Regularly surfing the interwebs for information, content, and communication among other forms of media has now become a norm for our society. But, it also provides us with a cloak to hide behind, allowing us to do the nasty work – spewing unnecessary hate and abuse – from the shadows. Google is  now looking to help change that, by teaching kids how to stay safe and act when they’re online.

The search giant has launched a completely new initiative called ‘Be Internet Awesome‘ to encourage parents and teachers to make the Gen-Z, which is another step ahead of present millennials, aware of the danger of online abuse and hacking attacks. It comes on the heels of the beginning of Internet Safety month and has been launched with the sole aim of encouraging kids about digital safety and citizenship.

Talking about the said initiative, Google in an official press statement mentions:

It’s critical that the most influential people in our kids’ lives—parents and teachers, especially—help kids learn how to be smart, positive and kind online, just like we teach them to be offline. It’s something we all need to reinforce together.

The initiative includes two different sections — a classroom curriculum and a web-based game called Interland. The former, it says, has been created in partnership with  the Internet Keep Safe Coalition and teachers from across the country. While this course has been designed for young children, the topics discussed and the lessons imparted are relevant to pupil of all ages. Talking about the same, Google mentions that this new initiative focuses on five key lessons to help them navigate this vast expanse of online space. And these are as under:

  • Be Internet Smart: Share with care
  • Be Internet Alert: Don’t fall for fake
  • Be Internet Strong: Secure your secrets
  • Be Internet Kind: It’s cool to be kind
  • Be Internet Brave: When in doubt, talk it out

The web-based video game, on the other hand, is a training tool that is sure to attract the youth towards learning more about online safety practices such that they can answer question to pass the four levels of Interland, which contain challenges, puzzles, as well as quizzes  Each level is different from the other and tackles a different aspect of online privacy and security.

In this imaginary world of four lands, kids combat hackers, phishers, oversharers and bullies, practicing the skills they need to be good digital citizens.

As the adventure kicks off, you’ll first be greeted with multiple-choice questions about phishing that require an answer to help your character cross the river instead of drowning in your own mess — you also have a hand in such practices because you weren’t able to recognize its difference from the original. You then face off against cyberbullies, hackers, and scammers while picking up skills that are designed to help keep you safe in this online connected world.

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