DiGi makes the Net safe for all

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The CyberSafe in Schools programme is a collective dialogue on online risks and addresses issues such as how to stop cyberstalking and grooming by blocking materials in DiGi network settings. The CyberSafe in Schools programme is a collective dialogue on online risks and addresses issues such as how to stop cyberstalking and grooming by blocking materials in DiGi network settings.

When it first started out in the nascent telco/digital industry, DiGi was seen an upstart. Two decades later, the once new kid on the block in the telco sector is the no. 3 player in the market, snipping closely at Maxis and Celcom with a 15% share of the market.

How it got there and what will always characterise the Norwegian-majority owned company is innovation and a strong can-do spirit. (Think of the Yellow Coverage Fellow!)

It was recently named as one of Forbes 100 most innovative companies. The measure of innovation is a company’s ability to come up with fresh, money-making ideas over and above its existing businesses in the next several years.

On that count, DiGi certainly fulfils the criterion. It’s been resilient at executing delivery, efficient and giving the dominant incumbent telcos a run for their money.

Joachim Rajaram, DiGi head of communications & corporate responsibility“We recognise that the nature of the business has changed a lot. It has moved from voice or SMS to one where data dominates,” says Joachim Rajaram (pic), head of communications & corporate responsibility.

“We’re moving from 3G to 4G where Internet speed is paramount in delivering data to handheld devices.”

DiGi embraced the revolution from voice to data by undergoing a three-year organisational transformational programme to modernise its network and IT backend, redefine its retail presence and hiring services-oriented people.

Joachim describes the process as “unity in vision” that covers every aspect of DiGi.  The voice-to-data shift also requires a mindset change among employees, from marketing to engineering, as DiGi embraced the digital revolution best captured by its slogan – ‘Internet for All’.

It is in this context that DiGi undertook in 2011, a CSR campaign which encapsulated ‘Internet for All’. The goal is to make the Internet safe – for everyone.

As Joachim points out, accessing the Internet today is relatively cheap, with some data plan starting from RM9 a week. The cost of devices has also gone down, making the Internet a ubiquitous part of life.

DiGi’s goal is to ensure a safe surfing environment for everyone, particularly schoolchildren. It sees its role as helping Malaysians be more resilient online.

The Cyber Safe in Schools programme aims to safeguard children’s online experience by teaching them how to click wisely.

“There are predators everywhere. By 2017, it is estimated that 100 million children will go online via mobile devices. Most of the time, they are unsupervised… which exposes our children to stranger danger,” says Joachim.

Not many Net surfers are aware that, for instance, on Interpol’s list of 1,000 ‘worst’ paedophiles, three are Malaysians.

In 2012, DiGi in collaboration with the Education Ministry, CyberSecurity Malaysia and Childline started to engage schools, reaching out to 7,000 schoolchildren and teachers. This year, the number reached more than 13,900 schoolchildren.

It launched an education portal targeting five million children and working towards the goal of ‘licensing’ them to surf safely.

Among the key findings that DiGi and its partners garnered from the three years working with the thousands of children are that their knowledge of Internet does not translate into protection, especially for those under 15; bullying occurs across all age groups; there are not enough parental-teacher mediation; and a lack of awareness of technical solutions.

The CyberSafe in Schools programme is a collective dialogue on online risks and addresses issues such as how to stop cyberstalking and grooming by blocking material in a DiGi network settings.

It also works at identifying the risks and threats online: cyberbullying, cyber stalking, identity theft, child pornography and cyber grooming, among others.

The portal shares tips on savvy use of mobile internet about things to know while chatting, how to inculcate good social networking habits, ways of creating a safe Internet environment and to safeguard privacy.

It also teaches children to reach out for the helpline at Childline 15999 that is accessible via call and email should they encounter any predatory behaviour online.

The CyberSafe in Schools project has consumed a ‘substantial’ amount of resources. Reaching out to more than 13,900 schoolchildren requires logistics, technical solutions and training.

The Malaysian model has been such a success that Thailand, India and Pakistan – markets where Telenor has a presence – are keen to adapt from the DiGi’s effort to make the Internet safe for everyone.

But what’s the proudest thing? The whole project was conceived in DiGi’s ‘green’ building right here in Subang.

DiGi2

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