India seems to be gripped by the unrelenting force of Internet. While it is good to see our country embracing the digital revolution by adopting technology in everyday lives, we must not forget that Internet is not as safe as it appears to be. According to a report, there is little awareness among children and adolescents about the various hazards in the virtual world.

survey conducted in two Mumbai schools showed that a majority of the students were unaware of terms like “cyber crime”, “hacking” and “responsible netism”. In fact, there was a section of students who felt that it was safe to introduce young children to Internet.

“We have something called the deep web, child pornography, normalisation of violence, rape culture, cyber bullying which children aren’t aware of,”- Alka Rao

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A recent surge in the number of cyber crimes involving children and adolescents raises some serious concern about the need to sensitize the young generation about the pros and cons of using Internet. This can be successfully achieved if academic institutions endeavour to impart the necessary education to thwart the occurrence of cyber crimes.

SheThePeople.Tv spoke to Cyber Crime investigator Dhanya Menon about the need to raise a generation that’s tech-savvy, but cautious and vigilant at the same time.

“I think it is important that every child learns some rules and regulations as part of the education system itself. While ignorance of law is not an excuse in our country, I feel efforts to educate everyone about those laws should also be there, especially about topics related to IT act and safe use of cyberspace.”

Alka Rao, who has worked with an NGO that spreads awareness about social issues, feels that the children can encounter a lot of dangerous situations while browsing the Internet and so, they must know how to tackle it.

“We have something called the deep web, child pornography, normalisation of violence, rape culture, cyber bullying which children aren’t aware of. Cyber Crime can be really scary since even adults do not know much about these and thus, they fail to guide their children properly.”

“I whole-heartedly support the idea of introducing a detailed chapter on internet safety as a part of their syllabus. They must know that there exists a life beyond Instagram and Facebook,”- Manisha Verma

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Reema Malhotra, a resident of Delhi and an elder sister to two siblings at the cusp of their adolescence, says:

“A lot of time people don’t realize that they are committing a cyber crime or that their deeds are punishable. More importantly, some simple hacks to save you in the virtual world should always be handy and since today teenagers are all over the net, they must be well acquainted with it. This can be done when schools all over the country collaborate towards working on this issue.”

Delhi-based Manisha Verma, a teaching professional and a mother of two, opens up about the constant grip of fear that parents in today’s digital age live with.

“Our kids are getting carried away by this one-touch technology. Sometimes, even the forbidden and inappropriate content is accessible to them. It is because of this that children are losing their childhood innocence at a young age. I whole-heartedly support the idea of introducing a detailed chapter on internet safety as a part of their syllabus. They must know that there exists a life beyond Instagram and Facebook.”

Our education system must keep pace with the changing scenario and equip the students with the practical know-how to thrive in this virtual world.

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Charvi Is An Intern With SheThePeople.TV