Hyderabad: Cases of cyberbullying are on the rise, especially at the city’s private and international schools, with over 25-30 incidents being reported every month since July this year. In most cases, both the victim and the culprit are children, making it imperative for parents and teachers to keep a close watch on the online activities of children.
Experts said that unfortunately, more than 70 per cent of these cases go unreported as not many parents consider cyberbullying serious enough to be reported.
In a recent case at a renowned international school in the city, a Class VII girl reportedly receiving obscene and explicit images from a common email ID created for all the students of her class.
This email address would have all the homework and project work submissions uploaded on it and the students could access it through a common ID and password.
“The class had a strength of 30 students and we suspected one student, but we could not confirm it because the password could easily have been shared with anyone else. In such a case, it became very difficult for us to even track who sent these images. The images were very, very explicit. We were astonished as to how a child would have access to such photographs,” said U. Rama Mohan, SP, Cyber Crime, CID, TS.
“We receive similar cases everyday, where a senior student bullies a younger student or there is bullying among batchmates or classmates, sending sexual content, cracking sexual jokes and making advances in such a way that it affects the kid’s personality and they start to show symptoms of aggression or become hostile. It is very important for parents to notice such signs,” he said.
While the terms and conditions of Facebook clearly restricts kids below the age of 14 from creating an ID, many students within the age group of 8-12 have profiles online and are vulnerable targets of cyber crime or abuse.
“We had received another case, wherein a Class VII student from a popular private school was suddenly found addicted to his Facebook account. When we examined, we found that he had added many strangers on his page and became vulnerable to abuse by a 40-year-old online predator who was sending the kid adult content. First he started with sweet talk and gained his confidence.
He then started sending a few adult jokes, nude photographs and then videos. The child was vulnerable and fell prey to all this,” Mr Rama Mohan said.
He stressed on the fact that even the smallest of signs must be considered and all cases must be reported. “It is very sad that many more serious issues don’t come to us,” he said....