Technology. Gadgets. Internet. Social Media. YouTube. System Overload…. Crash!
As per Wikipedia, cyber crime is any crime that involves a computer and a network. Like adults falling for hoax emails from fake bank accounts and sharing their financial details. Like people getting duped by fake profiles on social media /dating and matrimonial sites. If adults can be victims of cyber crime, what defenses do the innocent have? Child Pornography and Child Grooming are some of the ways in which children are being targeted.
I bet most parents, especially those of young kids and teenagers, have sleepless nights about their kids having access and exposing themselves to the World Wide Web. It has become an integral part of our lives and it is not possible (or advisable) to take our kids off of it. Thus, one more responsibility is added to parents’ to-do list—educate your children about the pros and cons of using the Internet and instruct and monitor them to ensure that they use it safely.
However, before we educate our kids, we must first be aware of the situation ourselves. How much do we understand about cyber crime ourselves? Do we know what the channels are? What are the possible threats to us and to kids? Before talking to kids on sensitive topics it is best to be well equipped so we are in a position to answer their questions in a language that they understand. Consider this as just another topic that you would talk to your kids about. Explain clearly that just like it is not right to talk to strangers or accept gifts from them in real life, the same goes for the virtual world.
- You should understand that pretend play is very easy over the Internet. It could be a criminal but you will never know looking at their profile.
- Do not send your pictures to anyone, even if they say it is for casting in some play/advertisement/movie and they will make you famous. Request them to get in touch with your parents who are your legal guardians and they will share the pictures.
- Any stranger who says he understands you better than your parents is lying and may have bad intentions.
- Please let us know if anyone is contacting or harassing you through social media. We can report them to the authorities and take action.
Even if you don’t wish to impose yourself on your kids, for their own well-being and safety, it is better to agree upon a set of rules while they are on the net.
- Sending pictures to strangers is the biggest NO!
- You should know the person outside of Facebook to connect with them online. Also, it is advisable to be friends with people of your own age group. Avoid adding parents/uncle/aunts of friends.
- Do not download any content. If something needs to be saved or downloaded for school work, you should always check with either of your parents. Otherwise you might download malware as well.
Make them aware of which websites can be browsed safely. Set filters where possible. Besides this, always encourage kids to share with you in case they come across any inappropriate person or content. They should have the confidence to confide in you. Try to give them an age appropriate response and take action as required.