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Last Updated Saturday November 18 2017 04:07 PM IST

Is your child safe? Book review

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Is your child safe

"My child is a whiz kid when it comes to computers and smartphones. I don’t even understand what and all he does. I have no clue as to how he knows so much."

Are you one of those parents who dole out such unwarranted praise about your kids? Then it’s time you swallow your false sense of pride and pick up ‘Is your child safe?’ and read it carefully.

You need to, before it’s too late!

The book written by K Sanjay Kumar, a Kerala cadre IPS officer, gives you a much-needed guide on the dangers lurking in the virtual world and how they could be preying on your tech-savy son or daughter.

Because just locking up your child inside the house is not gonna keep him or her safe anymore. Even while you are enjoying your favorite TV program, your child could be getting victimized by an online abuser in the very next room – through the omnipotent computer or smartphone.

Though the Internet opened up a great avenue of opportunities of knowledge sharing and gathering, it also threw up some dangerous hazards. If you think you have heard that one before, but your little one is safe from the ill-effects of the virtual world, you are in trouble.

You probably would be leaning on to the belief that your ward would come running right into your arms, if she finds herself in trouble.

But the senior cop has quite effortlessly burst that bubble by narrating real-life incidents, wherein teenagers refused to confide in their parents even while finding themselves in neck-deep trouble.

They even mustered up the courage to seek police or professional help, but pleaded with the authorities to keep their ‘online acts’ hidden from their parents.

It’s a precarious situation most parents find themselves in, but all is not lost, tells the author.

He helps you familiarize with the kinds of trouble and offenses that exist in the virtual world – from cyber-bullying and sexual exploitation to radicalization. The author has meticulously listed the warning signs of children being led astray in the virtual world and how to arm yourself in the virtual world.

And you need to trust him on this as here’s a man who deals with cyber-issues on a daily basis. Some of the instances are more scary than the ones we see on television or read about.

From the infamous Delhi MMS scandal of 2004 to the recent Fort Kochi homestay sexual assault, the author lists out many real-life incidents to ensure that the reader understands the real extent and true nature of online abuse.

Almost all chapters are broken down neatly into subheads and bullet points are lavishly used to list out examples. The author has also used illustrations and screenshots to tell you how to be a digital parent.

Even if you are not a parent, you need to read the book to get a grasp of the ever-expanding online world.

As rightly put by former Kerala police chief TP Senkumar in the preface, this socially relevant book would help you swim through the cyberworld without the fear of drowning. A must read for parents.

The opinions expressed here do not reflect those of Malayala Manorama. Legal action under the IT Act will be taken against those making derogatory and obscene statements.

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