Ambuj Dixit: This Safe Internet Day, let us help them recognise online threats and safeguard ourselves against it
Safer Internet Day on February 8 is an important occasion given the times we are living in. The idea behind this day is to raise awareness around the internet and technology, make users more responsible and in the process make the online world a safer place for all. Undeniably, the Internet has changed the way we live and work. It is both a boon and a bane based on how we use or misuse it. Actor Ambuj Dixit, known for his short film Antara and web series Damaged, talks on the issue and the time he spends online.
“When the entire world was practically shut down because of the Coronavirus pandemic in early 2020, most people ended up spending most part of their lives online. Getting comfortable with working from home, seeking entertainment on streaming services, learning new skills online, indulging in online shopping, the lockdown made us adapt to changes, which we never thought were possible. Come 2023 and we find ourselves thriving on the opportunities the Internet has to offer. However, like everything else, this too has its share of disadvantages. Online safety has become a matter of great concern, across the globe, especially given the number of people who are now using the Internet,” he says.
The Internet, according to Ambuj, has truly transformed how young people learn, socialise and communicate today. But the pressure to share intimate images, rising cases of cyber-bullying and cyber scams, exposure to content that may promote self-harm, anorexia etc., make the youth more vulnerable and puts them at a greater risk.
“The majority of young people today use smartphones for everything. Numerous apps are downloaded every day, thereby exposing sensitive personal information. With the boom in online shopping, financial information is knowingly or unknowingly shared to make online payments and thereby increasing the risk of sharing sensitive data. Apart from this, online grooming, cyber-bullying and peer pressure, online social abuse and exploitation, and fatal online challenges such as the Blue Whale Challenge, which claimed over hundred lives across the world, are constant threats,” he adds.
Ambuj encourages people to check the reliability and credibility of online websites before indulging too much. “One should know the importance of privacy and that it is ‘not okay’ to share their pictures with strangers or be harassed, bullied or humiliated online. I think the need of the hour is to inculcate good online habits among the youth and develop their digital intelligence and socio-emotional skills. This Safe Internet Day, let us help them recognise online threats and safeguard ourselves against it,” he ends.
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