Zulkarnain Mohd Yasin Foto Bernama

Understanding The Cyber Challenge Of The Younger Generation

By Ali Imran Mohd Noordin

IPOH (Bernama) -- At an eatery here this writer shared a table with a gentlemen probably in his 50s. Both the writer and the gentlemen could not help but observe a group of teenagers busy fiddling with their mobile phones at the next table.

"Kids nowadays, their biggest problem is not having less to eat but having no Internet connection will freak them out," said the retired civil servant who only introduced himself as Salleh.

As he continued talking, Salleh shared how his grandchildren preferred to spend their time at cyber cafes than playing at home or exploring the greenery when they return to their 'kampung' (village), as well as how his 16-year-old daughter got excited over her cyber friends on Facebook.

The writer could tell that Salleh was worried that pre-occupation with the cyber realm could prove to be detrimental to his children.

Not only that, the rise in cyber crime and fraud are more the reason for anyone to be wary of ICT.

VALID CONCERN

The concern voiced by Salleh is actually shared by millions of parents worldwide.

A EU Kids Online (www.eukidsonline.net) report in 2012 revealed that one in three couples were worried about the negative impact of overexposure to the internet on their children.

Two of their biggest fears are their kids being contacted by strangers and the risk of being exposed to inappropriate material online.

The same report stated that four out of 10 children and teens aged between nine and 16 have experienced one of the two risks stated above.

In Malaysia, 74.3 per cent of 20.1 million users used the mobile phones as the main device to surf the Internet. This figure includes the younger generation, particularly the Gen-Y.

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) also found that complaints regarding the use of new media increased between 2013 and 2014, involving offences such as being misleading, obscene, offensive and menacing, internet scams and fraud, hacking and online purchases.

A study conducted by Focus Group in 2013 found that social website traffic was high among students from 10pm to 1am daily.

ONLINE COURTESY

MCMC Network Security, Enforcement and Advocacy Sector head Zulkarnain Mohd Yasin said Klik Dengan Bijak (KDB) initiatives were based on the principles of the Rukunegara.

"The aspect of good behaviour and morality needs to emphasised on whether online or otherwise. We must ensure that the comments and content uploaded are polite and mindful of the feelings and sensitivities of others," he added.

According to Zulkarnain, those who were most exposed to cyber crimes and misconduct were children, teens and youths as they were avid users of the internet and digital communication.

He also reminded that misusing technology and the internet can have a critical impact on the harmony and safety of civilians and the country.

"For example, disseminating photos of victims of crime and accidents without considering how sensitive such an act is to the victim's family.

"This does not reflect good values, it is not ethical and can bring about negative reactions or worse, unwarranted speculation about an incident," he clarified.

ABOUT KDB

The KDB programme, introduced by the MCMC in July 2012, is an effort by the commission to provide awareness to internet users nationwide.

Since 2013, over 20,000 programmes were conducted nationwide through strategic cooperation by the MCMC with various ministries, government agencies and non-governmental organisations.

The programme is in its second phase of implementation, with the target group being teens aged between 13 and 18 as well as their parents and guardians.

The main topics highlighted to the target group are dissemination of false information, oversharing and financial fraud.

In the first phase of KDB in 2014, the target group was those aged 18 and 24.

Topics for these groups include the need to know online friends, protecting personal information, thinking before uploading content and realising the lifespan of content on the internet.

For information on how to use the internet safely and positively, visit the 'klikdenganbijak' account on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Information is also available at www.klikdenganbijak.my.

BERNAMA