Vir­tual safety

Stu­dents par­tic­i­pate in a much-needed de­bate on cy­ber­safety.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - BRATS - By INSYIRAH AMI and KYLE CHOONG brats@thes­tar.com.my

DID you know 13% of stu­dents are cur­rently be­ing bul­lied on­line? That was one of the points high­lighted dur­ing the Na­tional ICT Se­cu­rity De­bate fi­nals, with the mo­tion “In­ter­net is the main con­tribut­ing fac­tor of so­cial prob­lems among youth today”.

The de­bate was or­gan­ised in con­junc­tion with the un­veil­ing of the Cy­berSAFE in Schools sur­vey two weeks ago, which showed a wor­ry­ing lack of ed­u­ca­tion about cy­ber se­cu­rity is­sues among stu­dents.

Play­ing the role of the govern­ment sup­port­ing the mo­tion were the team from Seko­lah Datuk Ab­dul Razak, Serem­ban, con­sist­ing of Mohd Alif Mohd Sofian, Iyad Zakiy Amal, Muham­mad Nor­shafie Norhisyam and Adam Haikal Mohd Hilmy.

“The youth don’t dis­cuss things enough. They use in­sults in­stead,” said Alif.

His team­mate Iyad Zakiy added: “You can’t blame a child for be­ing im­ma­ture. But you can blame the in­ter­net for be­ing a medium for them to ex­press the im­ma­tu­rity.”

The op­po­si­tion – Seko­lah Me­nen­gah Agama Perseku­tuan Ka­jang, rep­re­sented by Nur Ai­man Zain­ud­din, So­lahud­deen Hi­batur Rah­man, Syed Nazim Syed Sabeer Ali and Mohd Syahrul Nizam Ad­nan – con­tested that In­ter­net reg­u­la­tions ex­ist to help pre­vent so­cial prob­lems such as cy­ber­bul­ly­ing.

“We be­lieve that the In­ter­net is just a tool (for bul­ly­ing); it is just a medium, and is not to be blamed,” said Nur Ai­man.

“Even without the In­ter­net, bul­ly­ing ex­ists and so­cial prob­lems ex­ist at the end of the day.”

The team also stressed that it is the peo­ple be­hind the com­puter screens who should be blamed, such as par­ents who fail to ed­u­cate their chil­dren on the dan­gers of cy­ber­bul­ly­ing and other cy­ber crimes.

In the end, it was the team from Seko­lah Me­nen­gah Agama Perseku­tuan Ka­jang who took home the tro­phy, along with RM2,000 and a trip to Sin­ga­pore cour­tesy of Deloitte. Seko­lah Datuk Ab­dul Razak took home RM1,000 as the run­ners-up.

“The de­bate it­self is a form of ed­u­ca­tion on cy­ber­se­cu­rity. By par­tic­i­pat­ing, we our­selves have learnt a lot,” said Syed Nazim.

The Cy­berSAFE sur­vey was just as in­for­ma­tive as the de­bate, re­veal­ing that only 38% of par­ents en­gage their chil­dren in talks about In­ter­net > de­velop good com­mu­ni­ca­tion

skills, es­pe­cially with par­ents > Ig­nore mi­nor teas­ing or name

call­ing > use the In­ter­net un­der parental

guid­ance > avoid us­ing so­cial net­works too

of­ten > Only in­ter­act on­line with peo­ple

you know and trust > Seek help from sup­port ser­vices

like child­line, by call­ing 15999. safety. Not sur­pris­ingly, 38% of stu­dents ad­mit­ted to not know­ing how to pro­tect them­selves on­line.

Psy­chi­a­trist Dr Nor Hami­dah Mohd Salleh, who was speak­ing at the event, said bul­ly­ing vic­tims could ex­pe­ri­ence low­ered self­es­teem, de­pres­sion and even sui­ci­dal thoughts.

The Na­tional IcT Se­cu­rity de­bate fi­nal was held in con­junc­tion with the un­veil­ing of the cy­berSaFe in Schools sur­vey re­sults. Pic­tured here at the un­veil­ing are rep­re­sen­ta­tives from diGi, cy­ber­Se­cu­rity malaysia, the ed­u­ca­tion min­istry and the Women, Fam­ily and com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment min­istry.

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