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Important measures to protect children against online risks and promote digital safety

Undoubtedly, the Internet has enriched the world of children, but at the same time they have been exposed to online risks related to the digital world. In addition to having access to the internet, Pakistani users must also be well equipped with the necessary skills and a support system to safely navigate this new world.

Everyone talks about the benefits of the internet, but the fact is that few know about its dark side. Online risks are a global phenomenon, but from Pakistan’s perspective, we face additional challenges, for example, uploading/posting profane and sectarian content.

The matter is so sensitive in nature that even a minor incident can create a law and order situation and cause real damage. Given the seriousness of the matter, it is imperative to sensitize our social media users (i.e. young people, parents, teachers and other key stakeholders) not only to be well aware of the associated risks, but also to act in a timely manner to take appropriate action to protect our young people from further harm. To achieve effective results, serious and collective efforts at all levels are indispensable.

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Young people are vulnerable in the online world, but parents/guardians supervising them are not fully aware of the online risks, the guidelines of the social media platforms and the penalties mentioned in local laws (such as PECA, PPC, etc.) .). Parents and teachers should be vigilant about their children’s/students’ online activities, especially their excessive viewing time which may cause attitude aggression, loneliness, anxiety, etc. over time. Such problems are usually the result of constantly viewing inappropriate and indecent content or playing online fighting/war games.

Counseling and safety measures for children and young people:

Children/students at this stage need proper guidance from their parents/teachers from time to time along with taking proven measures such as:

Not giving them handheld devices and letting them use PCs that are in a common area for all to see, replacing online gaming facilities with physical activities. Most importantly, parents should make time for their children, be kind and educate them about online risks and allow them to discuss their issues without judgment or else they may confide in strangers/online predators. Educational institutions should also step up and raise awareness by organizing seminars/webinars, workshops, etc.

In addition, using parental control software and built-in safety features of SM applications is effective in filtering inappropriate content/apps, limiting screen time, monitoring online activities, etc. (List of parental control software is available at the PTA website: www.pta.gov .pk). For social media users, PTA has also posted a list of links/URLs from community standards of the major SM platforms have information/guidance on their important policies to follow when posting content on SM platforms or sharing with others.

In addition, the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) was passed in 2016, allowing PTA to control the dissemination of illegal content via the internet/social media and allowing the FIA ​​to investigate cybercrime. Public can report illegal content to PTA for blocking via Complaint Management System (CMS): https://complaint.pta.gov.pk/RegisterComplaint.aspx or PTA CMS mobile app and cybercrime related issues to FIA Cybercrime Wing (CCW) for initiate legal action against the perpetrator.

It is important to mention that all popular SM companies and their systems are hosted outside of Pakistan on encrypted HTTP sites. After analyzing received complaints, PTA takes up the matter with the affected SM platform for the removal/blocking of reported content. For a quick resolution of the case, SM platforms always prefer direct communication with the complainant, as it is easier to seek more information (if necessary) directly from the complainant. Below are links to popular SM complaint reporting procedures/mechanisms:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/help/181495968648557

YouTube: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2802027?hl=en&co=GENIE.



TikTok: https://support.tiktok.com/en/safety-hc/report-a-problem/report-a-video

Instagram: https://help.instagram.com/519598734752872

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Amir Hussain

Amir Hussain is the founder of Freemium World, a geek by nature and a professional Blog writer . I love to write about new technology trends, social media, hacking, blogging and much more.

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