ON THE Cyber Safety Day Friday, Vivek High School, Sector 38, hosted a day-long seminar during which issues such as cyber bullying, online privacy, cyber safety and attacks on adolescents were discussed by the Consortium for Research in School and Pedagogy (CRISP), a organisation that trains teachers and spreads awareness about cyber ethics.
Parents were given tips on ways to monitor their children’s cyber activity and it was suggested that computer screens be placed such that they are particularly visible. They were also urged to communicate with their children regularly, allot time limits for Internet usage and use software programmes to block certain sites.
“We are living in a modern ,technologically advanced world where we need to act as responsible digital citizens. Cyber safety is a burning issue for parents because a child today is like a digital native and parents are digital immigrants. The only way to bridge the gap is communication,” said Udai Lauria, president of CRISP.
Lauria also explained that the guidelines for smaller children are different because students in the age group of Classes IV-VIII are dependent users who don’t consciously make mistakes. For them, the main purpose of the Internet is entertainment but as they grow, they become independent users where the focus shifts to engagement. They then consciously make mistakes or indulge in cyber crime without being aware of the consequences.
While the students opened up with instances of cyber bullying by unidentified persons on social networking sites and abuses being hurled at them on various gaming forums, they were made aware of cyber laws against various crimes. They were also warned against fake lottery, job invitations or friend requests online, which were described as means to misuse private details.
“While the minimum age for joining Facebook is 13, children as young as 10 are using it. Parents must understand that a child’s needs for socialising today are the same as they had in their time, only that the tools are different today. These children will grow up to be in a completely digital world and for them to survive and be successful, they must be aware of the Internet and its threats but a balance between the real and virtual world needs to be maintained,” said Lauria.
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