To help parents and teachers keep children safe online, the MOTC (formerly known as the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology) launched SafeSpace.qa, a website filled with valuable information and resources on cyber safety.
Users are guided through the site by cartoon characters Saif and Saqr, who were developed by Graphic Designer, Samar Semaan. She created the characters to help make the topic of cyber safety less scary and more accessible to youth.
Saif represents a typical Qatari boy who is curious about the world that exists online. Saqr, a falcon, is Saif's wise sidekick, who helps him make the right choices. The characters are featured throughout the site, and will be used for future games and youth outreach initiatives.
The website has special sections for parents, teachers, kids and teens. Features include:
- Parents: A cyber safety self assessment quiz; information on filtering software, spam, viruses and phishing; clear tips on how to protect their children online; FAQs; and information on how to report problems.
- Teachers: A cyber safety self-assessment quiz; information on how to talk to students about cyber safety; and will soon have lesson plans for different grade levels.
- Kids: Clear information on important issues such as cyber bullying, online chatting, social networking, mobile phones, privacy and inappropriate content. There is also a playground that features a game on cyber bullying, as well as videos on cyber safety. Kids can also ask Saif questions.
- Teens: Clear information on issues such as social networking, chatting, online gaming, judging online content and copyrights. Also, information on how to get help is included.
SafeSpace.qa will continue to grow and new information and resources will be added regularly. Visit the site often so you can be sure you are doing all you can to keep children safe in cyber space. Saif and Saqr are happy to help!