Online safety and digital literacy are essential in today’s highly connected world. A recent online safety survey, commissioned by Google Hong Kong and conducted by YouGov, showed that 3 in 5 (58%, up from 54% in 2021) internet users in Hong Kong had experienced a personal data breach or knew someone who had.
It’s worrying that despite the majority (96%) of those being surveyed have experienced a data breach or know someone who has, they still persist with poor password practices.
Michael Yue, General Manager, Sales & Operations, Google Hong Kong, said: “Every day, billions of people rely on Google products and services to find information and stay connected. We’re committed to building a safer internet for everyone, with privacy and security as core design elements across our entire product portfolio. We’re excited to bring local partners and creators along this Safer with Google journey, with the Smarter Digital City Internet Safety Ambassadors Program supported by YouTube creator POMATO, the launch of Google Safety Center in Traditional Chinese for Hong Kong, and ongoing Google.org support to The Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS) for their digital and media literacy program.”
Supporting local NGO in youths’ digital and media literacy program
Google’s philanthropic arm, Google.org, supports The Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS) to upskill local underserved communities such as youth and elderly on media literacy through its social enterprise, WebOrganic. “Information technology is one of the most important tools when it comes to building a good foundation for the young as it elevates their interest in learning and helps to develop their latent potential. With the grant funding from Google.org, HKCSS is able to power our social enterprise, WebOrganic, to enhance accessibility, digital inclusion, and ICT knowledge among young people,” said Chua Hoi Wai, JP, Chief Executive, The Hong Kong Council of Social Service, “In May 2022, WebOrganic has developed and distributed 3,000 bilingual Digital Information Helpfulness Kits to partners and local schools; hosted 150 NGOs and schools at Train-the-Trainer webinar; and supported ambassador schools and NGOs in producing 10 educational videos (Primary school student teams & Secondary school student teams) on digital responsibility. We recognize the need for an ongoing effort promoting digital literacy and arming people against misinformation, we will continue the program through 2023 and aim to engage at least 2,000 students, 800 parents, and 400 elderlies.”
Providing free resources and online safety tips via Google Safety Center
Google Hong Kong’s online safety survey spotted poor password practices by Hong Kong internet users, ranging from using the same passwords for multiple sites (87%, up from 85% in 2021), recycling passwords for up to 10 unique sites (52%, up from 46% in 2021), sharing passwords with friends and family members (52%, up from 49% in 2021).
HKCERT’s report showed that cyber attack incidents in Hong Kong jumped 94% QoQ in Q2 2022. Experts have been pointing out the importance of creating strong and unique passwords to secure online accounts, together with password manager and 2-step verification. Google Hong Kong’s online safety survey showed that 75% will change their password immediately in the face of a potential data breach, yet only 4% of Hong Kong internet users actively use a password manager. Despite the worrying signs, people show willingness to turn on 2-step verification (64%) and use password manager (39%). For this, Google Hong Kong launches Google Safety Center in Traditional Chinese that provides useful information and tips to stay Safer with Google, for example, how to use Google Password Manager, Security Checkup, Safe Browsing, and more.
Promoting online safety with Hong Kong’s YouTube creators
Google Hong Kong’s Smarter Digital City Internet Safety Ambassadors Program aims to promote online safety tips with creative video content, together with talented YouTube creators. The first video created by local YouTube creative group POMATO will go live on November 28, 8:30PM (Hong Kong time). Tung Tung and Ching Yan Fu, artists of POMATO, shared: “It’s surprising to learn from Google‘s online safety survey that 87% of Hong Kong internet users have used the same password for multiple sites. Being a YouTube creator, we rely on a safe internet to create videos and engage with our fans. We believe we have a responsibility to encourage our fans and others to adopt online safety best practices. It is our pleasure to be the Smarter Digital City Internet Safety Ambassador and join hands with Google in promoting online safety in Hong Kong.”