WhatsApp, in partnership with the CyberPeace Foundation, has announced a new project that aims to make students, their parents and teachers holistically aware of online safety norms and the general risks of cyber space. This is the second partnership for cyber security awareness between the two bodies, and aims to reach up to 15,000 students across five Indian states in its first phase. According to WhatsApp, the online safety partnership for students will premiere in Bihar, Delhi, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, and aim to conclude the first phase by end-2020.
As per the partnership, CyberPeace Foundation will use an online safety curriculum, featuring tips for cyber security in coordination with UNICEF and state cyber police authorities. This curriculum will then be used to train the first batch of students, their parents and teachers in good cyber security practices. Post the training sessions, participants will be encouraged to create a CyberPeace Club, which will look to maintain the safety information shared with them, and share them along to further student batches.
“WhatsApp stays committed to the safety and privacy of our users. In addition to providing end-to-end encryption that already protects the messages on WhatsApp every day, we continue to work closely with child safety experts, governments and technology companies to help keep people safe. This partnership underscores the critical need for cyber safety through digital literacy and we are delighted to be a part of this initiative,” added Shivnath Thukral, director of public policy for WhatsApp India, in a media statement issued on the partnership.
WhatsApp and CyberPeace Foundation have also stated that they will offer consultations with governments at both state and national levels, as well as education boards, to inculcate the importance of cyber security. The partnership aims to improve logical reasoning and critical thinking among students when it comes to online security issues, in a bid to make students more aware and responsible about cyber security practices in common areas such as making conversations with strangers online.