Over the past few years, questions have been asked about the penetration of Internet in the Indian population (which as of now is around 13%), awareness about internet and its development, user’s perception on necessity of Internet as a medium and understanding the value it adds to their life.
While generation gap, as a statistic, plays a good role in highlighting the difference between the age group that is internet literate and the age group that is not, its not just age that plays the defining role. Status of living, availability of internet connectivity, financial dependency, exposure towards “wordly” happenings etc, also mould the answers to the question of internet awareness.
In line with understanding the need for internet awareness for the present day parents, and pointers for students on how to surf the web wisely, I was recently invited by Kottayam Yuvajana Yogakshemam Samithi to take a session on internet awareness, internet privacy and pointers to keep in mind to surf the web safely, for an audience of about 60 families. The presentation from the session is as below –
Starting off with a short intro on where the communication gap lies between the students and the parents, the first half dealt with the positives of internet as a medium and later covered the various ways through which Cyber-Predators and Cyber-Bullies hook-in and harass their victims. Knowing the mindset and methodology of working of the Cyber-Bully helps the students in being further aware about the dangers underlying this evil.
The “illusion” of privacy on the internet was also put to rest with explaining of certain case-studies from real & reel life, and emphasizing the fact that –
Everything you do on the Internet is Permanent and Traceable.
The latter part of the session dealt with enumerating and showcasing couple of basic privacy and parental control options available in Gmail, Facebook and Windows OS by default. In order to bring in the bang in the end, I ended off the session with a different set of guidelines of Internet Usage – each for parents and kids.
With rapid increase seen in the number of cyber cases being registered in the country, majority of them involving kids and teenagers, I was more inclined in spreading information about safeguarding ones privacy on the internet than I was interested in actually listing the benefits of the medium. As humans, we take the positives for granted. It’s the negatives we are carefree about and which come to haunt us later.