The importance of online learning in these pandemic-struck days has been stressed enough. Our country’s been badly hit by the second wave of the pandemic, urging all of us to get locked inside our homes and follow social distancing to remain safe from the grip of the virus. This has made online learning the only mode of acquiring education in the current scenario.
However, exposure to the online world cannot be completely safe for kids. Cybersecurity becomes an important concept for anyone in contact with the online world. And hence, as online learning is now booming, it is high time that we introduce our kids to the world of cybersecurity.
In an attempt to shed more light on this topic, Ezyschooling, in association with Hobby Tribe, conducted a panel discussion a few months back. This panel discussion on ‘Cyber Security for Beginners’ had esteemed panelists like Mr. Joshua Salins, CEO at The Hobby Tribe; Mr. Vaibhav Kapoor, Principal at Ajanta Public School; Ms. Seema Anis, Principal at Manav Rachna International School in Faridabad; G.K. Mishra, Principal at Nutan Vidya Mandir School; and Dr. Priti Ojha, Principal at Delhi International School.
The term cybersecurity generally refers to safety on the Internet. It is the practice of protecting the network, devices, and software from the attack of external unauthorized sources.
As Vaibhav sir mentioned, cybersecurity has become an important concept in the past few months due to the growing engagement of people in the online world, especially children. Since the past year, children have spent a lot more of their time online and for justified uses. In addition to learning, children also use the Internet to chat with their friends or play games online, and we never know which of the platforms they use could end up stealing our data. This increases the need for knowledge of cybersecurity in kids.
Stated below are some more reasons citing the need for cybersecurity for kids.
Cyber Bullying: Cyberbullying refers to the presence of bullying in online bullying. Cyberbullying can be in the form of mean comments and derogatory remarks. Cyberbullying can have a deep impact on a child’s mental health.
Over Sharing: It is common for young teenagers to have social media accounts these days. However, it must be taken care of how much personal information they are sharing online. Oversharing can have adverse effects like identity theft.
Phishing Emails: Students are in constant use of emails due to online learning. However, they might end up clicking on links from scammers that might lead to the loss of important information and introduce several viruses into the system.
One couldn’t agree more with Seema ma’am who says that cybersecurity remains a big concern everywhere. Almost all the schools are facing this problem, with special concern on keeping the children safe. Parents can always supervise the use of the Internet by their children to ensure cybersecurity. Also, as Priti ma’am mentions, parents too cannot invest a lot of time in their children as they too are required to work from their homes. Hence, it is always in the best interest to educate your kids about the same.
Here’s how you can help your kids stay safe on the Internet.
Education and Awareness: Educate your kid about the basics of cybersecurity. Inform them about what they need to refrain from. Make them aware of cyberbullying, phishing, and identity theft. Explain to them the importance of strong passwords. Also, guide them to turn on the right privacy controls on social media.
Virus Protection: It is essential to invest in virus protection if you are in constant touch with the online world. Purchase an antivirus that protects your device from all kinds of phishing and other viruses to ensure maximum safety. See to it that the software is set on 'automatic update' and scan your device at least once every week.
Careful Clicking: Ask children to be careful of what they are clicking on. Remind them not to click on clicks from unfamiliar emails or any other person on social media. Even while downloading games or any other software, ask them to first ensure that they are trustworthy and won’t affect any information on the device.
Prevent Cyber Bullying: To be honest, anyone could end up becoming a cyberbully without even knowing that they are being a bully. So, teach your kids to be kind on the Internet. Make them refrain from being mean to anyone on the Internet. Instead, teach them to keep a calm mind while on the Internet.
As Mishra sir very well mentions, technology is always accompanied by threats. And as parents help their children with cybersecurity, the school also has an important role to play when it comes to ensuring cybersecurity. To begin with, the school can very well educate the children about cybersecurity, its basics, and all the dos and don’ts. Teachers should make sure that the platforms that they are engaging the children in are free from external threats. They can also choose to encrypt any data before sharing it with the students through the mail so that the information is safe from any third party that tries to peep into the data.
Mr. Joshua Salins has also agreed on the importance of maintaining cybersecurity in the online learning scenario and mentioned that the tutors at Hobby Tribe have been duly trained to keep everyone safe on the Internet. He mentions that cybersecurity has always been the utmost priority at Hobby Tribe, it being India’s first hobby tech company, possibly the world’s that too, based completely online.
Hobby Tribe is an online-based company that works towards helping people pursue their hobbies. The company yearns to help people develop their hobbies into passions, arranging the top tutors to help people successfully polish their hobbies. They aim to provide the young generation with the means to pursue whatever skill they want to.
The folks at Hobby Tribe are also successfully working towards making online learning a lot more reliable and safe for children. Their constant goal for schools is “Study, without being scary”.