Internet Heroes’.

The multifaceted program that was opened to the public at the end of September focuses on teaching children the fundamentals of digital citizenship and safety in Arabic. The program could be used readily by teachers, parents, and kids and is sure-shot help for all of them. For example, teachers will be able to download available classroom curriculum and lesson plans online that bring the fundamental Internet safety lessons to life.

Abdalla explained that the company always encourage families to spend more time with their kids to teach them the fundamentals of digital safety. Through “Abtal Al Internet” program, children can learn how to protect their personal information, prevent themselves from online harassment — hackers or spammers — and be able to spot inappropriate content.

“We believe in technology’s power to unlock creativity and create opportunities for everyone including children. At the same time, we need to make sure children are informed, engaged and safe online to enjoy the opportunities that come from being connected in the digital age. We also conducted a survey with teachers in the Arab world to learn about their concerns,” he said.

Abdalla mentioned that the result of the survey showed that the majority of teachers believe children should start learning about online safety at home, and 98 percent of teachers believe that online safety should be part of the school’s curriculum.

He explained that the program will equip educators and parents with resources to teach digital safety and citizenship through an impressive, fun, and unforgettable experience for children in the Arab world.

This way, they can enable them to enjoy the opportunities that come from being connected in the digital age.

When he was asked about how can families protect their children from the many disdavantages that the Internet brings? He answered that families play a pivotal role in protecting their kids on the web. That’s why it’s important to create an environment where kids are encouraged to speak up and discuss their concerns freely with their parents.

“Parents are also encouraged to start teaching their kids the fundamentals of Internet safety at home. This topic shouldn’t be scary, but rather, a challenge that can be solved,” he added.


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