BIS #6453 Dominic Savio Andheri building 'digital guardians'

by Arlene D’Cruz & Valerie Mascarenhas with Fr Brian Moras

An online session, 'Building Digital Guardians' was held on Saturday, 18 September 2021, from 9am to 10am at St Dominic Savio High School. The session was attended by parents and teachers. The focus of the session was to apprise parents on the cyber world, its threats, responsible use and protocols to keep children safe. The session was conducted by the resource person Shilpa Chandolikar for Responsible Netism, an initiative of the Aahan Foundation.

Chandolikar stressed on the need for parents to understand and learn the digital world in order to keep up to the pace of the child. The session was interactive, through the medium of case study. The speaker elicited through examples and data that children fall victim to cybercrimes like fake profile, hacking, stalking, cyber ragging and online grooming and from the young age of 10 years may even be involved in such offenses. Curiosity and an urge to explore directs children to sexually explicit content, violent gaming websites and unsafe online links. In view of this parents should be mindful of the digital addictions and hazards that the child could be exposed through social media.

She further stressed that the key to tackle such issues is building a rapport between the parent and child. Good communication will bring in trust. This in turn will encourage the child to consult the parent before venturing into unsafe or suspicious online activity. Chandolikar stated that every cybercrime is traceable, we leave our digital foot prints even after deleting the content form the site. The takeaway tips for parents induced an insight to monitor the child through behaviour check, google history, knowledge of online internet acronyms, sections related to cybercrime- legal implications and cyber cell help, securing the device with an antivirus and safe surfing through authentic websites.

Building a digitally strong guardian certainly has been a constructive effort at St. Dominic Savio High School in safeguarding the rights and privacy of every individual in the virtual world with a focus to make every child cyber resilient.