Hyderabad: A very high number of children from Telangana have been found to be disclosing personal information on ‘confessional’ pages and groups on social networking sites and consequently ending up in trouble, including getting mentally disturbed.
This was found during a survey on the online safety awareness levels of youngsters held in June and a subsequent campaign against cyber bullying currently being conducted by the Women Security Wing (WSW) of the Telangana State Police here. More than a lakh people, mainly college and school students, participated in the online survey, which required participants to enroll via a link and take a quiz of 15 questions.
The campaign, on the other hand is a month-long awareness drive titled ‘CybHer’ launched on July 15 in coordination with the Legal Aid Centre, Symbiosis Law School and is targeting students from class VIII and above and their parents. In rural areas, the assistance of She Teams is being taken. Each She Team will cover two each schools and colleges. Workshops, group discussion with cyber experts and quiz among other activities are being taken up as part of the campaign. It was during these that the WSW came to know how several children were revealing personal information on confessional pages, according to WSW DIG B Sumathi.
Some of them were even found to be using the Darknet, she said, adding that children were unaware of the amount of the data being stolen from them and were later ending up being victimised. Due to fear, some victims were not approaching the police, while a majority of parents were also unable to keep a tab on what their children were doing on the internet.
The campaign’s aim, according to the DIG, is to bring to light the immediate risks and threats faced by the vulnerable, women and children on cyberspace. The intention is also to provide a learning opportunity on the diverse array of crimes, abuse and online exploitation and to equip them with resources to empower themselves against cyber offences.
“We have also decided to focus on SHGs to educate them about cybercrimes especially bullying and stalking among other offences,” Sumathi said.
63% children unaware of common cybercrimes: Survey
Hyderabad: Eighty-seven per cent parents consider the role of parental control software to be useful while 85 per cent of them prefer four hours to be an ideal screen time for online classes.
This was found during a survey conducted by the Women Security Wing (WSW) of the Telangana State Police across the State in June on the awareness levels of online safety. Sixty-four percent teenagers who took part in the survey revealed that a smartphone was their regular internet connecting device. 63 per cent youth are unaware of common cybercrimes especially phishing. Numerous online platforms including Facebook and Twitter were involved to float the survey. According to the survey, 86 per cent parents think that social isolation for children would be challenging while 42 per cent children do not have understandable guidelines from the school about online activities and cyber security.
After the survey, the WSW has started a month-long campaign titled CybHer. WSW Additional Director-General of Police Swati Lakra said the campaign laid emphasis on the supporting role of parents in creating a healthy cyberspace for children.
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