Published: 19th November 2020
How MCC's campaign against cyberbullying is equipping students to stay safe on social media
Called #404 - Online Errors Found, an initiative by the Department of Communication at MCC, the campaign aims to throw light on the gravity of the issue of cybercrimes on social media
As per the latest statistical data released by the National Crime Records Bureau, there has been a significant increase in cybercrimes in recent years. An overall increase of as much as 63.5 per cent was seen in 2019 compared to the previous year. And now, especially with the pandemic wreaking havoc, with the sudden shift to digital, the situation has worsened. To curb this issue and create awareness among school and college students about cyberbullying and the evils of the worldwide web, Chennai's Madras Christian College is conducting a campaign.
Called #404 - Online Errors Found, an initiative by the Department of Communication at MCC, the campaign aims to throw light on the gravity of the issue of cybercrimes on social media and engage the minds of people with the importance of social media health. Students are being educated, equipped, and entertained with all that is needed to ensure their safety in the virtual world through this initiative. "The pandemic gave us the chance to take this beyond the geographical boundaries of Tamil Nadu as we conducted it online. The age group we targeted was from Class 8 onwards, that is when youngsters mostly begin to enter the world of social media. We wanted to educate them on how to be safe on social media, as cybercrimes have increased rapidly. Whenever they upload something like a photo, their whereabouts, especially girls, might get into a lot of problems. We wanted to educate them on how they can create a strong password, how they can protect their profile, whom to complain to, what are the laws present about cyberbullying, and more. Our students had training sessions with an ethical hacker before they began conducting the sessions. The response has been overwhelming and youngsters could relate more as students were teaching them," Deborah Raj, staff in-charge of the campaign and professor at MCC's Communication Department.
The initiative began online on November 16 and is scheduled to end on Friday (November 20). The sessions were being conducted virtually by MCC's postgraduate communication students over platforms such as Zoom and Google Meet. Prior to this, the MCC students had attended training sessions by Hadlee Wilson, a certified ethical hacker and information system security professional in order to learn before imparting reliable information to others like them. The initiative roped in nine schools and colleges collectively in Chennai, Coimbatore, and Kerala, catering to at least a thousand students. The registration for the sessions is free of cost and on the last day, the students will also get to attend a special session conducted by Hadlee.