Safety Series : What should you teach children about Cyber Safety

By Madhurie Singh, July 14, 2014

A week back there was a strange kind of activity happening on my laptop. There was this weird looking advertisement that would pop up on the entire left side bar and lower horizontal part of any website I would load.

It was soooooo frustrating to keep closing them. I thought may be I should block all pop ups to prevent these annoying ads from showing up. But, it did not seem to work.

Then I checked the url of the pop up and found, that they all are originating from one website! Then they were getting redirected to various other ads probably affiliated to the main site. Thankfully, the redirected sites were not creepy or obnoxious ones.

Yet, it was a really hampering my attention to the work I was doing. So, I googled the url that was the main culprit. And found a few solutions online. After a hours, I was able to get rid of this bug finally. And since you know me by now, I was quite curious to find out the source of this bug my system.

I started to read through the various sites I had visited one by one in the last one week. Suddenly the moment I clicked a website, an auto download started! And lo ! I had found the source. It was a blog of a known person. It had an auto download on it. I was forced to blacklisted the blog of course and let the blogger know about it too.

But then now, the previous process of removing this bug would not work! So again I googled, wasted hours and found the right solution. Still nothing happened. I had only one choice left with me, to restore my system to the last safe point. 🙁

All this bug and bugging got me really worried.

My boys are pretty much active on the internet. They Google for their project work a bit, but mostly, are busy searching for the cheat codes of games. Then one day, my younger one told me that he was playing an online game with his friends and cousins.

That’s when I thought it’s high time I took some action about cyber safety for my children. I sat down with my boys and told them about how and what cyber safety means at their age to them.

Later I browsed through the history and set up a few alerts on their laptops and tabs. Now, I get an alert when they log into any social media sites or any game sites that allows them to invite friends. Also, their email and other accounts passwords are set by me and each sends me a copy! Though I never open the emails, yet the senders’ names is enough for me to filter emails. Another thing I have done is to set the privacy on their accounts and gmail. Filter anyone not on their email list to go straight to the delete box.

I have a few friends who are actually into cyber safety by profession.  I thought it would be worthy idea to actually ask these experts about cyber safety instead of me going around blindfolded over the millions of articles on the internet. So I requested them an interview and it was really an eye opener for me!

The first interview is with Nishikant Nigam, who is heading a cyber safety company for the US Airports.

Interview with Safety Expert Nishikant Nigam

The other person I came across during my tryst with the website development was a parent who warned me about a security breach on the development site by the company that was developing it. He is Rohit Srivastwa who is the founder of ClubHack and now a good friend on the social media.

Interview with Rohit Srivastwa, Security Expert

The second interview with Rohit will be published next Monday on the 21st July 2014. So come back and read his views too.

Cyber aka Internet is a dangerous place to be in for many, but it has been a boon to me and many bloggers like me. There are lakhs of online business entrepreneurs who sell and make their livelihood via internet. There are companies who are selling their services online and making huge profits. Not to forget the humongous educational and reference content that makes our lives easy by just one click.

Internet is as good as it can be dangerous just like any other technology. The wisdom lies in learning to use it in the best possible way to enhance our lives and not duck the head into sand like an Ostrich and imagine to be safe in ignorance.

Remember, we need to make our kids ready for the road, however treacherous it may be!

If you have any questions regarding cyber safety, do write a comment here. I will try to get answers for you.

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