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Google teaches children to spot spam and fake news in online safety drive

Google teaches children to spot spam and fake news in online safety drive
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Tech giant Google has been schooling Indian children and their parents about online safety in a bid to help them combat cyber threats, cyberbullying, fake news and other unsafe practices on the Internet.

Google concluded an education programme called #SummerWithGoogle in Gurugram last week in which it sought to help children from all over the country make use of the Internet in a productive way, reports Indo-Asian News Service.

"Children are being exposed to technology much earlier than ever before and we believe that these foundational years are the best time to start nurturing their inquisitiveness and curiosity in the right direction," Sunita Mohanty, Trust and Safe Director of Google India, was quoted as saying by IANS.

According to the report, the campaign ran for four weeks and gave teenagers four online assignments which included real-world projects and a virtual learning experience.

They were taught about various aspects of internet safety such as creating a strong password, identifying spam and fake news, and making safe transactions online.

"Children are a large part of the Internet user group and hence they need to be taught how to stay safe on the web to develop them into socially responsible digital citizens of the future," Mohanty added.

A 2016 report by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said that while digital technologies offer significant developmental and educational benefits for children, it also increases their exposure to potential risks of online abuse and exploitation. 

The report pointed out that cyber offences against children are spreading and diversifying as new methods are used to harass, abuse and exploit children, adding that online offences against children are generally underreported due to a lack of awareness of the law.

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