New digital game to help children safely navigate internet

Safety of children online is always a lingering concern as predators abound in the cyber space.

 In a bid to contribute towards safety of children as they browse the internet, the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) in partnership with Usiku Games have launched a game dubbed Cyber Soljas.

The game, targeting children aged four to 14, was launched yesterday as the world marked Safer Internet Day. It seeks to create awareness among children on the dangers that lurk in the virtual world.

Cyber Soljas has five levels namely cybercrime, identity theft, fake news, catfishing and cyberbullying.  It is aimed at guiding the children through a maze of potential dangers online and also equip them with prerequisite skills on how to protect their identity, personal data, recognise sites containing harmful content.  The game also seeks to enable children develop a critical approach towards information found on the internet.

Data by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), show that 20.6 million Kenyans aged three and above own a mobile phone, with 6.1 million of these gadgets in the hands of youth aged between 25 and 34 who hold devices.

About 4.5 million mobile phones are owned by youths aged between 18 and 24 while 44,777 mobile phones are in the hands of children aged three to four.

Mercy Wanjau noted that the Communications Authority has adopted “a multi-stakeholder” approach to ensure that children and future generations are protected and empowered to thrive in digital environments.

“Impacts range from threats to protection of personal data and privacy to harassment and cyberbullying, harmful online content, grooming for sexual purposes, and sexual abuse and exploitation,” said Ms Wanjau who was speaking on behalf of CA Director General Ezra Chiloba during the launch of the game.

Maureen Mwaniki, Director, Women in Technology at Huawei Kenya, said the private sector has a crucial responsibility in ensuring a safer internet for all, especially innocent children.

With the theme “Together for a better internet: All fun and games exploring respect and relationships online,” Cyber Soljas is intended to promote a safer online realm for children.

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