Press release

The Alliance for the Protection of Children in the Digital Environment creates an Advisory Group

An Advisory Group has been established under the auspices of the Alliance for the Protection of Children in the Digital Environment. The first members to join the group were: the Competence Center for Global IT Cooperation, the Center for the Research and Network Monitoring of the Youth Environment, Zhuravlik charity foundation, the Russian State Children's Library, and the office of the Youth Digital Ombudsman.

The Advisory Group, which will include representatives from educational organizations, non-profit organizations, and businesses, will provide the Alliance's initiatives and projects with relevant expert support. The formation process for the group is still ongoing.

Anton Shingaryov, Chairman of the Alliance for the Protection of Children in the Digital Environment: "Having representatives from various areas of public life and business is extremely important for the productive work of the Alliance. The Advisory Group will provide an opportunity to comprehensively evaluate our initiatives and generate new ideas. We believe we can work together to provide children with safe conditions for communication and creativity in a dynamically changing digital environment."

Vadim Glushchenko, Director of the Center for Global IT Cooperation: "Protecting children online is certainly a noble goal. Our foreign colleagues have made strides in this area. Learning from each other and building international relations could be promising for the Alliance. It will be our privilege to participate in the Alliance's Advisory Group, finding common ground with foreign experts in the field of online safety for children and promoting the Alliance's ideas on international platforms."

Denis Zavarzin, Member of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation, Head of the Center for Research and Network Monitoring of the Youth Environment (CISM): "The Alliance is a serious step towards self-regulation in the industry. It's great to see the largest market players aware of the challenges in the digital landscape and looking to cooperate. I'm sure that participating in the Advisory Group will let us find the best intellectual solutions and create modern technical products that keep children safe."

Anna Kopylova, Program Development Director at Zhuravlik charity foundation: "We support the Alliance and are very enthusiastic about our participation in the Advisory Group. One of the key focuses of our No Bullying program is preventing cyberbullying, which is why we support initiatives aimed at creating a safe digital environment for children. Given that a reliable, friendly online environment is key to our children's and our common future, we hope the Alliance will bring tangible, real benefits. We will be sharing our accumulated experience and expertise."

Maria Vedenyapina, Director of the Russian State Children's Library, Honored Culture Worker of the Russian Federation: "We are the professionals who communicate with children on a daily basis, and we certainly see and understand the threats to children that often lurk online. With that in mind, the library has been researching this problem for years, developing recommendations to protect the younger generation from inappropriate online content. We play an active role in the annual Safe Runet Week and run the Weblandia platform with a list of the best sites for children. In 2021, we ran Together for the Family Internet: the Role and Capabilites of Libraries, an All-Russian video conference. I believe that our experience will prove useful to our colleagues."

Dmitry Gulyaev, Youth Digital Ombudsman: "I am very grateful for the trust placed in me by inviting me to join the Advisory Group. The Youth Digital Ombudsman team along with the Alliance pursues a critical goal: creating a safe and friendly digital space for children. I look forward to working jointly and effectively in this area and will be glad to participate in the discussion, helping implement the Alliance's projects within the framework of the Advisory Group."

The Alliance for the Protection of Children in the Digital Environment is focused on creating a safe online space for children to unlock the full creative potential of the new generation. It was founded by nine major Russian companies working in the field of IT and communications: VimpelCom, Gazprom-Media Holding, Kaspersky Lab, MegaFon, MTS, VK, National Media Group, Rostelecom, and Yandex. On September 1, 2021, the companies signed the Agreement on Cooperation and Joining the Alliance. The members of the Alliance have made voluntary commitments aimed at improving digital literacy among children, parents, and educators, establishing and promoting positive and educational content, developing new approaches to protect children online, creating relevant IT solutions for personal data protection, and proactively identifying and removing content that might harm the health and development of children. One important area of the Alliance's work is constant dialogue with the government and international organizations, coordinating efforts to protect children in the digital world.

