Info-tech

Surf safely

L.N. Revathy | Updated on April 17, 2011

Move carefully in cyber space. - K.K. MUSTAFAH

Lizum Mishra

BSA's ‘B4U Surf' aims to educate children and parents on safe practices in cyber space.

Are young children of six or a little more inviting you to connect so you can chat on, say, Facebook or any social networking site? Don't be surprised, for today's children have taken to the Net as fish to water.

They may not be able to spell words correctly, yet seem to be at absolute ease getting connected and chatting away.

The Internet has indeed transformed the way we work, play, socialise, learn and communicate. This evolution, while mostly positive, can lure unsuspecting people into unlawful behaviour. Particularly at risk are the youth of today, who have access to the newest technologies through the use of computer at home or in school.

Most parents feel proud when they see their wards play with the system, not realising for a moment the risks they are exposed to in the digital world.

To promote online safety and responsibility, BSA (Business Software Alliance), a non-profit association, has launched the ‘B4U Surf' campaign. “The programme focuses on spreading awareness about cyber-wellness (cyber safety/cyber ethics) amongst children aged between 10 and 18,” says Lizum Mishra, Director, BSA India.

Through B4U Surf campaign, BSA and its partners aim to provide educators, parents and students, information and educational resources to help them understand the dangers that exist online. “Many educators and parents are not aware about the approach to educating and protecting their wards from these threats. This programme gives educators the added responsibility of teaching students to engage in safe computer usage,” she says

BSA has partnered with Sanskriti School and Airforce School in India. “We approached Kendriya Vidyalaya in 2008, but they were not ready then. The time appears to be ripe now for sensitising educators and parents,” Lizum told Business Line.

The association has initiated discussion with various Government schools across the country to spread the message. “We are looking to help educators understand the need for incorporating cyber wellness as part of their curriculum. Schools in Singapore have prioritised this programme. We need to create awareness about online responsibility and safety here.”

>lnr@thehindu.co.in

Published on April 17, 2011

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