Google celebrates young minds to drive awareness around Internet safety

Continuing with its efforts to promote digital literacy and spread awareness around internet safety, Google India today on “Safer Internet Day” announced the winners of the second edition of the Web Rangers initiative in India. Arnav Nagpal (14, Gurgaon), Ashutosh Sahni (17, Jalandhar), Krishna Pandit (14, Noida), Nitika Gadura (13, Bangalore) and Sarthak Gupta (13, New Delhi) were chosen as the top five national winners among thousand of entries received from students across the country..

As part of this contest, young kids were asked to create and run their own online safety campaigns in the form of social campaigns, posters, videos and apps. Winning entries were judged and selected based on creativity, reach and impact.

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“Many of the internet users in India are coming online for the first time. We need to simplify and amplify ways by which they can stay safe. Safer Internet Day provides for an important opportunity to engage and  encourage young users across the country to learn more about keeping themselves as well as their peers and families safe online,” said Chetan Krishnaswamy, Director, Public Policy, Google India.

Sunita Mohanty, Director, Trust and Safety, Google India said, “Google remains committed to providing all users a safe online experience, and help make the broader web of sites and apps more secure as well. We’re constantly improving our automatic protections, but we also want to make sure our users are empowered with the controls to adjust their security settings to ensure a safe experience. A big thank you to all the young people who shared with us their brilliant ideas and campaigns and helped us in our endeavor to make the web a safer place”

In order to ensure a safe online experience, Google has been consistently working on systems and tools including spam detection and Safe browsing  measuring billions of signals across sites and apps to make the web and the constellation of Android apps as well as devices safer. Safe Browsing feature warns users  against unsafe websites found infected with malware, virus or a phishing trap. Google shows tens of millions of safe browsing warnings every week on more than 2 billion devices, across a variety of web browsers.

Google has also developed the “app analyzer”, a modified version of Safe Browsing that specifically hunts for dangerous apps in Google Play, other app stores, and on the web, and warns users on identifying any unsafe application. In addition, Verify Apps, a separate protection runs directly on Android devices, proactively checking more than 6 billion apps and 400 million devices every day.

But there’s also a lot users can do to protect themselves. For instance, take a quick Security Checkup, an easy way to review and manage your Google Account’s security settings and keep their  Google Account even more secure by visiting privacy.google.com.

Launched in 2015, Web Ranger’s Program aspires to empower young Indian netizens to make responsible choices online and provide them with the right tools and knowledge to make these choices. The program has already reached more than 25,000+ students ambassadors and teachers covering  12 states and 90 cities across the country. These participants have  have been  been trained on Internet safety to further spread the message and empower young minds and encouraging young people in their schools and communities to consider issues such as the effects of cyberbullying, managing one’s own digital footprint and online tricks and scams.

The contest announced in November, last year, saw wide enthusiasm among kids from all around the country including young kids representing government schools to become ‘Web Rangers- Guardians of the Internet galaxy’. Winners will receive chromebooks and tablets as their winning prize.

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