Building Trust

Meet Sango – the new Child Online Protection mascot!

Source: ITU NEWS

“Hello, my name is Sangophone and I am a Japanese phone. I live in Tokyo in a family of three children – brothers Kiko, who is 4, and Yoko, who is 10, and their big sister Kim, who is 15. As my use exposes them to all kinds of dangers, I decided to be a revolutionary phone that alerts them and helps them fight against the dangers of the internet. And, believe me, I have my work cut out for me every day!

Meet Sango – the new Child Online Protection mascot!

There are many different dangers, depending on the age of the children. For example, Kiko watches videos on unsafe web pages, Yoko plays violent games that do not correspond to his age, and Kim shares photos of herself on social media…

So I thought of several ways to warn them about the risks and protect them from bad online habits. For example, as soon as I am in little Kiko’s hands, I activate the parental control to block all sites that could potentially be unsuitable for his age. I also set my timer to go off after 15 minutes, because too much time online isn’t a good idea.

When 8-year old Yoko plays online games, I allow access to only those that are age-appropriate, so that he is not confronted by shocking, or even traumatic images. I also ensure Yoko uses pre-registered IDs that do not give any information about his real identity, and I display an alert message that reminds him to always be wary of the people he plays with online, because one cannot be certain of their true identity. Finally, when his connection lasts too long, I don’t hesitate to put myself on standby to remind him that it would be nice to go out and play with his real friends.

As for Kim, I make sure she takes more care on social media platforms. In fact, she could have been a victim of cyber-bullying had I not immediately blocked the photo that one of her classmates had sent of a donkey with glasses, captioned with the phrase “Here is Kim the nerd”.

Finally, for all three children, I put my at-sign headband on my camera to prevent any intrusion into their private life and that of their family! This is how I fight to help my little protégés!”
— CM1/CM2 students (Elodie’s class)

I am happy that Sango can now help children and young people with their digital experience.

Let’s make the Internet a better place for all, and happy Safer Internet Day! As Sango says: stay safe and have fun online!

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