Monday, September 1, 2014

Saying No To Porn

Ajay Sharma
Ajay Sharma

For parents across the world, the Internet is as much a bane as it is a boon.
The Internet has changed the way the world’s population works, learns, plays and communicates. While this dramatic change has provided great opportunities, it has also brought threats to safety and security, especially for children. Dangers include grooming for sexual purposes and cyberbullying.
While online, children may be victims of racism and online fraud, and can be exposed to pornographic and violent images. They may also become addicted to spending time online, with the risks and lost opportunities that this entails. With continued growth of Internet penetration and the Web itself, it is likely that without intervention, the situation will worsen.
The parents fear that if they do not allow their children to use the Internet, they may not be able to keep abreast with the developments in the field of information and technology. On the other hand, there are fears that their children might get spoilt.
According to an international study, around 260 pornography sites are registered every day and 25 per cent of search queries are porn-related. With the boom in internet penetration and familiarity of kids with the technology, there is a need for blocking pornographic materials.
Accroding to a recent study, around 90 per cent of teenagers and young adults use the Internet, 60 per cent of children and teenagers chat on a daily basis, 3 in 4 children online are willing to share personal information about themselves and their family in exchange for goods and services, 1 in 5 children will be targetted by a predator or pedophile each year, while 30 per cent of teenage girls say they have been sexually harassed in the chat room.
These frightening statstics were found by a study conducted by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
Indeed developments in information technology and telecommunication have helped connect the rural areas of even a country like Nepal with the outside world. A recent report of Nepal Telecom Authority says internet users have reached more than 1.3 million. Thanks to CDMA technology, internet services are now available in all the 75 districts.
Againt this scenario, children in both rural and urban areas are now vulnerable to online harm. According to a recent study, 26.3 per cent of girls and 73.7 per cent of boys in urban areas of Nepal admitted giving out personal details to strangers, 1.7 per cent of children mentioned adult sites as one of their five favourite websites while 11 per cent of children admitted talking about sex online with strangers.
The best way to prevent our children from online harm is to spread awareness among parents, teachers and students. The government has introduced computer education in school, so online risks and preventive measures should also be included in the course of study.
The government should try to block all porn sites. Cyber laws should be formulated on time to control cybercrime while the Electronic Transaction Act 2063 should be implemented to control such crimes.
Parents can no longer keep tab of how the children are using the Internet. If you do not allow them to use the Internet at home, they can always use the numerous cyber cafes or their friends’ computers. So, the best way is to allow them to use the Internet, but tell them how it can also harm them.                          

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