“Protect your Beloved in Virtual World, as you Protect in Real World”

 – By Mr. Chintan Pathak

June26 is marked and celebrated as “The International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking”; It was established in 1987 by the United Nations.The day marked the International Day against Drug,Substance Abuse and Illicit Trafficking every year (German,2014). It is an exercise undertaken by the world community to sensitize the people in general and the youth,but it spreads awareness among children in particular, towards the internet abuse at a nearly age. Every parent should know about the Modus Operndi of the drug traffickers on internet and how they indulge children & teens through internet and that’s why I always start my session with the fundamental of “Web Structure” and “How they work”.

As mentioned in above figure that we are using just 4% of total internet which is consider as a “Surface Web”. It means whatever information we are searching through different browsers, the applications of social networking and other informative web sites are only 4% of total internet. In technical words only “Indexed Information” by the browsers are visualize on Surface Web.

The other and most important part is “Deep Web” which includes government data, medical records, organization specific repositories, academic information, legal documents, research and defense related information. These information not accessible by the any browser because it was not indexed by search engines and that’s why they never come in search results. The major portion of database store over here which is almost 90% of the total web.

“Anonymity comes with a dark side since criminals and malicious hackers also prefer to operate in the shadows.”

The ‘Dark Web’ refers to sites with criminal intent or illegal content, and ‘trading’ sites where users can purchase illicit goods or services. In other words, the Deep covers everything under the surface that is still accessible with the right software, including the Dark Web. There is also a term, “Dark Internet” that refers to sites and databases that are not available over public Internet connections, even if you are using Tor. Often, Dark Internet sites are used by companies or researchers to keep sensitive information private.

  • For some users, the Dark Net offers the opportunity to bypass local restrictions and access TV or movie services that may not be available in their local areas.
  • Others go deep to download pirated music or grab movies that are not yet in theaters.
  • Credit Card data is available on the Dark Net for just a few dollars per record.
  • Anything from Fake Citizenship Documents to passports and even the services of professional hit men are available if you know where to look.
  • Interested parties can also grab personal details and leverage them to blackmail ordinary Internet users.
  • Consider the recent Ashley Madison Hack — vast amounts of account data, including real names, addresses and phone numbers — ended up on the Dark Net for sale.
  • Illegal drugs are also a popular draw on the Dark Web. As noted by Motherboard, drug marketplace Silk Road — which has been shut down, replaced, shut down again and then rebranded — offers any type of substance in any amount to interested parties.

Illegal pornography and child pornography are also available on dark web.

Children are a valuable asset and pride, not only to their family but to the nation.Today’s children are tomorrow’s adults and builder of the nation.The crown of the world’s most populous country has been on China’s head for decades,India is all set to take the distinguished positions from 2030. The population growth, increasing at the rate of 1.2 percent,India is predicted to have more than 1.53 billion people by the end of 2030(The Indian Express,2016). According to the (UNDCP,1997) report, India is one of the youngest countries,has the largest population of children constituting 28% of the country’s population.India with 356 million youths in the age range of 10-24 year, will have the world’s largest youth population,despite having a lesser total population than China, who is second with 269 million young people(UNDCP, 1997).

India is a highly digital contents consumer country in the world. When I am saying digital contents consumer, it means digital contents creator’s countries simply pass on their culture and thoughts to India and we blindly follow it. Children and youth are actively indulged in the digital world mainly for the purpose of education (surfing video tutorials, research materials) entertainment (downloading music and movies, online gaming), social interactions (e-mails, Whatsapp messages, chatting on Facebook and Instagram) and e-shopping (Amazon, Flipkart, eBay, etc.) A research reveals that more engagement with social media leads to unknown threats. Recently there are many incidents drawing attention about the “Dark Side of the Cyberspace” in which criminal’s enrolled teens through social media on the name of Rave Party and such other parties which allow free life style and enjoyment. In such parties drug traffickers contacted teens and offer drugs to enjoy parties. Once any teen accept this offers, he or she will be potential customer for trafficker and trafficker developed relations with such teens through social media interactions and supply drug as per their wish. Due to age, curiosity and peer group influence teens join such groups and easily abuse.

This is solely due to lack of information concerning the safety measures the citizens of digital world must have taken care of. Starting from the child, child’s parents, school teachers, government, epistemic communities down to every individual have a major role to play in making the citizens of digital place, especially children& teens, immune to cyber-attacks, namely cyber stalking and bullying, child pornography, sexual exploitation, online harassment, identity theft, morphing, online drugs selling etc. These risks are not confined to their local area but occur from people all around the world. The virtual world is as full of crimes as the real world.  Everything that we see, listen and read in Digital World are not true, sometimes it mislead. The criminals in cyber world driven by the same motives as they driven in real world but here in digital world provides great anonymity to the criminals.

 

Preventive Strategies for Parents:

 

  1. Control his or her screen time through outdoor activities.The schedule of the child should be constructive and productive with meaningful activities,such as sports,co-curricular activities,and brain games,reading good books or other group involvement.Such activities can help the min developing good habits and keep them selves busy in some productive works.

 

  1. Be watchful of his or her online activities.Schools and institutions should keep a regular check on every student’s performance,behavior,attendance,and if any student found suspicious,they should immediately inform parents and take appropriate actions.

 

  1. Be vigilant about your child’s sudden change in behavior.Parents and care takers should be aware of the child’s interests,their peer groups,stay connected and know where your children are at their free time,keep a check on children’s school and tuition,attendance,and performance, attend timely  parents’ meets with teachers, and keep a check on the child’s behavior pattern.

 

  1. First Listen Your Child Carefully.Parents,caretakers,teachers,and friends of a child facing drug abuse need to work and help children to enhance positive self-esteem,boost confidence,should be supportive and help the child to make a good choice and healthy habits.They should open communication channels open, initiate dialogue,and listen to children Response their quarry timely and give him or her enough room to express his or her self without any fear or hesitation.

 

  1. Be a Role Model of your Children.The Parents needs to be the role model in shaping their children’s attitude toward healthy practices to use internet, digital devices and communication with virtual world, because they are the greatest influence on their children.