Internet Risks and Our Response 1)Introduction As our society becomes more urban, and life becomes hectic and busy for both parents and youth, the youths face more issues of modernity than before. Alienation, loneliness, depression become more prevalent. Many youths also have access to the internet.
With the ready availability of broadband, and generally an improvement in the telecommunications industry, especially in the urban areas (partly due to the government’s push to attract investments and business for MSC), internet risks which were once more prevalent in the West or the more technologically advanced nations are upon our youths in Malaysia. 1 2)Current Trends a)Information Explosion The advent of the World Wide Web has created a huge bank of information. However since it is uncensored and un-moderated, anyone can post any kind of information and resources on the internet. Pornography has become the curse of this information age. )Communication Revolution Other than e-mails, internet chats, instant messaging, the youths are now into participating in social networks like “Friendster” and into on-line journaling on “Web-logs”, more popularly known as “Blogs”. It is also not unusual for them to use “on-line dating” services. Spaming, web-bullying, web-scandals, hacking and cyber myths have become very real threats as a result of unchecked use of internet communication tools. c)Information Exchange There are also many new kinds of newsgroups, clubs, bulletin boards which are started on the web where people exchange information.
In addition, there are many peer-to-peer platforms for exchange of files and information that can by-pass the internet but are still very much part of the lifestyle of info-savvy youths (e. g. in hostels, colleges and universities). These peer-to-peer networks can become breeding grounds for insidious information as well as pornography d)Gamming culture Computer games have evolved greatly from DOS based games to animated games to what is now known as Role Playing Games. With the availability of broadbands, Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG) are the latest craze.
With such games, you can play with all kinds of people, all over the world, irrespective of national or geographical boundaries and time-zones. e)Telecommunications Industry Convergence With miniaturization and the advent of integrated telecommunications device (mini-computer and telephone), both the benefits of the internet as well as the risks have become even more mobile and more immediate. 3)Risks a)Surfing Time Waster Pornography exposure and addiction b)Chats, Instant Messaging Safety Issues, risks of kidnapping and rape. c)Chats, Instant Messaging, Games Isolation and alienation, ack of self confidence, have low self esteem, lack social skills, inability to relate healthily social and psychological handicap results d)Games Most common popular games are dark, cultic, satanic, selfish, sensual and violent. Addiction to lust, violence, occult and game culture, confusion results lack of healthy real-world development, distorted outlook of the real world.