We are certainly privileged to live in a world were information is accessible almost instantaneously. It is amazing feat that allows us to look at the world and experience new thoughts and ideas from all over the world. With this availability of information however comes the challenge of choosing what to take in and what to block out. Like anything else in the world, the Internet provides us with both benign and harmful parts.
The world can function in a random way and the outcomes of situations for better or for worse affect us all. It is also a complex place where understanding only gets us so far. Levels of control in the "real" world are limited at best. We can plan on what will happen over the course of a day, a week, or lifetime, but the end results, the actual reality of the situation is often out of our power to control. This is a fact of life that can be very difficult to deal with at times.
The internet acts as a double world; an environment that is a reflection of the reality of the physical world. Everything that is malicious and threatening in the "real" world is present on the Internet. There are also threats that are only found in that environment; computer viruses, identity theft and privacy invasion. A typical personal computer can become compromised in twelve seconds as soon as it connects to the internet. The internet is a wild place; harmful things happen fast and efficiently.
While this may sound daunting, we are still holding all the aces. The internet is limited, created by humans for humans to use. With this fact comes the core idea â€“ the Internet can be controlled, or rather our actions and behaviors on the internet can be controlled. The world consists of an infinite number of variables that can cause harm. We may become sick, your friend may lose their job, the sky may fall. The internet is not like this, each variable can be monitored, threats can be evaluated and behaviors can be controlled.
The question is, "How?"
The answer is this: Information.
Yes. Ward off potentially harmful information with information. By gaining awareness, choices can be made to protect yourself and those in our care. Children and Teenagers and highly susceptible to threats on the internet. Their safety is highly valued by parents, teachers and mentors. By becoming aware of the hazard information and media, threats can be bested and safety can be ensured.