Cyberbullying is a major issue in South Africa with statistics showing one in four teens being subjected to it. KidTech has recently launched a website allowing parents to identify if their children have been victims.
Cyber-bullying, which is bullying that takes place over digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets, has become a major issue in South Africa. Recent statistics show that an unacceptable 1 in 4 South African teens have been subjected to cyber-bullying. This is extremely worrying for parents, for schools, and most importantly, for the victims themselves.
Antony Seeff, a co-founder of KidTech, which provides cellular solutions for schoolkids, says, “the cyber-bullying problem is often perceived by teens as being a bigger issue than drug abuse.” “And it has a major effect on the victims”, continues Seeff. Studies show that kids who are bullied can experience negative physical, school, and mental health issues and are more likely to encounter:
- Depression and anxiety, increased feelings of sadness and loneliness, changes in sleep and eating patterns, and loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy. These issues may persist into adulthood.
- Health complaints.
- Decreased academic achievement and school participation. They are more likely to miss, skip, or drop out of school.
In response to this growing threat, KidTech has just launched a website, available at http://www.ismychildbeingcyberbullied.co.za/ , to help parents identify whether their child could potentially be a victim of cyber-bullying and to provide advice to those parents to help them deal with the situation.
Parents are unfortunately kept in the dark regarding cyber-bullying, as children are embarrassed about the abuse or think their parents won’t relate or understand. As such, parents are often unaware that their child may be going through an extremely difficult situation. Even if parents do become aware of any cyber-bullying, they are often at a loss as to how to handle it – whether with their child, with their child’s school, with other parents, or even with the police if necessary. Ismychildbeingcyberbullied.co.za tries to assist with all these matters through an easy-to-use online survey, which is followed up with some real-world advice.
Toma Batev, another co-founder of KidTech explains that, “all you have to do is complete a short 10-question survey, answering some questions about your child’s behaviour.” “The website will then tell you the probability of your child being cyber-bullied and email you a variety of suggestions to help them” continues Batev.
Nic Botes, the third co-founder of KidTech concludes, “we’ve identified cyber-bullying as being one of the major threats facing our children when they are given access to cellphones”. “We are addressing this through our solution, but are aware of the greater problem in South Africa and are doing what we can to build awareness of the issue and help parents deal with it”, he says.
Welcome to world of 2099
The world of 2099 will be unrecognisable from the world of today, but it can be predicted, says one visionary. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK met him in Singapore.
Futuristic structures tower over the landscape. Giant, alien-looking trees light up with dazzling colours amid the hundreds of plant species that grow up their trunks. Cosmetic stores sell their wares via public touch-screens, with products delivered instantly in drawers below the screens.
This is not a vision of the future. It is a sample of Singapore today. But it is also an inkling of the world we may all experience in the future.
Singapore was the venue, last week, of the World Cities Summit, where engineers, politicians, investors and visionaries rubbed shoulders as they talked about the strategies and policies that would enhance urban living in the future.
As part of the Summit, global payment technologies leader Mastercard hosted a small media briefing by one of Singapore’s leading thinkers about the future, Dr Damian Tan, managing director of Vickers Venture Partners. The company’s slogan “We invest in the extraordinary,” offers a small clue to Tan’s perspective.
“We look as far forward as 2099 because, as a venture capital firm, we invest in the long term,” he tells a group of journalists from Africa and the Middle East. “Companies explode in growth because there is value in the future. If there is no growth, they won’t explode.”
The big question that the Smart Cities Summit and Mastercard are trying to help answer is, what will cities look like in the year 2099? Tan can’t give an exact answer, but he offers a framework that helps one approach the question.
“If you want to look at 81 years into the future, and understand the change that will come, you need to double that amount and look into the past. That takes us to 1856. The difference between then and now is the difference you can expect between now and 2099.”
Click here or on the page link below to read on: Page 2: Soldiers and Health in 2099.
- Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter on @art2gee and on YouTube
Street art goes electric
Kaspersky Lab and British street artist D*Face have unveiled the first-ever “art helmet” design at the Formula E finale for electric cars in New York.
The ‘Save The World’ helmets will be raced by DS Virgin Racing’s drivers, Sam Bird and Alex Lynn, as they traverse the New York street circuit during the final races of the Formula E season.
The announcement signals the first art helmet by a Formula E team, continuing the heritage of art in motorsport and the cybersecurity brand’s commitment to contemporary art, creativity and innovation. D*Face took inspiration from Kaspersky Lab’s tagline, “A Company To Save The World”, and hopes that his colourful work will inspire people to take positive action.
D*Face will announce his first-ever art car design with a custom-made livery for the DS Virgin Racing Team. Its design will be released at the “Art Goes Green” event after Saturday’s race. The helmets and art car are the latest installations in the “Save the World” collection, following a major permanent public mural that was installed in Brooklyn, New York, in May.
D*Face, whose real name is Dean Stockton, said: “It is exciting to work with Kaspersky Lab on this project and create art with a real message of hope for a better future. After all, this is our world and we need to look after it. It will take every one of us to make a real lasting, impactful change. I love the mentality of the DS Virgin Racing Team and that of Formula E by showcasing sport in a way that doesn’t harm the environment, but is still just as exhilarating and fun.
“It is time for us all to stand together and make a change… be that stopping data steals, climate change, plastic waste or using damaging fuels. I want everyone to make a pledge to do one thing that will help make a change.”
As a sponsor of DS Virgin Racing Team, Kaspersky Lab is responsible for protecting the team’s devices against cyber threats. The company sees the technical environment in the global sport of Formula E as the next frontier in furthering its research and development of new technologies to keep vehicles secure in the digital world.
Sylvain Filippi, Managing Director at DS Virgin Racing, said: “The whole team fully supports this great initiative and our thanks got to Kaspersky and D*Face for their collaboration. It’s an honour to have such an innovative artist bring his talents to bear in our team ahead of the season-finale; the car, drivers’ crash helmets and mural all look amazing.”
Aldo Fucelli Pessot del Bo, Head of Global Partnerships and Sponsorships at Kaspersky Lab added: “There is a need for innovation on a global scale, both in contemporary art and in the fast-growing sport of Formula E. Now, for the first time ever, Kaspersky Lab is proudly bringing together the two sectors in an effort to Save the World and unleash creativity, encourage freedom of expression and further innovation.”