While the benefits of technology and the internet are nothing but expensive, so are the challenges. Cyber extortion, privacy concerns, cyber bullying, data beaches, and harassing students have become serious threats to the safety of school-going children.
As schools are adopting more ways to promote online education through virtual classes and other learning options, the chances of cyber crimes have also increased.
This is a unique position that we find ourselves in. The very thing that helps us conquer the world also acts as the harbinger of threats, harms, and challenges of our next generation.
Of course, this is a sensitive issue, and we need to do everything in our capacity to safeguard our children from privacy concerns, phishing attacks, e-mail spoofing, child pornography, identity thefts, and other types of cyber crimes. But the question is, how can we do it?
That’s precisely what we are discussing today.
What is a Cyber Crime?
A cyber crime is a criminal activity that is conducted using technology where a computer or a network is involved. No one is safe from cyber attacks—from large, multi-billion pound corporations, to small businesses, individuals and even school children.
No matter where you are, everyone is in potential danger of a cyber attack. Therefore, everyone has to be wary.
However, this becomes extremely important in the case of students and children. This is because they are very impressionable which makes them an easy target for most cyber criminals.
Such common attacks could be:
- Stealing Confidential Information
- Cyber Bullying
- Harassing Students
- Ransomware Attacks
- Data Breaches and Theft
- E-Mail Spoofing
- Password Hacking
- Phishing Attacks
Hence, it becomes crucial to keep our children away from such attacks and the pitfalls of technology. As we move towards a more connected, technology-driven world augmented by high-speed internet connections, cyber security aimed towards children will become more necessary.
What are the Common Cyber Crimes in Schools?
As schools are where most often children use the internet from a shared network, the possibilities of attacks are numerous.
There can be various instances where cyber criminals can use multiple tricks to gather confidential information and data from school children.
The hackers wreak havoc in the lives of the students as well as parents, schools, administrative staff, and the local authorities.
Here is a list of common cyber crimes committed against children in school:
- Cyber Bullying
- Identity Thefts
- Cyber Extortion
- Privacy Concerns
- Password Hacking
Each of these issues can adversely affect the psyche of the growing children and hinder their emotional growth. This can create severe repercussions for the next generation and the world as a whole.
This is why it is vital for schools to look at various constructive and creative ways to face these threats.
How to Help Students Protect Themselves from Cyber Crimes?
As cyber crimes against students and children are on the rise, it is not an easy task to keep them safe from the clutches of these criminals. However, we can effectively create many protective veils to keep them safe.
Here are some of the various methods that can be adopted to keep children protected from cyber crimes:
One of the significant elements that make cyber attacks on children easier is how quickly children can be tackled by cyber criminals. Most of the cyber criminals are trained and equipped to trap children effectively. They may have unique tactics designed to specifically trap children.
In such situations, we can create awareness among the children and students against the pitfalls of these cyber threats.
One of the ways to do so is with the help of cyber education and awareness programs. Spreading awareness on cyber crimes is a great way to do so. Many cyber criminals use WhatsApp groups. Hence, students must be educated about the threats hidden in such social media apps.
This falls on the shoulders of parents and school administrators. Schools’ infrastructure that provides internet access to students must be protected from cyber attacks.
Since browsing is the most common activity that most students would do, there must be adequate safeguards installed. There are such protection options available for all types of cyber incidents and ransomware attacks.
Installing intelligent and state-of-the-art cyber security systems in these networks can help to protect the children’s digital identities.
Protect Your Computer
This is another crucial aspect. Whether children are using their own computers or their parents’, the devices need to be well protected. As computers are often prone to phishing attacks, password hacking, identity thefts, and spreading worms, it becomes highly imperative that adequate measures are taken to ensure their safety.
Data protection needs to be done using solid passwords and excellent antivirus & internet security programs in computers where the internet is accessed.
In addition to protecting the computer, adequate data backups must also be created in response to data breaches and ransomware attacks.
Monitor Online Activities of Children
As children are susceptible to online attacks and bullying more than adults, parents and teachers must monitor children’s online activities. Various parent control means and protocols can be used on networks and computers. This will help to keep the online activities of children in check and prevent them from accessing unsafe websites and online portals.
While doing so, parents and teachers can seek the help of cyber security professionals and analysts. They can give you customised and more streamlined options that are best suited to you.
The idea is to create a positive and more welcoming space where students can take advantage of all the positive things that the internet can offer whilst keeping the bad stuff away.
Seek the Help of Trained Professionals
If any cyber crimes do occur then it is essential that teachers and parents report it to the authorities. There are cyber cell professionals from governments who are trained to help the victimised children. Most cyber crimes involving children can adversely affect the growth and psychological wellbeing of the children.
They need not only physical support but also psychological help and emotional reassurance. Cyber crimes such as online harassment and other types of cyber bullying need to be taken seriously as they can have a detrimental impact on the children.
Furthermore, failing to report a cyber crime can give more confidence to cyber criminals, enabling them to go on a rampage. Writing to the authorities and seeking their help can put a stop to the attacks of such criminals and save potential victims.
Help Create a More Appropriate Online Environment
The internet is no doubt an open space where anyone can find and meet anyone else. However, it is the responsibility of each of us to work to create a more acceptable and welcoming setting for everyone—including children.
Both the users and authorities must work hard to help children use the internet without the fear of being harassed by online criminals and other attackers. This is the responsibility of each and every one of us.
Helping children make intelligent, and responsible decisions is also crucial as it is impossible for teachers, parents, and the government to keep a watchful eye over children 100% of the time. What is important is to empower children and students to protect themselves by preparing and educating them about the challenges of the internet.
How Can Technology Help Reduce Cyber Crimes?
Although technological advances can be attributed to cyber crimes, technology itself is also the best weapon that the world has in the fight against cyber crimes. Whether it is to protect children or multi-billion pound business, responsibly using technology is the best option.
There can be three distinct and important roles that the latest technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Data Analytics can assume in today’s world.
Prevention of Cyber Crimes: By effectively installing and utilising AI-powered systems, many cyber crimes against children can be prevented. By integrating machine learning techniques and data analytics, potential cyber crimes can be predicted to avoid them from happening. Most cyber attacks follow a single pattern, and data analytics can be employed to understand and use them to our advantage.
Detection of Cyber Attacks: AI and machine learning can also understand if and when a cyber attack is happening. They can detect the patterns and predict the chances of them happening.
Response to Cyber Threats: Machine learning systems and AI can be employed to protect valuable data and users from being attacked. Systems can be brought under the veil of protection if security breaches are identified to keep the data from being stolen.
While children’s online safety is critical, it is a subset of various other cyber crimes and challenges. If the more prominent issues can be addressed effectively, online harassment of children, cyber bullying, and other cyber crimes involving children can also be prevented.
If you need such help, here at Gemraj Technologies Ltd, we are fortified with the proper technological infrastructure, industry insights, professional workforce, and matchless experience to help you. We offer multiple cyber security plans and offers that you might find uniquely suitable for yourself.
If you need protection for your children against cyber criminals, then please do not hesitate to contact us.