The Internet is an integral part of modern society. It is a tool that provides many opportunities and convenience to us. Everything starting from education, entertainment, information, and commerce is dependent on it. Although the Internet is entangled with one’s daily affairs, its usage comes with various risks that can be especially harmful to children and teenagers alike.
We all know that the teenage years are the most vulnerable stage in a child’s life, and bad experiences during this period can have adverse effects on their character and future. If they experience the darker side of the Internet, it may cause extreme harm to their psyche and lifestyle. These risks include cyberbullying, malware attacks, adult content, and scams. So today, in this article below, we, at Gurukul The School, positioned among the top schools in Ghaziabad, will shed light on some of such online risks and how to ensure that your kids stay safe in the online world. Read on.
The first protection that teenagers must get is protection from malware related issues. Malware is a catch-all term for any software used to disrupt computer systems, gather sensitive information, or gain unauthorized network access. It halts the user’s work progress and forces the computer to behave erratically.
However, there are precautions to help prevent this. Users must not share personal information, keep devices updated, understand privacy settings, and install a reputable anti-virus with many useful features. The anti-virus will protect the computer from viruses, spyware, and other malicious software. It will scan the computer for these threats and remove them.
- Online Scams
The second risk that teenagers often fall prey to is online scamming. Online scamming is a crime that has been around for quite some time now. The Internet has made it easier for scammers to operate on a global scale and has caused damage to society. A prime example is the scam websites that entice users with “get rich quick” schemes in return for a fee. Their pitches appear genuine and make the users feel optimistic and at ease. However, their only aim is to steal the money, which can be quite substantial. Examples of online scams include phishing, whaling, advance fee fraud, and fake charity organizations.
These days, there are many ways to detect online scams. The latest anti-viruses come equipped with features that detect possible online scams and warn the users. When they warn the user about a scam, the user needs to pay attention to it. Besides, there are various online articles about how to spot online scams and what actions to take if one has already been a victim.
Cyberbullying is a form of bullying that occurs online. Children are susceptible to cyberbullying as they often lack the mental fortitude to deal with such situations. Some behaviors that can be classified as cyberbullying include:
- Sending mean text messages or emails
- Posting mean comments on social media sites
- Sending hate mails
- Sharing private information about the victim online without their consent
- Tracking someone’s location without their consent
- Posting embarrassing pictures of someone online
At Gurukul The School, we firmly believe that cyberbullying is an ugly practice and must be stopped by any means necessary. The first step is to read and analyze the issues and how they impact the child. The next step that we must take is to talk about these issues openly with children and share experiences to help them understand the problem and what can be done to keep such issues at bay.
- Online Adult Content
Online adult content is any content that depicts sexual activity or nudity. It includes pornographic videos, images, and text. It can also be any other material that has sexual implications or connotations. This form of sexual exploitation can have long-lasting effects on children and teens. It can lead to low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addiction, and other mental health issues.
Yes, the problem indeed seems big, but you would be glad to know that the protection from online adult content is quite easy! In fact, the Government of India has done us a huge favor by blocking most adult sites. However, people can still access some. You can easily prevent your kids from falling into the trap by installing software that monitors online browsing and blocks all adult websites.
In a nutshell…
The internet can be a boon or bane, depending on the way we use it. If we remain selective and wise in our usage and remain proactive about the perils of the Internet, we can very well keep away from its negative impact. Thus, though we, at Gurukul The School, one of the top schools in Ghaziabad, encourage our students to be curious to learn things from online sources and enrich their minds even more, we also keep guiding them about the measures they must take to ensure their online safety. After all, what we all want for our children is to empower them to be wise enough to selectively keep what’s right and discard what’s wrong. And this can be done only when they carry a keen understanding of how to keep from the negativity around them!