New website portal will offer youths advice on “making smart choices online.”
Yahoo! Inc. today announced that it is launching Yahoo! Safely worldwide, demonstrating its longtime commitment to fostering safer online experiences. Through Yahoo! Safely (http://safely.yahoo.com), users across 26 countries and 14 languages can now access information and advice on making smart choices online. This global resource aims to inform parents, educators, and young people in their own languages about important topics, such as managing digital reputations, avoiding cyber-bullying, and learning how to minimize risks on mobile devices.
In the Middle East, Yahoo! Safely is represented by a localized online safety resource called Yahoo! Safety Oasis (http://esafe.yahoo.com/), which was developed by the Yahoo! Maktoob team. Yahoo! Safety Oasis educates Arabic speaking children about how to properly surf the net and protect their personal privacy through a series of fun, interactive edu-tainment courses offered through a number of Yahoo! Maktoob channels such as Kids, Games, and Family links.
“We are very excited to be supporting Safer Internet Day, and playing a role in spotlighting this day in the Middle East. While online traffic is increasing across the region, awareness of online safety issues is relatively low. According to research we conducted, an overwhelming majority of respondents said they are interested in learning more about internet safety for kids. This makes our program very relevant and we feel that it will provide a valuable resource to educate youngsters on digital literacy as early as possible,” said Andy Abbar, head of product marketing for Yahoo! Maktoob.
Yahoo! works collaboratively with its industry peers, child safety groups, and law enforcement to find new ways to protect children online. Leading organization in the Middle East Aramex has committed to including Yahoo! Safety Oasis as part of their own efforts to promote Internet safety and online literacy programs in the Middle East.
“In line with our commitment to education, Aramex is very pleased to partner with Yahoo! to ensure a safe online experience for children in the region,” said Raji Hattar, Aramex Chief Sustainability Officer. “Through our partnership, we will support the implementation of this initiative across the region, while also engaging the wider Aramex network to further broaden the scale, scope and positive impact of YSO.”
“Online safety has long been a priority for Yahoo!, and we are proud to celebrate Safer Internet Day with the launch of Yahoo! Safely in 26 countries,” said Catherine Teitelbaum, Yahoo!’s director of child safety and product policy. “With Yahoo! Safely, we are giving kids, teens, and parents around the world the tools they need to make smart digital decisions and to deal with the important online issues they face every day. It’s important that we take a proactive approach and work together as a global community to help foster a safer online experience for all our children.”
For Safer Internet Day 2011, Yahoo! is sharing top 5 tips for youth:
Ø Think before you post. How you represent yourself online – the way you play games, the photos and texts you share, your avatar, and your profile – all add up to who you are. Invest in your online image.
Ø Be a good sport when online. If you wouldn’t do it on the field, don’t do it online.
Ø Take action and report bullying. By standing by and watching, laughing, or doing nothing when you see bullying happen, you become part of the problem. Don’t be a passive bystander.
Ø Spread smiles when texting. Texting is core to staying connected with your friends, and half of you send more than 1500 texts a month. What you text is a reflection of you, so be thoughtful about what you text and confident that your texts portray you the right way.
Ø Unplug and connect with your world. It’s estimated that teens spend 7.5 hours a day watching some form of media. The Internet is fun, rich world, but don’t forget to unplug sometimes. Get out and connect with your friends in the real world.