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#childsafety | No software or app can guarantee total safety for kids | Daily Express Online

No software or app can guarantee total safety for kids

Published on: Monday, August 08, 2022

By: Sherell Jeffrey

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Kids surfing the internet.

CyberSecurity Malaysia Chief Executive Officer, Dato’ Ts Dr Haji Amirudin Abdul Wahab, was recently contacted by Daily Express regarding three pertinent topics pertaining to cyber security in the nation. Topics include initiatives to protect the Malaysian cyberspace, educating youngsters about online safety, and publishing the E-Security Journal in 2022.

CyberSecurity Malaysia CEO Dato’ Ts. Dr. Haji Amirudin Abdul Wahab addressing young audience at the seminar

In the earlier series, he gave his responses on the initiatives to protect the Malaysian cyberspace.  In this series, he highlights on educating youngsters about online safety and publishing the E-Security Journal in 2022. 
His responses are as follow. 


Q:    How does CyberSecurity Malaysia observe the situation on the awareness of online safety to children in the country? Is it a worrying situation? How many reports/cases have been identified related to children online safety compared with past years? 
A: CyberSecurity Malaysia does not have information regarding statistics on reported cases related to children. In this instance, CyberSecurity Malaysia provides technical assistance to PDRM as a technical expert in cases involving cyber incidents.

Youths attending a CyberSecurity Malaysia programme.

These incidents are usually handled by our technical team, the Malaysia Computer Emergency Response Team (MyCERT) and Digital Forensics.
Upon mitigating online threats toward children, CyberSecurity Malaysia through its CyberSAFE Program takes several initiatives to study the level of awareness and elevate cyber safety knowledge among school children.
Q:    What is the government and/or CyberSecurity Malaysia’s advice, steps, measures towards improving/increasing the awareness? 
A: CyberSAFE™ (Cyber Security Awareness for Everyone) is CyberSecurity Malaysia’s initiative to educate and enhance the awareness of the public on technological and social issues facing internet users, particularly on the risks they face online. 
CyberSAFE™ program was established to give exposure about the awareness of cyber security and give the best practices for the use of ICT including guidelines of using the internet safely and positively. Amongst the programs/activities under CyberSAFE™ are:
I.    National Baseline Study On The Level of Cyber Security Awareness Among School Children and Parents 2021/2022

  • The National Cybersecurity Baseline Study is initiated by CyberSecurity Malaysia to identify the awareness level of school children on cybersecurity issues such as cyberbullying, identity theft, hacking and analyses the level of awareness and control measures by parents on cybersecurity threats. 

This study provides correlational analyses between cyber awareness and cyberattacks. The first National Cybersecurity Baseline Study was done in 2016.

  • This study mainly focuses on measuring the level of cybersecurity awareness among school students aged between 7 to 19 years old. Kritzinger et al. (2017) categorised three cyber risks to children. 

First, children could be the target of the persons’ inappropriate activities like cyberbullying, trolling, flaming and exclusion, to list a few. 
Second, they may also be exposed to harmful interactions when they receive inappropriate content or materials that could influence their behaviours, disrupt their emotions or destroy their devices. 

Winners pose with their prize after taking part in a programme organised by CyberSecurity Malaysia.

Finally, they may put themselves in harmful situations like sharing illegal files, posting inappropriate content, and downloading content from unknown or harmful sources.


ii.    National Cybersecurity Awareness Modules (MKKSN)

  • MKKSN is a learning and teaching initiative on cybersecurity developed in collaboration between the Educational Resources and Technology Division (BSTP), Ministry of Education Malaysia (MOE) and CyberSecurity Malaysia. 

