Post Pandemic Cyberbullying Became a Major Threat to Indian Teens: Learn to Safeguard Your Kids Online

When Covid-19 hit the world, health problems were not the only issues that rose. Social distancing and stay-at-home orders gave rise to other hitches that impacted adults and adolescents alike and Cyber Attacks are one of them. When the complete lockdown was implemented, all of us had to quarantine and stay at home with no or minimal human contact from the outside world. Although it proved to be the best practice to conquer the deadly virus, it also meant that the only contact people could have with others would be done virtually. While adults were still working from home, the stay-at-home orders isolated teenagers the most which resulted in enhanced dependency on social media and virtual communications. As a result, almost every adolescent was busy using popular Apps like Tick-Tock, Facebook, Instagram, and other online apps. Not only that, for ensuring social distancing majority of schools started teaching online, consequently kids were spending time online more than ever before. Although for teenagers, online interaction is a great way to stay in touch with peers and connect to the outside world- it does give an invitation to a threat called Cyberbullying. According to the initial reports by L1ght, Cyberbullying increased by 70% during the pandemic.

Let’s find out what Cyberbullying looks like and how you to safeguards your kids against it.

What is Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is a form of harassment using electronic or digital means. It is commonly done through SMS, chatting apps, social media forums, or gaming, too, where people can interact, participate in, or share content. People usually harass or bully others online by sending intimidating messages, posting images, or sharing negative, harmful, false, embarrassing, or mean content about another person. Internet trolling, hate comments, and hate speeches are also considered Cyberbullying. Since kids seldom pay attention to privacy and do not think wisely before sharing their personal information online, it makes them extremely vulnerable to online bullying and stalking.

Common places where cyberbullying occurs:

  • Almost all the Social Media portals, such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Tik Tok
  • Email, SMS, and messaging apps on mobile phones
  • Online forums, chat rooms, and message boards
  • Online gaming communities

 

What is causing the growth of Cyberbullying? 

Increased dependency on the internet during and post-pandemic has doubled the number of hours kids spend online, nowadays. The more they spend time on the virtual portal, the more vulnerable they become to be a victim of cybercrime. But what is leading to the continuous growth in cyber-harassment is sheer unawareness towards cyber defense/security amongst kids. Furthermore, lack of awareness leads to ignorance of the act which encourages the bullies. ikeymonitor.com reports that only 1 in 10 victims inform a parent or trusted adult of their abuse. What is even more threatening is the fact that not only the teen but, majority of the parents in India, too, lack knowledge about the cyber threats that may haunt their kids in the longer run. Online harassment can affect the kids’ emotions for days, weeks, years, and sometimes even a lifetime.

 

How to protect our kids from Cyber Attacks?

Although cyber security software can help protect the device but awareness of Cyber Defense/Security is the most influential way to protect your kids from cybercrime. Until and unless parents and the kids are aware of what Cyberattacks are and how to deal with them after identifying them, there isn’t much hope. This is high time that Indian kids and their parents come forward to educate themselves about cyber defense.

This is why WhizHack Technologies has pioneered to launch of Cybersecurity courses in India for kids. Our Multi-tiered Cyber Defense Program for teenagers is designed to educate them by providing online classes. It is an initiative taken to revolutionize the awareness about Cyberattacks, their prevention and to pave the career pathway for kids’ future in an industry with 0% unemployment.

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