Understanding Cyber Space
The internet is an all-encompassing reality of our world today. No matter the age, background or aptitude of a person, to eschew the power and influence of the internet is nigh impossible. This vast expanse of information has no noticeable horizons, entering and influencing those parts of our life and minds which often escape our attention. The medium has its perks – it has revolutionised our lives, our tastes, our relationship and our thought processes. However, like all good things, even overtly positive aspects of the cyber-space need to be taken with a pinch of salt. The same was explored in a workshop conducted by Cyber Security expert, Mr. Rakshit Tandon last weekend at our school.
For a child, the internet is like a candy shop – aglow with all flavours and colours of sweets a kid would drool over. Here are games to play, social media sites to mingle with your friends and to make new friends, free and easy access to all kinds of videos and songs. To put it briefly, internet is an entire world converged in your screen, which can be explored at a mere click. The pervasive growth of smart phones has further enhanced the access to this explosion of information. This candy shop, however, has its own risks when its services are consumed non-judiciously and in excess.
Mr. Rakshit Tandon is a cyber-security expert, who pioneered the ‘Safe Surfing Campaign’ for schools. In a highly interactive session, he gave the kids and their parents a complete lowdown on the corners of threat which exist in the otherwise fancy world of internet. Inappropriate content, ill-suited to certain age groups, only requires some taps on the keyboard to gain access to. Addiction to online games can have adverse health effects, and certain games can also leave a violent impact on the psyche of children. Cyber-bullying is increasingly become a concern-inducing virtual phenomenon. Children, as well as their parents need to be sensitized to such issues, and Mr. Tandon addressed all of these with the ease of a veteran. He threw light on the perils of posting too much information about ourselves online, which can be misappropriated by virtual trouble makers.
Nothing impacts the imagination of young minds like stories do. Mr. Tandon, hence related a lot of real life cases, eloquently woven in the form of narratives with a lesson, which the kids could grasp with ease. He gave numerous examples of crimes committed against innocent persons using social networking sites, online shopping sites, playing online games, using credit / ATM cards and internet banking. He explained in simple terms how cyber hackers operate to extract information leading to defamation, ID theft and bank frauds. He also demystified technical terms like phishing, card cloning, geomapping and WIFI hacking. His talk, while focussing on the problem, also gave out solutions and precautions – some basic cyber etiquettes and hygiene factors - which should be remembered by all to be able to use internet as a helpful and resourceful medium.
We will always hope for our children to remain responsible in their activities and interactions online, safe from any threats that the cyber-space might present to them.Jul 31, 2014 by Shiv Nadar School Noida