Cyber Bullying: Why Children Need to Be Aware

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The eight-year-old Reuben Paul, the youngest CEO of our generation is a cyber security expert who has been lined up to present a lecture at the Ground Zero Summit to be held in New Delhi. He has given similar lectures in the past as well.

Reuben is of Indian origin and is currently based in the US. The eight-year-old is the founder and CEO of Prudent Games, a gaming company that develops educational apps in areas of math, science and cyber security. He is also an expert on cyber security.

In one of his interviews with Tripwire, he speaks about the need for the young generation to be aware about cyber crimes like bullying, hacking and morphing. Children these are especially vulnerable towards cyber bullying, i.e. being bullied through electronic devices like cell phones and computers.

Cell phones and the internet is an intricate and intimate part of every one’s life; young or old. While the development of these has made life a lot less difficult, it has at the same time brought along its own baggage of troubles. Not only are adults falling victim to frauds making false promises of jobs, money, property, and even marriage, children too are growingly becoming vulnerable to cyber threat and bullying.

With growing dependence and popularity of technology and easy access to apps like the Photoshop, picture morphing too has become a huge part of bullying among children these days, especially the teenagers who are already in an emotionally sensitive age. For these youngster, a faceless and space-less tormentor can be more terrifying than an enemy present right in front. Even for bullies, anonymous use of technology to terrorize the victim becomes easier as it is difficult to trace and convenient to get away with.

According to surveys, nearly 30 percent of the children are a part of cyber bullying. Many have even resorted to suicide after being targeted by a faceless perpetrator. I know myself a young teenage boy who took to suicide about a year back after continuously being tormented; he got anonymous texts and mails, was humiliated on social media platforms .The young boy could not bear the teasing and humiliation after which he finally gave in to suicide. Such are the terror young children are facing these days. His is however, not the only case. According to stats, 20 percent of the children being bullied think of suicide, and one child out of every 10 attempt it. Further, about 4500 children commit suicide every year because of having been bullied.

Cyber security therefore, is a concern of even the children. The efforts of Reuben Paul is therefore, likely to go a long way if the parents take it seriously. What the government can do is to collaborate with Reuben and work towards creating awareness among children from a young age regarding cyber security. His educational apps can also come to the rescue of children who can learn about cyber security.

Pallavi Sharma

Image Source [https://www.flickr.com/photos/viirok/2498157861]

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