Internet safety is the act of keeping oneself secured on social media platforms through updated information and awareness. It becomes vital to use the internet services carefully while gaining knowledge and valuable information from there.
Internet safety is also known as e-safety or cyber safety. It is a concerning factor, especially for children who should consult with their parents or elders for permission and related activities.
According to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC), 32% of the parents in India stated that their children have had a negative experience online. These experiences comprise cyberbullying, ‘eve teasing’, impersonation and child pornography.
The right behaviour and healthy interaction with the internet matters a lot since it is fundamental to the whole process of safety on the internet. It is often believed that kids talk to strangers on social media platforms, and the age as well as the intention has to be known for avoiding any risk.
Following are the steps for safe internet usage
- Exploitive content: Teenagers are vulnerable to receive online sexual messages or requests as they target people between the age of 14 and 17. Their aim could be an offline sexual encounter and unknowingly children compromise their details. Children as young as 11 years have their account on Facebook, however, Facebook states that the social networking site can be used by 13 – year-olds and above. Children are recommended not to indulge in such instances and report to parents or elders.
- Guidance: When it comes to online relationships, elders should guide the children regarding the same with the examples and consequences.
- Confidential information: Nobody should share their PIN, bank-related passwords, account information with anyone otherwise it could become problematic for the person sharing such details. The data breach cases can be prevented by not permitting any personal information in public which could be used by the scammers and hackers for their benefit.
- Data back-up: It is generally seen that some malware permits a hacker to monitor an electronic device virtually. To avoid such risks, one should use antivirus software and by practicing the best technological methods, including backing up of data where one can save a copy of the data on a separate storage device, namely an external hard drive.
Norton published a report stating that nearly 30 million people in India were victims of unsecured practices on social media and the country saw a record loss of 4 billion dollars. The primary reason for this comes out is cyber illiteracy, which needs to be increased across the regions.
Seeing the rise in the usage by children at a very young age, the UNODC suggests, “Children need to be made aware of what is appropriate to share online. Schools need to conduct classes where children learn about using the internet wisely. Issues like cyberbullying and cyber stalking need to be addressed. We need helplines where children can call and immediately be advised on such matters.”