Internet Safety For Children
Health Today Malaysia|July 2019

There’s nothing more comforting than to have your chicks safely back in the roost as they unwind on their gadgets in the solace of their rooms. But are they truly alone in their rooms and are they truly safe? Online gadgets are windows to another world, and no one is looking out for your child there. So how do we shield them from the unwarranted possibilities that lie in that realm?

Jennifer F. Netto

INTERNET, A DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD

The Internet has evolved tremendously and shrunken the size of the world we live in. The way we communicate, socialize, educate, trade, and run daily businesses of small to large scales have seen a paradigm shift from Graham Bell’s the first telephone in the 19th Century to Zuse’s the first binary computer invented in his parent’s living room in Germany in the early 20th century. The emergence of the Internet era brought marvels in the way the world worked around time and space, but like a double-edged sword, it continues to bring destruction in the hands of irresponsible people. While we have heard much in the media of grown adults being scammed out of their money and integrity, agencies and multinational companies succumbing to cybercrimes, and governments dealing with cybersecurity issues, our children are unfortunately not spared in this coded pandemic.

SPIDERS OF THE WORLD WIDE WEB

“With great powers come great responsibilities,” said Uncle Ben and he was right! The Internet has changed the way children learn and interact with. It has become a wonderful medium for kids to research school projects, communicate with teachers and peers, and play interactive games that enhance their motor and cognitive skills. But if this infinite channel is used irresponsibly, it can be detrimental to our young ones because the threats on the Internet are real and they are not to be taken lightly.

According to the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), the major threats that are faced on a daily basis are cyberbullying, sexting, pornography, violence, racial abuse and hatred, addictive online gaming and gambling, and online fraud and deception. These have become serious threats for anyone going online. The Malaysian Council for Child Welfare reported that suicidal and self-harm cases are on a rise among children as a result of cyberbullying and cyber gaming.

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