Ensure internet safety for children

Inappropriate content must be made inaccessible

High Court (HC) recently issued a rule asking authorities concerned to explain as to why it shall not pass the order to ensure safe internet for children. Despite several attempts on the government’s part to block inappropriate and illegal sites, majority of them are still being accessed. Particularly vulnerable are young children who come across these sites while surfing the internet.

The government must collaborate with internet service providers to promote parental controls over internet access. Nowadays, with both parents working full-time, majority of kids are being left to their own devices. As a result, they are often using the internet unsupervised from a very young age. Many children, both intentionally and unintentionally are coming across adult content as well as violent and graphic imagery. According to multiple international scientific research findings, being exposed to these types of inappropriate content at a young age is detrimental to mental development in children. It has also been linked to anti-social behavior in later life.

The government must take a tougher stance on internet censorship in order to put a stop to these types of content being proliferated. Cyber security in our country is very weak. Children are often not aware of the risks associated with going to sites hosting inappropriate content. They often help to spread viruses which help hackers to access personal and financial information.

In recent times, cyber bullying has become a cause for concern. Children are intimidated, threatened and humiliated on social media platforms often by their own classmates. Cyber security to prevent hacking as well as harsher cyber bullying laws must be implemented as well. Cyber security and cyber law awareness campaigns and workshops should be carried out all over the country, in schools and colleges to make young people aware of these issues. They must be taught how to protect themselves from hackers and predators on the internet. Parents should also keep a close watch on the internet presence of their children. In this digital age, it is crucial that the youth be protected from the dangers arising from internet usage.