Kids mustn’t mix with strangers on Net, like in malls

Deccan Chronicle.  | Naveena Ghanate

Nation, In Other News

A lot of people lack Internet etiquette and 5 out of 10 children are vulnerable to cyber bullying.

On the contrary, kids tend to teach parents about technology,” Cyber security expert Rakshit Tandon said. 

HYDERABAD: While parents ensure the general physical health of their children, they often tend to forget about their mental health. “This generation of digital citizens do not know about Cyber laws. Nobody cares to teach their children about this. On the contrary, kids tend to teach parents about technology,” Cyber security expert Rakshit Tandon said. 

He was addressing a gathering of 300 students and women at a session on ‘How Safe are you’ organised by the Society of Cyberabad Security Council (SCSC), FICCI Ladies Organisation and Yodee – A non-profit organisation  on Saturday.

The session covered Cyber hygiene, internet etiquettes and the ill-effects of handing over gadgets to children below 13 years of age. 

“All children across India  have the same devices and content. Among the major issues faced by children, fake profiles are the biggest concern. In real world, you do not respond to unknown people at a shopping mall. Then, why respond to an unknown person who sends a message on Facebook? The rule of internet is never to respond to unknown people and always report predators,” Tandon said. 

As per the data with National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), in 2010, 966 cases were registered and in 2016, 12,317 cybercrimes were registered across India.

From 2011 to 2015, the number of persons arrested under cyber crimes has increased from 41 to 98 in the below 18 years’ category and increased from 883 to 3,188 in the 19-30 years’ category.

The Cyber security expert noted that children often get scared of fake messages that get circulated and they have nobody to voice their concerns to. Since a lot of people lack cyber hygiene and net etiquettes, 5 out of 10 children are vulnerable to cyber bullying. Cyber hygiene refers to steps taken by people using phones, laptops and computers to improve their cyber security and suitably protect themselves online. 

Some students noted that their homework was often sent on WhatsApp. In such a scenario, Tandon advised parents to not give an adult’s phone to a child. They need their own device that will be child-friendly. “Smart phones have no privacy as everything you do on it is saved on either Google Cloud for Android phones or iCloud for iPhone. So never click compromising photos,” he said.

Since a lot of children are addicted to games such as Clash of Clans and Grand Theft Auto V, Tandon advised students to avoid chatting with strangers in multi-player games. Meanwhile, he urged mothers to not give gadgets to children while feeding them. “It is fashionable now for mothers to hand over smart phones and other gadgets while feeding children as it makes their job easy. But this is not good for the child,” he said.

A report in UK states that every 15 minutes of time spent by a baby on gadgets rob the child from one day of its growth.

The session was attended by several women with their children, school children from Delhi Public School, Gachibowli, Ganges Valley School, Meridien School, Chirec School and  Geetanjali Public School apart from She teams in-charge, DCP Anasuya and her teams at Cyberabad Police Commissionerate.