YOUNGSTERS IN AN ICT DRIVEN SOCIETY

I remember organizing a motivational and empowerment seminar tagged with the title of this post. Now, years later I’m thinking about the success of the program and what really that caption meant to me and the intended audience. Though majority of my audience were teenagers, I never really thought much of this program at that time aside the fact that I wanted to impart knowledge on these kids and help prepare them for the present ‘tech world’.  I have realized that it meant more and that I may have actually unknowingly made a lifelong impression on these kids. They needed to hear it from the right source and learn how to utilize technology advancement for the right purpose, instead of misusing it.

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There are rising cases of cyber-bullying, illegal hacking activities, addiction (especially online gaming) and sexual abuse going on among teenagers online, because they were not properly prepared and informed about the Internet, they just stumbled upon it. This is because most parents buy expensive gadgets for their kids without concerns on how they use it. They don’t realize that these gifts and privileges could become detrimental to a teens development (and even going as far as denying them of their privacy) as opposed to expectation.

There is a need to train youths on the right use of the internet and these tech gadgets, there are policies guiding the use of the internet and they must be informed. Cyber-ethics is a very important yet neglected aspect of the modern tech world, as everything that has an advantage has a disadvantage.

Cyber-ethics requires that you use computers and the internet in the most appropriate way. In addition to common cyber-ethics rule I have listed some Do’s and Don’ts necessary for safe online interaction.

Don’ts                                                                                                     

  1. You shouldn’t use abusive languages online (yes! Despite the fact you feel the other person can’t see you).
  2. Discrimination, whether sexual or racial is abhorred.
  3. Trying to gain illegal access into a computer, network or database is criminal, whether you are trying a new stunt or just playing around with some code.
  4. This may not be a crime, but you shouldn’t let yourself get addicted to any site or game (online or offline). It is never healthy and CAN BE LIFE THREATENING!
  5. Do not copy peoples academic work verbatim. Online materials used for assignment and term papers should be properly referenced and rewritten in your own words, else it may be considered as plagiarism.
  6. Don’t lie about your age on websites or people you chat with.
  7. Don’t share your password or log in credentials with anyone not even friends.
  8. Avoid sharing sensitive and private information online especially with people you have never met before.

Do’s

  1. Report all cases of cyber-bullying to an adult (parent or teacher) and agency around.
  2. Make sure you place your security and privacy above any other rules as you play online.
  3. Always pay attention to the terms and conditions for using public websites
  4. Make sure your phones and computer system are secure by password or other forms of authentication.
  5. Some interesting things you can do online includes;
  • learn new skills maybe a new language, musical instrument or sports. There are thousands of videos and tutorials to guide you.
  • learn how to code in order to solve problems. Sites like codecademy, coursera, Udemy etc. can help.
  • find groups with similar interests meeting around your area such as in meetup.com
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