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City kids surf porn sites for long hours

Source: Mid Day
By Madhurima Nandy
Date: May 29, 2003

Worried that your child is spending hours before the computer? Anxious to know if he/she is surfing through objectionable sites?

Going by the response to the Mumbai cyber crime cell’s helpline, you’re in company of a growing number of concerned parents.

“Most parents complain about the Internet habits of their children. They say their children surf porn sites for long hours. Children are more net savvy than their parents and often the latter are clueless about what their children are accessing,” said Ramesh Mohite, assistant police inspector, cyber crime cell.

The helpline receives an average of five calls every day, mostly from hapless fathers wondering how to rein in the children. Four police officials attend to the calls.

“Any one of us takes the call and gives suggestions,” said Deepak Dhole, police inspector in-charge of the cell. However, none of the officials have any counselling experience and give suggestions on instinct.

The cell does not maintain records of the calls.

“Cyber cell officials address the problems like a social issue. We only provide counselling on the helpline to parents where their children are victims of cyber porn,” said Mohite.

Investigation is carried out only when a written complaint is lodged, he noted.

The helpline was set up early this year after a writ petition was filed in the Bombay High Court. The court instructed the formation of a committee comprising advocates, cyber crime officials and cyber cafe owners.

The committee forwarded its recommendations on ways to protect children from net abuse.

Meanwhile, the cell plans to increase public awareness about the helpline. “We have asked different Internet service providers (ISPs) to give our helpline number 22641261 on their homepage,” added Dhole.

Distress calls

Call 1: My 10-year old son is always hooked on to the net. I have seen him accessing porn sites and don’t know how to prevent it. I am not sure how to handle the situation. (The caller is the 10-year old’s father).

Helpline suggestion: Download software like cybernanny and cyberpatrol in your computer, so that your son will not be able to access such sites. Besides you can always check the Internet history, that is the different sites he has opened, in his absence to keep a tab.

Call 2: My son goes to the Internet cafe often. I am sure he surfs porn sites there. He spends hours over there. This hampers his studies. Can you tell me how to deal with the situation?

Helpline suggestion: Don’t give him so much money that he can go to the net cafe every day. Else, keep a check on him so he doesn’t spend too much time there.

Call 3: I don’t know much about computers and the net. But I have seen my child surfing porn sites. What do I do to stop him?

Helpline suggestion You can change the password of the terminal, so that every time your son accesses the net, you have to sign in. Also, make sure he surfs the net only when you are home, so there can be a check on the sites he visits.

Original article: http://web.mid-day.com/news/city/2003/may/54260.htm

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