Websites should have a system for verifying age of user: Experts

Sunil Pradhan
Sunday, 6 January 2019

These incidents have clearly reflected the dangers of the Internet. With the Internet world being open for all and hardly any filtration, cyber experts point the need for parental control on their children while they are exposed to the Internet.

PUNE: In 2016, while investigating the case of abusive e-mails received by teachers of a school, the Cybercrime cell of the city police crime branch found out that the e-mails were sent by a 13-year-old student of the same school. The city police chose to counsel the boy. 

In another incident, a 14-year-old boy from Solapur left his home after reportedly playing the Blue Whale suicide challenge, was rescued by the Pune rural police in Bhigwan. 

Recently, a 13-year-old boy who was glued to his mobile phone on games, committed suicide after he was scolded by his parents for playing on the phone.

These incidents have clearly reflected the dangers of the Internet. With the Internet world being open for all and hardly any filtration, cyber experts point the need for parental control on their children while they are exposed to the Internet. Experts point that a person of any age group can open an account on websites providing access to options of mail, chat, post content and other activities thus exposing young kids to objectionable content on the Internet.

Speaking on the issue, cyber expert Niranjan Reddy who is also the founder of Netconclave System, said, “It is only parents who can keep a watch on their child’s digital behaviour. With the technology coming with several drawbacks, it is the responsibility of the parents to save their children from the damage caused by objectionable contents on the Internet.” 

Experts point that government should make the websites mandatory to filter content based on the age of the user. Cyber expert Anil Raj, of Cybervault Securities Solution Private Limited, said that the websites can provide access to their content based on the age of the user. “A website can ask for full details of a user and after confirming their age can grant access to their content. As we see disclaimer in television, a similar disclaimer should be provided by these websites about their content, whether it is fit for consumption of a particular age group,” Raj said. 

“These days, a parent is unaware of what his child is reading or watching on the Internet. There are softwares available in the market which filter objectionable content and also send alerts to the parent of the child trying to access objectionable content,” added Raj. 

Software Solutions like Net Nanny help in filtering Internet content so that the filtered content is safe for consumption of children. It manages to prevent porn and other dangerous content from reaching your child’s eyes and also manage their screen time and app use.  “With a rise in the use of computer technologies by children, it is vital to monitor the digital consumption of children and teenagers,” said a police official.

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