Cyber Safety: Nurturing Responsible Netizens

On September 29th, Pratishtha Arora and Arnika Singh, Program Managers at Social Media Matters (SMM) conducted an online workshop with Goa’s Saraswati Vidyalaya students. The second phase of the workshop had a mixed group of 35 participating students of classes 9th and 10th.

Cyber Safety: Nurturing Responsible Netizens
SMM has been actively involved on issues relating to internet safety, online bullying, digital parenting and cyber frauds. This workshop aimed at educating young minds regarding online safety started with an introductory round of trainers. It was observed that the majority of students used WhatsApp among the many social media platforms. Some of them also admitted to being active on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.

Setting up the context of the training, the trainers explained the concept of ‘Uniqueness’ and ‘Vulnerability’ to the students with support of a video. An animated video was played about how to use the internet and avoid strangers in the online spaces. There has been a lot of conversation at SMM workshops and twitter lives about cyber etiquettes among kids in order to protect them from online pedophiles. Among 13 year olds and above there have been a rising trend of mental health issues due to negative online experiences. Online abuse related to racist remarks, body shaming, cyber bullying and stalking often affect young minds emotionally. Hence, a video on ‘how to stop bullying,’ and another one on ‘5 tips to online safety’ was also shown to students. The training was conducted with participatory methods with use of videos + discussion + screening to live safety features of social media platforms.

The next session focused upon the safety and privacy of social media platforms which was discussed to share the safety tips and in built features. Students were informed about the two step verification methods and how to control personal information online. The purpose was to make students realize how to be responsible Netizens.

In the final Q & A round there were questions regarding Instagram account hacks and password manager safety.
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