The national cyber security agency CERT-In has asked all parents in the country to keep monitoring the online activities of their children. At a time when children have been using internet services for their entertainment and online classes during the nationwide lockdown which has been imposed to combat Coronavirus, CERT-In believes keeping a check on the online activities will safeguard children from inappropriate content streaming as well as cyber bullying. “The Internet is a good resource for kids to prepare school reports, communicate with teachers and other kids and play interactive games. But online access also comes with risks like inappropriate content, cyber bullying and online predators,” the CERT-In said in an advisory.
It is to note that the Computer Emergency Response Team of India (CERT-In) is the federal agency in India that helps combat cyber attacks to guard cyberspace within the country.
Apart from this, the advisory said that the parents should be aware of what their children are watching or listening to on the internet. There are some websites that may pose a threat as they may try to entice children and persuade them to exchange personal information including phone numbers or address. For this, CERT-In has given some guidelines for parents.
CERT-In guidelines for parents
- Devices should be set in the living room and should be accessed in the presence of an adult.
- There should be two-factor authentication for devices and its home screen should be locked with a pin.
- Teach kids how to browse and the content that needs to be looked for in order to maintain appropriate online behaviour.
- It also advised parents to filter content and avoid the chance of the child encountering inappropriate content by mistake
- It asked guardians to add parental control software to family devices.
- The advisory stated that parents should take their child seriously if he or she reports an uncomfortable online exchange.
- Children should also be taught that the internet provides anonymity. Therefore, someone they come in contact with may not be who they think they are.
- CERT-In asked the parents to keep a check on credit card and phone bills as well and look for unfamiliar account charges.
Children have been using the internet more as the schools have started providing online lectures and classes for students as educational institutions are shut pertaining to the spread of Coronavirus in India. Currently, students have been relying on the internet for their studies, entertainment and extra-curricular activities as going out is not an option.