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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

Social Networking: Children@Risk

Parag Deodhar
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Parag Deodhar
“Mom, all my friends are on facebook, why is it that only I cannot have a Facebook account?” My 10 year old daughter was pleading her case in the Supreme Court. I could already see from the expressions on face of the Judge, the case was beginning to tilt in prosecution’s favor without even giving a chance to the defendant. But I was not going to give up this case so easily; I had my defense ready.

Would you leave your child alone in a busy marketplace or on a highway? The child would be prone to all kinds of dangers in the physical world – accidents, kidnapping, molestation… I am sure none of us would do this.

Then why would you leave the child alone on the information superhighway? I have seen many of us do this, unknowingly.

Internet has become a necessity in our lives so much so that the United Nations has declared Internet Access as a human right. Today the schools are networked, have their own website and the homework instructions too are published on the net. Students as young as 4th Grade are expected to log in on to the school website on a daily basis. Students are required to browse the net to collect information and pictures for their projects. There is no denying that Internet has become an integral part of our children’s lives. But the fact is that children are at risk in cyberspace, if we do not take adequate precautions.

More and more children now have their own cell phones. Children are exposed to text messages, MMS (multimedia messages) and can also access Internet, social networks on their phones.

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