National

CBSE shares cyber safety lessons for teenagers

While the digital exposure of students has increased due to teaching activities moving online during the coronavirus-induced lockdown, concerns about potential threats have been brought to the forefront.

While the digital exposure of students has increased due to teaching activities moving online during the coronavirus-induced lockdown, concerns about potential threats have been brought to the forefront.   | Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

It is concerning that teenagers in the age-group of 14 to 18 years are the most-affected victims as well as perpetrators of revenge porn, the cyber safety handbook states.

Warning against revenge pornography, setting limits to online friendships, valuing consent and reporting to elders if faced with a problem — these are some lessons the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) wants teenagers to learn to ensure their safety in the virtual world.

While the digital exposure of students has increased due to teaching activities moving online during the coronavirus-induced lockdown, concerns about potential threats have been brought to the forefront with the recent “Bois locker room” controversy.

Handbook with guidelines

The CBSE has shared a cyber safety handbook with schools for class IX to XII students. The handbook has guidelines for students as well as parents, listing dos and don’ts, and activities to understand the issue.

Also read | Boys R Us: on Bois Locker Room and the toxic masculinity raging in society today

“Students must learn to set limits to their online friendships as well as online communication with real-life friends. There has to be a limit to what they share or exchange in terms of written words, photographs or videos. They must remember, that, once online, they may not be able to control who will actually see it, prevent breach of trust and misuse and avoid potential risk and harm to their person and reputation,” a senior board official said.

Also read | Bois Locker Room: ‘Copycat’ groups come to the fore

“Teenagers need to understand gender relations. Boys must learn to interact with girls on equal terms and respect them and their desires as those of human beings, not simply as objects of respect or desires,” the official said.

‘Consent, an important part of relationships’

“Consent must be an important part of relationships. Pictures, videos and other material shared in confidence cannot be published on social media without the permission of the person just because the other person does not want to continue in a relationship. Youngsters must learn to cope with rejection as it is a part of life but not the end of the world,” the official added.

Also read | Time to bring the ‘locker room talk’ to the living room, speak with your kids

The board has advised parents to empower children to decide for themselves how others collect and use their information by requiring their consent.

“As of now, there is no minimum age for digital consent in India. If there are people offline who you would be uncomfortable talking to about your physical or sexual experiences, chances are, you would be uncomfortable doing this with them online too. Cyber Groomers create fake accounts to befriend people, for the purpose of harming them, whether physically, sexually or emotionally,” the official said.

“Students must be cautious when their chat partner gives them many compliments regarding their appearance within a short span of their acquaintance. Do not talk to people who ask you to share sexually-explicit photographs or videos. Never accept a friend request from someone you have never met in person. If you share your sexually-explicit photos or videos with someone, the person can share those photos with others or post them on social media. They can also blackmail you,” the official added.

Revenge pornography

The handbook warns against falling into the trap of revenge pornography.

“Teenagers in the age-group of 14 to 18 years are the most-affected victims as well as perpetrators of revenge porn, which is a matter of concern. Some teenage students who have been in a relationship and end it, find their explicit photographs circulated on social media platforms. When such images go viral, students are often harassed and bullied by their peers — branded with insult and in the end, isolated,” the handbook states.

“A teenager may be targeted by her jealous classmates, her ex-boyfriend or even an unknown friend on social media, who may be victimising her because she stopped communicating with him when she realised the dangers of online relationships,” says the handbook.

Earlier this month, massive outrage erupted online after it emerged that an Instagram group named “Bois locker room” was being used to share pictures of minor girls, pass explicit comments and discuss illegal acts including rape.

Screenshots of crude conversations among members of the group — believed to be students of some top schools in Delhi and some allegedly as young as 13 — were shared.

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 12:59:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/cbse-shares-cyber-safety-lessons-for-teenagers/article31663784.ece

Next Story