In the wake of increasing online crimes, Team Parivartan — an all-women's group of Grand Omaxe in Sector 93B, Noida — organised a workshop on cyber safety for teenagers and parents. It was held on October 25 on the society premises.
In the workshop, Rakshit Tandon, a cyber-safety expert and the chief resource adviser for Internet and Mobile Association of India, sensitised participants to the threats of cyber space. He said children were particularly vulnerable because they lacked adequate technical knowledge. At the same time, he added, it was difficult to limit their access to the internet, as everybody had smart phones, computers and laptops these days.
However, children are not aware of the risks associated with social media. Teenagers are often seen surfing websites continuously. Cyber security law does not allow children below 13 years to have an account on social media websites, such as Facebook. But they open accounts nonetheless and update pictures and other details that can easily be misused. Hence, Tandon shared safety tips with participants.
Meenakshi Pai, a part of the 10-member Team Parivartan, said that about a hundred children and parents benefitted from the workshop. "Though children cannot be stopped from using the internet, they must be taught to stay safe online," she added.
Another resident, Sri Vidya, said, "Many children are seen sending friend requests on social media. Do they really know these people? They don’t. This is a serious issue. The expert told the children to not make friends with strangers on social media."
It was an eye-opener for the children as well. Aanoushka Pai, a child participant, said, "The workshop taught us things we never knew. We were told that before switching on the laptop, the laptop camera should be covered for reasons of safety."
Rajnish Goel, a resident, felt that long hours in front of the computer prevented children from spending time outdoors. He added that kids should be dissuaded from surfing unknown websites. In fact, he added that he would restrict his own presence on social media after attending the workshop.