Since the announcement of the lockdown and the switching over of the Schools to the ‘Online mode’, the process of distance learning and the use of Digital Gadgets has become the new trend. This online mode is not without its own hazards. The interaction of the Child with the Parent or Guardians is now a need that is more than ever. This is the time for parents and guardians to have a meaningful conversation with students about their online presence. It is also evident that this new mode, is now the new style or format for even the formal education system. The most important aspect here is the “Trust” that is needed to ensure that the child is safe on the Cyber Medium. As important is the comfort level of the child while it moves along in the new mode of Online Classes. Even the Psychologists are of the opinion that that there is a need to have a strategy in place to protect our children so as to maintain an open conversation with them about their online activity. Parents need to be the essential Guru in their child’s life, who can be available to monitor devices and help guide them.
Some of the threats that the child can encounter are:
- Unpleasant environment online.
- Unscrupulous elements or contacts thereby falling prey to bullies, predators, hackers, or scammers.
- Access to contents and also ignorance in posting of Personal Information.
Responsibility as Parents and Guardians:
- Be aware of what technology can offer.
- Know your device that is in use.
- Be aware of the laws that provide protection and those related to Cyber Safeguard (POCSO and IT Act)
- Ensure physical security and attributes, also to include protection to the Eyes (Excessive UV exposure), appropriate device Brightness, ensuring adequate Ambient Light, avoid use of High Volume Headsets.
- Be open to conversing with the child or student.
- Find means to exploit the technology offered.
- Have remote monitoring activated (with an aim to study the child’s online activities).
- Educate the child with regard to online hazards.
- Employ added technology both Hardware and Software aids to ensure security.
- Build a relationship of trust, to ensure that the child by itself discloses its online activity.
- Cross verify the conductors online, who are in contact with the child.
- Identify difficulties encountered by the child, especially in terms of bullies, predators, hackers, or scammers.
- Ensure that the child is also not permanently conditioned to go online and hence forget the offline mode.
- Ensure that the withdrawal of Gadgets is done tactfully, and avoid setting-in of withdrawal-syndrome.