Monday, July 15, 2013

Internet Safety for Children & College Students – Making internet a boon

The internet has opened the floodgates of information, unleashing a power, which only the well-informed, should wield, for constructive objectives. Technology has transcended barriers to bring out in the open anything to everything to anyone, sometimes even superseding security passes or firewalls.

With the absence of an ostensible age-criteria for access to information on the cyber-space, how to teach internet safety for children and college students, who are highly susceptible to the perils of cyber-space?

The Internet with its global dimensions, as an information resource or an entertainment channel, presents its own version of cyber-crimes. From hacking to stalking to  identity thefts, corrupting and a long chain of illegal online activities loom large just waiting to plug into a loophole/security lapse and wreak havoc on the computer exposed.

For instance, a 10 year old child browsing the internet may not be aware of how to respond to pop-up advertisements , tempting the user to sign up for freebies. A wrong click,  may just end up the child at a prohibited site with adult content. To cite another example, where a kid logging into a public chat room can be misled to reveal personal details (residential address, phone number), unaware of a portending peril(stalking bullying etc).

In such a scenario, how to ensure Internet safety for children and college students? How can you as the guardian or teacher step in to educate? When it comes to children, the issues relating to internet safety can be taken up at the class level, so as to effect sharing of thoughts, ideas and experience.Children usually focus on searches pertaining to information research or video gaming or online chat.

Depending upon the age-group being targeted, you could keep a rough outline of the area of interests of that particular age-group. It could be anything from sports to school projects. You could start a discussion on the interesting sites of information for the subjects researched. Such as, what were the attractive features about the websites visited by each student and what they discovered in their exploration? You are sure to get a good response and assessing that you can start your classification of the rights and wrongs of the internet and how each ‘browser’ should be forearmed and forewarned. In addition you could also detail on the security system installed in each PC, and the anti-virus to prevent any attack on the browser’s computer.

To be more impacting you could prop up your ideas with attractive diagrams (even caricatures) which can be good eye-catchers. You could even demonstrate these explanations through a practical approach by asking the children to sit in groups and give each group  a mini-project on tools for internet safety for children (exploring the tools menu and internet options), the firewall of the PC etc. As a report on the mini-project, you could ask each group to prepare charts or posters about the Internet hazards and how to remain safe.

The approach on the subject of Internet safety for college students slightly differs as the purpose of browsing extends to social networking as well.  Additionally, at the college level, students seek exhaustive information on any subject, which may compel them to register with a website from where the information is being accessed. You could discuss about the process of verification of the credentials of the site before registration. Through the process of registration, you could also bring out the subject of identity thefts, hacking, the use of discretion and discrimination while posting personal details on the site. The same is applicable while using chat rooms from cyber cafes, where personal identity details are best concealed. And it is best to establish contact or friendship with a known person even in a social networking site, where privacy settings can be defined to ensure maximum security.

The internet with its seamless connectivity and global reach is all about smooth-sailing along an ocean, where “pirates” lurk in unknown quarters. So  rules and regulations on Internet safety for children and college students, have to be spelt so that an anchor dropped at any website doesn’t expose the ‘browser’ to attacks. A secured website is a sought-after destination for any seeker. Building on this principle of web development, is Rarefly, Web design company chennai. Apart from fortifying website requirements with security and thorough functionality, our team’s portfolio covers SEO services, logo design services,  graphic designing… a list which best comes under the umbrella of web development India. At Rarefly, the business is not just about targets, time-frames and deadlines, it is also of quality insured with security, paving way for success safely and surely.

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