BIS #6286 BBH Borivali celebrates SID 2021

by Anjana K.V. for BISMumbai

The Internet has been added to our list of basic necessities. Due to the COVID pandemic most of our children and youth were compelled to make their presence felt on the Digital Continent and from citizens of a particular country we’re now called ‘Netizens’. While the internet has become our go-to place to meet and greet people, acquire skills, knowledge and information, it has also led to the rise of certain malpractices and vices. While a few are quick and alert to avoid a catastrophe online, most remain gullible and all fall prey to click baits and a million other bad practices which can tarnish one’s image and rob a person of their privacy.

Safer Internet Day (SID) has therefore become a landmark event in the online safety calendar to educate, inform, teach people about safety measures and norms to be followed while surfing the web. What started as an initiative of the European Union Safe-Borders Project in 2004 has now grown beyond its traditional geographic zone and is celebrated in approximately 170 countries around the globe.

This year, SID was celebrated on 09 February 2021 with the theme “Together for a Better Internet.” The Don Bosco Young at Risk (DBYaR) Forum had launched a video snippet and sticker to highlight some do’s and don’t to children who frequent the internet especially at Child Care Institutes. The management and staff at Bosco Boys Home [BBH] decided to address certain issues regards the use of the internet and organised an interactive session.

From cyberbullying to phishing, data mining to theft of digital identity, types of malware, obscenity, password protection and encryption, concerns with Social media; such issues were briefly addressed to raise awareness of emerging online issues and concerns at this session. Listening with rapt attention the boys raised many questions. They were also taught certain 'netiquette' to be followed while using the internet. A small MCQ test at the end of the session helped assess their awareness level of online safety concerns and practices.

BBH Prefect-of-Studies, Father Sunil Pinto remarked, “Online safety is the need of the hour. We who have been put in-charge of educating our children need to be aware of such things first before we can conscientize them. It is the responsibility of families, governments, institutes, and educators to ensure that there is a safe space for children online.”