The Center for Global IT Cooperation was established in 2020 to facilitate international expert research into global cooperation between Russia and the international community in the field of information technology, promoting new approaches to multilateral online governance. The Center works with a pool of Russian and international experts to develop new approaches in the field of global IT cooperation, conduct research and implement projects in the field of digital literacy, promote scientific and technological cooperation, develop international legal foundations for international governance on the internet, and leverage contacts and assistance from all stakeholder experts in Russia and abroad to run a range of expert science round tables, conferences, and webinars.

The Center for the Research and Network Monitoring of the Youth Environment (CISM) was established pursuant to the instructions of the President of Russia in 2018. The organization creates digital products to protect children from exposure to negative information. The Center cooperates with Roskomnadzor, the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation, law enforcement agencies, and other governmental bodies.
Zhuravlik charity foundation has been developing and implementing social programs to stop bullying among children, fostering inclusive practices in schools, cultural institutions, and workplaces since 2018. It implements programs to prevent violence against children in any form during their life, education, and development. The foundation's key programs are No Bullying, a program aimed at preventing bullying at schools; Inclusive Capsule, a program for children with special academic needs in public schools; and We are against violence, a program preventing violence in orphanages and families.

The Russian State Children's Library is the world's largest library for children. For more than 50 years, it has been a cultural and educational center for children and their parents. For specialists, it is a scientific, methodological, and research center for librarian work with children and adolescents. The work develops pedagogical, psychological, and sociological practices for getting children to read, facilitates bibliographic research into children's literature, and serves as a leading professional development platform for children's librarians. Since 2013, the library has been accredited by Roskomnadzor to run expert assessments of information products, including data distributed over information and telecommunication networks.

The Youth Digital Ombudsman is a new public youth institution founded on April 6, 2021, as part of the first Youth Russian Internet Governance Forum (Youth RIGF) held under the auspices of the United Nations. The mission of the Youth Digital Ombudsman and their team is to increase digital and legal literacy among young people while also supporting and promoting youth initiatives in the field of IT technology.

Children and social media: Kaspersky Lab studies whether schoolchildren stay private online
The most popular platforms in 2021 are VK, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.
Research showed that minors don't take enough precautions to protect their privacy. They tend to share excessive information about themselves in the public landscape. This phenomenon is called oversharing. For example, about 50% of minors indicate their real age on social media, although for security reasons it's better to conceal it; about the same percentage shares personal photos; and 31% of minors list their school number. 9% of young users leave location pins, and 14% share the names of their relatives. Children often post excessive amounts of personal information and fail to conceal their page from prying eyes (28%). More than one-third (38%) of children accept private messages from anyone.

Oversharing plays into the hands of intruders. A location pin along with the post "going on vacation" and a picture from the airport might attract burglars, and names of relatives and loved ones of the child can become a manipulation tool in the hands of scammers.

While the majority of children (82%) accept friend requests from strangers, in 29% of cases those strangers are unknown adults.
Most frequently, this happens with children aged 11-14. Almost half (47%) of children meet new people on social networks, and 37% subsequently meet their online acquaintances in real life.

"Excessive openness on the internet can be problematic. For example, 22% of children admitted that they regret what they posted on social media. At the same time, neither social media nor the internet can be inherently bad or good. It is important how often and for what exact purpose they are used," explains Andrey Sidenko, head of Kaspersky Lab's children's online security department. "That's why we should help children improve their digital literacy and establish proper online habits."
In September 2021, nine of the largest Russian digital companies — VimpelCom, Gazprom-Media Holding, MegaFon, MTS, Mail.Ru Group, National Media Group, Rostelecom, Yandex, and Kaspersky Lab — announced the creation of the Alliance for the Protection of Children in the Digital Environment. Its main goal is to create a child-friendly internet landscape based on creative and safe technologies and digital solutions that helps children develop harmoniously, fulfil their needs in the digital world, learn responsible online behavior, and follow moral guidelines.

The full version of the study is available here.
* The survey was ordered by Kaspersky Lab and run by Online Interviewer in 2021 in Russia among
parents and their school- and preschool-aged children. A total of 500 people were interviewed.