'Parents must prepare children for the internet': Cyber expert
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'Parents must prepare children for the internet': Cyber expert

Residents said the workshop held in Indirapuram today on cyber security was an eye-opener.


'Parents must prepare children for the internet': Cyber expert A workshop on cyber security under way at Indirapuram on Sunday

The steep rise in the number of internet users and the significant developments in its accessibility have also brought with them a host of technological evils. While netizens become more and more dependent on the world wide web and its gizmos for their daily dose of information, they have also been falling prey to ills like online fraud, identity theft, blackmail and more. Only recently, reports floated on suicides abetted by the “Blue Whale Challenge", an online phenomenon that required players to complete a series of tasks ending in a suicide. This game had particularly affected children and had shocked parents, law enforcement officials and psychologists alike.

In a bid to make residents aware of cyber safety, a camp was organised by the Federation of Apartment Owners Association (FedAOA), UP Police and the citizen volunteer force today at the Sunrise Greens society in Indirapuram today.

It was aimed at spreading awareness about various security threats lurking within the world of smartphones, social media and ATMs.

Addressing participants, Rakshit Tandon, a renowned cyber security expert, maintained that a major chunk of cyber crimes that occurred in the country was directly or indirectly linked to school and college goers. “It happens due to lack of awareness about the do's and don’ts of the virtual world,” Tandon said.

He maintained that just like parents taught basic life and behavioural lessons to their children, they now also had to teach them about the rules of the virtual world. “Behaviour and interaction over the internet are very real and include ills like data theft, fake identities, fraud, blackmailing and sexual harassment. Parenting has to change. Just handing over a mobile with a game to a crying child will not do,” Tandon said.

A few takeaways from the camp

  1. Be careful about sharing information on social media sites and allowing access to personal information.
  2. Children should be taught not to interact with strangers or share personal information.
  3. Instead of consuming all available information, be sceptical. The internet has been taken by storm more than once by fake news and propaganda material.
  4. The internet is real. Parents must learn and teach children about its ills.
  5. Check incoming emails and their addresses carefully before responding.
  6. Never share banking and ATM details over the phone.
  7. Properly dispose ATM slips.
  8. Do not share personal or private pictures on personal messengers. Data can be stolen, leaked or used to cause harm.
  9. Never click on suspicious links on social media or the internet. These links can allow remote access to your devices and accounts.
  10. Never hand over your ATM cards, and in case you are, always check immediately when returned.
  11. Be careful about allowing permissions to mobile applications. Read carefully before installing and allow only verified apps.
  12. Always check security options available on social media platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp, and always choose optimum security options.


While residents maintained that it was an eye-opening session, Alok Kumar, president of FedAOA, maintained that he himself was taken aback after learning about the amount of trouble that can be caused due to a lack of awareness. “At times we carelessly share our laptops and smartphones without realising the kind of harm it can bring upon us. We are also planning to organise more such workshops in other societies. I will start teaching my daughter about internet awareness from today,” Kumar said.

Residents were also joined by teams from the Ghaziabad police’s cyber cell and crime branch led by Aparna Gautam, IPS.