A cyber safety protocol guidelines were recently published by KITE (Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education) for the welfare of Children, women, transgenders, and the differently-abled. The state legislative assembly has made it mandatory to conduct a cyber safety audit twice a year and has also issued a set of instructions to the teachers, students, and parents. A set of rules and guidelines can make a difference, but it is also important for the parents and teachers to identify any possible threats in the browsing pattern etc.,
The first and foremost guideline would be to ensure that the students are aware of using a secure internet connection. It is important to provide an uninterrupted internet connection to the students and teachers. The institutional heads should ensure secure password protection for safe searching methods.
K Anvar Sadath, Vice Chairman and Executive Director of KITE recently mentioned that the teachers are encouraged to pre-download the required course content for their class in order to avoid the possibility of inappropriate material showing up on the search results. Also, the teachers are instructed to make a prior check on the websites that are required for the students to browse on for their internet based learning projects. This can ensure control of the browsing material by the students.
The cyber safety guidelines specify the students to ensure:
To safeguard their mobile phones and laptops and not to hand it over to strangers.
To not browse and download data/ content from any unreliable websites.
To not save their pictures or personal information on any public machines.
To not share pictures/personal information on any social media platforms.
Protocols can be set up, the educational institutions may come up with many guidelines and teachers can keep a watch on the browsing activities but it is also important for the parents to ensure that their children do not browse any unreliable websites, that there are no behavioural changes in their children, and they provide enough information to their children about the dangers of browsing unknown sites and providing personal information.
Today’s education system requires students to do a lot of browsing activities. While most of the browsing happens with the supervision of the teachers, there is always some browsing that the students do in the labs or at home and such online research may require them to do it on their own that may lead them to browse not so student friendly websites. It becomes the responsibility of the teachers and parents to ensure that their students/ children do not become victims of any cybercrime.
Internet plays a vital role in education. In recent years, browsing the web for information for a school project or a group work at school has become customary. However, the higher usage of the internet by students at a tender age also makes them vulnerable to the attacks of cybercrime if they are not well monitored. The digital world is a very important part of the education system today and that also makes the students vulnerable to the cyber attacks. Other than the legal protocol and guidelines it becomes the responsibility of each one of us to ensure that the students are on the right track and any changes in behaviour, changes in browsing pattern etc should be monitored and dealt with immediately.