If your teenaged child does not want to go to school regularly,prefers to keep to himself or shows a sudden change in behaviour after his exposure to the web,you may need to rethink before blaming him of rebelliousness. For,he may have become a victim of cyber-bullying. This is the finding of cyber experts who have recently studied the behaviour of schoolgoing children across the region and found that cyber-bullying has emerged as one of the causes of behavioral problems in children.
Cyber-bullying persists in various forms and affects the minds of young children relatively more than that in case of adults,said former Himachal Pradesh Police Cyber Cell official Ravdeep Sodhi.
A child becomes a victim of cyber-bullying when the person on the other side bullies or threatens him or her.
A cyber criminal,under most circumstances,threatens a child with claims of posting his or her obscene pictures on the web or putting his personal information in the public domain,said Sodhi.
By threatening or bullying the child or may even an adult,the criminal tends to force the victim to stay connected with him on chat or do any other favours like connecting to other networks which contain personal details of other people, said another official.
By staying connected,the hackers can not only make use of the latters internet connection but also induct a Trojan horse in their system,which can further spread to other IP addresses with whom the victims computer connects.
The criminals gradually gain access to the childs e-mail IDs as well as system folders,thereby showing their presence everywhere around the child. And this is how the threat leads to depression, pointed out Sodhi.
Further discussing the problem with a group of teachers at National Institute of Teachers Technical Training and Research (NITTTR),Sector 26,the experts also offered some solutions.
The first thing a parent needs to do in such situations of behavioural change in their child,is to sympathise with him so that he feels comfortable sharing his trauma cultivated due to regular threats.
After gaining access to the threat messages,the parents must take printouts of the messages and report them to the nearest cyber cell. Regular counselling and use of licensed operating systems and anti-virus software can help avoid the problem.
The study was conducted across various schools in Chandigarh,Haryana,Himachal Pradesh and Punjab last year. At the two-day workshop on cyber crime awareness that started at NITTTR today,the experts also discussed various other forms of cyber crime which have developed in the last few of years.