The recent abduction of 13 year old Mustafa Dossal through Facebook has set alarm bells ringing. There was a time when parents used to warn their children about avoiding any kind of contact from strangers who come across them, but now as everything has become sophisticated, certainly, cyber crime techniques too have improved. Mustafa had befriended a stranger on a famous social networking site, Facebook and one day when he went to meet his online friend in real, he discovered that he had been abducted. The offenders handed over young Mustafa to a gang in Lyari and they took him to Hub where he was kept in a criminal hideout. After incessant and intense efforts of Citizens Police Liaison Committee and Anti-Violent Crime Cell, Mustafa was safely recovered and handed over to his family. This incident surprised everyone and awareness programmes regarding cyber crimes continued to run through all news channels. It is true that children are most vulnerable targets of people involved in cyber crimes. Facilitating communication is one of the greatest merits of Internet but since nothing in this world is ideal and perfect, it comes with great dangers too and Mustafa’s case is a perfect example of this. However, with a little bit of care and vigilance, parents can control the risks that loom over the safety of their tech-savvy kids.
- Always keep an eye on the activities of your children. Don’t become a paranoid and intrude in their each and every affair but make sure that you are aware of what your child is doing.
- Don’t handover laptops, tabs or smart phones to your kids before the appropriate age arrives. Children do not have experience as adults and that’s why they can be easily cheated and camouflaged.
- Engage in a healthy discussion with your children about what’s happening around in the world. Kids of the modern era are smart but certainly, they too need parental guidance. Allow them to be open about their feelings and experiences that they come across so that you can guide them better in the light of your experiences.
- Keep your personal computer at a place which is easily accessible to everyone in the family (like a television lounge or a living room). Children will refrain from viewing any objectionable stuff because of a potential threat of anyone arriving at any moment at the computer’s place. However, don’t completely rely on the fear factor as this will hamper your child’s positive mental and intellectual growth. The best way to keep negative things at bay from children is to engage them in a healthy manner in the family.
- You can modify your browser settings and block certain sites that you may find inappropriate for your child.
- Lastly, don’t expect the child to avoid delving into cyber crimes. Life is all about experiencing novel things. Some experiences are positive while others may prove to be negative too. Even adults are prone to committing serious blunders in spite of having several experiences in hand. Tell your child the pros and cons of every activity and experience that is included in the chapter of his life. Don’t be afraid if your child is deviating from the correct path, all you need to do is to counsel and have confidence in him. For sure, love and care has the power to change. Keep yourself and your family at a safe distance from cyber crimes and criminals. Happy browsing!