This module is based on the National Baseline Study on Cyber Security Awareness Among School Students 2016 conducted by CyberSecurity Malaysia in collaboration with MOE, to identify the level of cybersecurity awareness among primary and secondary school students throughout Malaysia.
The topics introduced are based on the baseline study’s recommended topics of online etiquette, social media, cyberbullying, online time management, internet safety, and digital citizenship.
The modules aim to be an alternative teaching and learning medium on cybersecurity topics; raise the level of cybersecurity awareness; foster a culture of prudent and ethical use of the internet and promote best practices and preventive measures.    
iii.    Safer Internet Day Malaysia Edition

  • Since 2010, CyberSecurity Malaysia in collaboration with Ministries, various NGOs and agencies such as Internet Society Malaysia, National Council of Women’s Organisations of Malaysia (NCWO), DIGI Telecommunications, Google, MDEC, and MCMC just to name a few to celebrate Safer Internet Day (SID) Malaysia Edition. Various programs and activities are organised by CyberSecurity Malaysia together with strategic partners who embrace cyber security and internet safety agenda in Malaysia

iv.    National ICT Security Discourse

  • NICTSeD is Malaysia’s first national cybersecurity school discourse initiated and organised by CyberSecurity Malaysia, in collaboration with MOE. 

Since its inception in 2013, the program has successfully achieved its goal as a method of disseminating knowledge on cyber security in a way that would be interesting for students and teachers. 

  • The main objective of this program is to encourage creative and critical thinking of its participants to discuss today’s internet and technological issues globally and identify ways to mitigate online risk and challenges, and in this process, teachers and students become smart and ethical Internet users.

v.    National Cyber Ethics Initiatives (NCEI)

  • A coordinated effort for the promotion of appropriate, responsible use of technology for users to develop self-monitored habits that sustain and improve the digital communities.

vi.    Cyber Security Awareness Talk (CSAT)

  • CyberSecurity Malaysia also conducts cyber security awareness talks or known as Cyber Security Awareness Talk (CSAT) to various age groups and demographics namely school children, college and university students as well as private and government sector. 

vii.    Awareness Contents

  • Since Dec 2021, various cybersecurity messages were published covering issues such as Scam & Phishing, Cyber Parenting Tips, Incident Reporting to Cyber999, Online Purchases, Teen Tips, Password Protection, Fake News, Kids Tips, Anti-virus, Online Conference Guide, Work Tips from Home, Appreciation Messages for Covid-19 front-liners, Internet Banking, Online Games, 20-20-20 Rules, Inappropriate Content, Cyber Sexual Grooming, Cyber Stalking, Cyber Bullying as well as several videos implemented in collaboration with CyberSAFE™ strategic partners on adolescents and children in cyberspace.

Q: What is CyberSecurity’s advice to the public towards the awareness about online safety to children? 
A: The best way to keep children safe online is to be involved and monitor their activities because no software or app can completely guarantee their safety. 
Parents is advised to be mindful that your child probably already knows more about the Internet than you do. Therefore, it is best that you set up your own social media accounts and play the games and apps your children play so you know how these platforms work. Doing so will keep you updated on cyber parenting. 
i.    Mentor their presence online – While we would prefer supervising kids online discreetly, a better idea would be to mentor and help them build their presence online.
ii.    Set ground rules – On time limits, allowed social media platforms, websites, handling inappropriate behavior online, etc. Encourage kids to follow them proactively. Stick to the rules, though you may make some allowance like personal phones and longer internet hours.
iii.    Instill responsibility – Let kids know that if they behave responsibly, then they stand to get more leeway later, else lose internet privileges
iv.    Become a friend and a guide – Help kids create their online persona with care. Let children know that you are watching, for then they will accordingly modify their online behaviour.
Publication of the E-Security Journal in 2022.
1.    Could you share some information about this? Is the publication new? How often is it published? What’s inside it and how can the public out there benefit from it? Any interesting points/parts that would like to be highlighted in it? 

  • CyberSecurity Malaysia publishes e-Security Bulletin since 2004. The twice yearly online publication highlight information related to cybersecurity consisting of incident reports, technical sharing, report findings, best practices and awareness.
  • The e-Security is a platform for CyberSecurity Malaysia staff to contribute to the cyber security community by sharing their knowledge in the form of literature. The articles contained in this bulletin cover a variety of topics about cyber security matters, whether technical or generic in nature. 

  • Hence, the bulletin is hoped to appeal to all members of cyber community, not only to those highly involved in the technical aspects of cyber security. Furthermore, the e-Security bulletin is a bilingual publication. Some articles are in English and some are presented in local language, the Bahasa Malaysia.
  • It is accessible to public from our website via this link:

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