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Internet of Things: Children at Greater Risk of Bullying, Exploitation in Digital Era

Children are also getting hands-on -- using small-scale easy-to-programme devices such as the "BBC micro:bit" to experiment and get creative with digital technologies

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internet of things
Children are also getting hands-on -- using small-scale easy-to-programme devices such as the "BBC micro:bit" to experiment and get creative with digital technologies. Pixabay

Forget screen addiction as there is a new threat to keeping children safe in the digital era: Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

According to researchers, children need protection when using programmable Internet computing devices in a digital world where everyday objects contain sensors and stream data to and from the Internet.

The risks can include peer-to-peer abuse or bullying, dangers of abuse by adults, as well as risks related to the use, exploitation, commercialisation, or insecure management of any data the children generate by using the devices, warn Lancaster University scientists.

Children are also getting hands-on — using small-scale easy-to-programme devices such as the “BBC micro:bit” to experiment and get creative with digital technologies.

internet of things
Unless properly considered, Internet-connected devices can present risks to children and others around them. Pixabay

Unless properly considered, Internet-connected devices can present risks to children and others around them.

“Children who are learning to programme IoT devices still have critical gaps in their understanding of privacy and security,” said doctor Bran Knowles from Lancaster University’s school of computing and communications.

In addition, parents may also lack technical understanding of IoT, which makes it difficult for them to help ensure their children are managing their privacy and keeping safe.

“Formal training is available for online safety issues such as social media bullying and sexting, but, as yet, there is no IoT component to this curriculum,” Knowles added.

internet of things
According to researchers, children need protection when using programmable Internet computing devices in a digital world where everyday objects contain sensors and stream data to and from the Internet. Pixabay

It is essential, therefore, that the designers of IoT devices anticipate the full spectrum of contexts in which children may use these devices and adopt strategies that will ensure they have properly considered, and mitigated, the potential safety and privacy risks to children and their families.

ALSO READ: Would You Give Up Digital Life if Given Lifetime Data Protection?

“Our research provides a framework to help designers approach these critical risks with their own devices, while still enabling these devices to have enough functions activated so that they still provide a fun learning experience,” she said.

The team’s methodology includes working with supervised groups of school children to explore a wide range of ways that young people may want to use Internet-connected computing devices. (IANS)

Next Story

Can 5G Help in Fighting Coronavirus? Find it Out Here

Certain 5G features can help combat coronavirus

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5G corona
The novel coronavirus outbreak in China has highlighted the role that 5G can play in epidemic control. Pixabay

The novel coronavirus outbreak in China has highlighted the role that 5G can play in epidemic control as 5G+ thermal imaging supports contagion monitoring and it can accurately spot a moving object’s temperatures in real-time without contact and issue abnormal temperature alerts, a new study said on Thursday.

According to a joint Huawei and Deloitte study, COVID-19 or coronavirus has put tremendous pressure on public healthcare systems and epidemic response mechanisms across the world.

In China, due to its vast landscape, large, highly mobile population and their complicated demand for resources, the effectiveness of communication and data exchange have been essential in screening for infected individuals, thus, providing on-ground support to front line staff and controlling the outbreak.

Telecommunications operators collaborated with Huawei to rapidly set up a specific 5G network dedicated to COVID-19 treatment hospitals.

“As a result of 5G features such as high speed connection, high reliability and low latency, the healthcare system has benefited from improved response times, patient monitoring, data collection and analytics, remote collaboration and resource allocation. It also sets an example for digitalized, data driven and Cloud-based innovative major public emergency response platforms,” the company said in a statement.

5G corona
Telecommunications operators collaborated with Huawei to rapidly set up a specific 5G network dedicated to COVID-19 treatment hospitals. Pixabay

“The success of 5G applications in the public health domain could also inspire businesses in other sectors to leverage 5G’s popularity and explore new applications of the technology.”

According to the study, 5G enables continuous remote monitoring and diagnosis during patient transfer.

It is the ideal technology to meet teleconferencing requirements to enable medical experts to treat patients without constraints on their physical location, and substantially improve the accuracy and efficiency of consultations.

Also Read- All You Need to Know About Anxiety During Coronavirus Crisis

Natural disaster response can be equipped with Internet of Things (IoT) networks, thus, enabling deep analysis of supply chains and providing real time information on front-line supply consumption, resource inventory levels, production capability, supply capability and logistics support decisions to balance supply and demand, the study noted. (IANS)