KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 24 — The family institution plays a key role in educating its members to use the Internet and social sites positively and ethically, said the Prime Minister’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor today.
She said without parental supervision, the use of the Internet could disrupt the children’s character development and personality.
“Children are more comfortable expressing their feelings, easing their stress, loneliness, depression and anxiety in the virtual world instead of the real world.
“This is an alarming trend as children as young as two and three years old have already played with iPad and other electronic gadgets as if these devices are temporary carers (for the children),” she said in her speech when closing the 2018 Malaysian Safer Internet Day (SID) in the capital today.
Rosmah, who is also the patron of the Permata Programme, said although the government provided the cyber security framework to the people, the most effective weapon was to equip oneself with knowledge and skills to address cyber threats.
“Without the knowledge and supervision, it is likely that the children will learn to hide behind various identities on social sites with no sense of guilt. This is the beginning of a deceitful behaviour.
“Children are also exposed and (able) to learn the use vulgar language as well as bullying tactics, apart from the risks of being recruited to become criminals and terrorists. Even now there is widespread dissemination of false information with the purpose of defaming and shaming individuals,” she explained.
As the family’s integrity could be joepardised by cyber threats, Rosmah said the Cyber Parenting initiative introduced by the National Cyber Security Agency (NACSA), together with the National Council of Women’s Organisations Malaysia (NCWO) and CyberSecurity Malaysia, was timely and welcomed.
“The concept of Cyber Parenting is probably new, but it needs to be highlighted to ensure the safety of children and family institution in the digital age, with the family as the place to mould one’s identity, self-esteem and to instil noble values,” she said.
Also present was National Security Council director-general Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin.
Meanwhile, National Cyber Security Agency (Nacsa) chief executive officer Ir Md Shah Nuri Md Zain said the rapid development of technology required specialised education on its use.
“We recognise there are various cyber threats that arise from the widespread use of technology, but we must not reject technology or let the threats affect ourselves or family members.
“So all parties need to be conscious to increase their knowledge on the use of the technology so that the threats can be effectively addressed,” he said.
Earlier, Rosmah also launched the ‘Cyber Parenting Guides’ which can be downloaded at www.cybersafe.my.
Themed ‘Cyber Parenting — Cyber Resilient Families Begin with You’ this year, SID is celebrated in February every year, aimed, among others, at promoting Internet security, to foster and raise public awareness on cyber security so that users will be more responsible while using the technology. — Bernama