MTV tells youth to play safe on the net

MUMBAI: Six years ago, the sensational case of a sixteen-year-old who ended up being murdered by two teenagers he had befriended on the then popular website Orkut sent shock waves through the country.

Today, instances of cyber crime have grown multi-fold, permeating our everyday lives; be it something as serious as child pornography or abuse or just someone having been taken for a ride on the internet.

In a world where danger may be lurking just a click away, MTV, through its pro-social platform, MTV Act, has taken upon itself the task of teaching the youth how to protect themselves from being victims of cyber crime.

MTV Act will be starting a new series called MTV Webbed, which attempts to explain how every Like, Share, Comment or Tweet can have a Domino effect. With fictional representations of real-life incidents that youngsters have encountered on the Web, the ten-part series, airing on Saturday, 14 September at 7:00 pm, targets the age group between 15 and 24 years.

To be able to stay as true to what is happening online, MTV has associated with the NGO - Cyber Crime Awareness Society (CCAS), apart from some intensive research on the subject.

Dos and donts while surfing

* Don't share your pictures and other personal details on social networking websites.

* Don't add strangers on social networking sites, and other android applications.

* Use https only when you are net banking websites.

* Don't use pirated software and operating systems.

* Use genuine anti-virus and operating systems.

* Keep your anti-virus and windows updated.

* Don't give your laptops, mobiles phones, credit/debit cards to your friends.

* Use WPA/PSK or higher encryptions for your WI-FI connections.

* Don't sign in into your net banking accounts while using public internet

* Don't give your credit card number(s) & CVV online unless the site is secured and reputable.

* Don't leave your credit card around that tempts children to use it.

* Be careful while downloading any free software or screensaver etc.

* Don't reveal if you're going out of town or details of your location

* Choose strong passwords for your accounts to keep them safe. (Use special characters, etc)

* Always type the website address yourself in the browser rather than clicking on a link provided in an email or   in a chat by your friend.

* Keep a questioning attitude, if you receive any big amount of lottery through the internet even without   participating in it.

* Use a variety of passwords, not the same for all of your accounts.

* Disconnect from the internet when not in use, while using computers or mobiles.

* Check your online account frequently and make sure all listed transactions are valid.

* Always delete spam emails immediately and empty the trash box to prevent accidentally clicking on the same link.

MTV Webbed will be hosted by celebrities such as Jay Bhanushali, Siddharth Shukla, Karan Vir Bohra, Ritwick Dhanjani, choreographer Salman Khan, Pratyusha Banerjee, Sana Syed, Priya Wal and singer Chang. The emphasis will be on how more often than not, youngsters let curiosity and natural instincts take precedence while surfing the net, only to regret their actions later.

Says MTV India EVP and business head Aditya Swamy: “We have realised that today, the youth is online and they don’t realise that though internet has its advantages, every advantage comes with associated risks. So, we want to tell people how they can protect themselves from being victims.”

What about the umpteen reality shows that already cater to this subject? “Cyber crime has become so prevalent today that it needs that much more of coverage and awareness to be created. Since we have a good digital presence and we want our TG to be there, it is also our responsibility to make sure they are safe,” replies Swamy.

The promos, created by an in-house team with the tagline ‘Think before you click’, are already on air.

There was also a debate on the topic on CNN IBN with Sagarika Ghose on 12 September.

Also, MTV has tied-up with various colleges to create help lines that one can contact in times of distress.

While MTV is gung-ho about the new series, media analysts too feel it might do well, what with parents watching it as well just to increase their awareness about what happens online.


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