EDUCATION PLUS

Stay safe online

Most of us are leading much of our lives online, whether for work, education, entertainment or keeping in touch with people. Even after the pandemic is over, experts suggest that ‘online’ will continue to feature in a big way. Everyone, especially youngsters, needs to know how to navigate cyberspace, including the threats it poses.

Threats

Part of being cyber resilient means being ready to tackle threats, which may include:

Compromise of accounts and data: Social media, gaming, and chat platforms make up a major part of our online presence. These accounts often get compromised due to malicious apps, phishing links, unsafe browsing and downloading habits.

Financial frauds: Youngsters fall prey to phone or email-based social engineering attacks that dupe them of money. For those engaged in online gaming, coming across game cheats and workarounds may seem tempting but often leads to financial and other frauds.

Exposure to sensitive content: The Internet exposes one to a wide range of content and people. People are often exposed to sensitive content by luring them into other activities.

Cyberbullying and online crimes: Among the most potent threats that youngsters face online is cyberbullying. This directly links to the ethics and norms of responsible online behaviour, which doesn’t find a lot of mention.

Video teleconferencing and online classroom hijacking: Due to COVID-19, many institutions have started online classes, and businesses too have started running meetings through various teleconferencing platforms. But security loopholes have caused a number of problems with unwanted participants posting lewd content, and interrupting learning/meeting sessions.

Safety tips

What can one do to stay safe? Here are a few tips:

Make use of security and privacy settings: One often underestimates the security and privacy features of platforms that include two-factor authentication, login alerts, app passwords, managing logged in devices, regulating audience of content that we share and so on. Almost all platforms behave differently, so review each one from time to time.

Update apps and download only from trusted sources: All apps or services should be updated regularly and content should only be downloaded from trusted sources.

Respect and empathise: The two pillars of responsible online behaviour include being respectful of others and their opinions, while empathising with them.

Courtesy: Cyber Peace Foundation

When something

goes wrong...

Don’t delete accounts or any problematic content you receive.

Store all communication including chats, email messages, push notifications, SMS and so on.

If a problem can be solved by reporting to the platform, make sure to do so under the correct heads.

Report with all evidence gathered to your nearest police station or online at www.cybercrime.gov.in

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