To Be, or Not To Be On­line: That is the Ques­tion

Distinguished Magazine - - CONTENTS - SURANGAMA GUHA ROY

Schools and col­leges re­main some of the worst hit when it comes to var­i­ous forms of cy­ber ha­rass­ment. Cy­ber at­tacks threaten our ev­ery­day lives more than we can ever imag­ine. Schools and col­leges re­main some of the worst hit when it comes to var­i­ous forms of cy­ber ha­rass­ment. Our chil­dren be­come ‘soft tar­gets’, easy vic­tims of warped minds and ac­cess to dif­fer­ent tech­no­log­i­cal plat­forms.

Ac­cord­ing to the Tele­graph, UK, in 2017, mil­lions of students, teach­ers and par­ents us­ing Ed­modo, an ap­pli­ca­tion that acts as a kind of ‘Face­book for schools’, lost their per­sonal de­tails that were in turn sold on the dark net. In the United States, as per the Pri­vacy rights Clear­ing­house, about 695 breaches at schools across the coun­try led to over 10 mil­lions per­sonal records be­ing hacked.

It is a fact we have to live with, that we have very lit­tle con­trol over the myr­iad dif­fi­cul­ties our young ones could be fac­ing in the wide world out there. Added to the prob­lems that they face in the phys­i­cal world around them, are the un­known threats that lurk in ev­ery cor­ner in the dark­ness of the web. Al­most ev­ery sin­gle in­di­vid­ual to­day has a dig­i­tal foot­print that has be­come their im­print on the in­ter­net. Young peo­ple, of course, are on the top of that list.

With dif­fer­ent forms of dig­i­tal plat­forms avail­able on a vast va­ri­ety of dig­i­tal de­vices, kids, whether school students or young adults, are ex­posed to vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties from sources that had sim­ply not ex­isted, even a lit­tle over a decade ago. Now though, the threats are many and var­ied, and while many of them orig­i­nate in the vir­tual world, their con­se­quences spill into the phys­i­cal world, and in more cases than one likes to ad­mit, could be cat­a­strophic.

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