Internet activities are an inevitable part of children’s and teenagers’ lives nowadays. The Indonesian Ministry of Communication and Information has found that the number of children and teenagers spending screen time surfing this worldwide system of computer networks has significantly increased over years. Through the internet, they access numerous sources of information, connect with people around the world, and enjoy items which provide entertainment. They also can develop skills and build good digital footprints.
Introduction to Healthy Internet Training
However, online activities have shortcomings and can be unhealthy, unsafe, and even threatening. If children and teenagers are not well-informed and well-guided, the internet can pose dangerous risks that will affect their physical, mental, and social health. Various popular social networking, instant messaging programs, and games are just a few applications that can be sources of danger for children and teenagers. These platforms are frequently misused by cyberbullies, sexual predators, criminals, and digital scammers who are looking for opportunities to take advantage of internet users.
To raise awareness of the risks of internet use, Begawan Learning Centre collaborated with Relawan TIK Bali (Bali IT Volunteer) which held a healthy internet use training for all Begawan’s students during the holiday program. This activity aimed to provide crucial information on how to be smart, productive, and creative internet users.
During the activity, the students were exposed to some positive benefits of internet use. They looked at inspiring stories of people using the internet to be successful, observed opportunities to be a content creator instead of an audience, and learned effective ways to find valid and trusted information on the internet.
More importantly, the facilitator from Relawan TIK Bali, I Wayan Adi Karnawa, also shared some risks of internet use and how to prevent it. These risks include cyber-bullying, cyber-fraud, cyber-stalking, and cyber-crimes. In addition, they also learned the value of personal data and how to protect it from scammers. They practised creating strong passwords for social media to beat the hackers.
Throughout the training, the students participated in the discussion enthusiastically. As they are familiar with the internet, especially the popular social media platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, WhatsApp, and Facebook, the students started to ask many other things. They asked about making money from Youtube, responding to hate comments on social media, and creating games through the internet.
Through the provision of healthy internet training, Begawan students will develop a strong understanding of the positive benefits as well as the risks of internet use and how best to use such programs. (Ircham Maulana)