Online actions have offline consequences, BCJ warns

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Online actions have offline consequences, BCJ warns

BY JONATHAN MORRISON

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

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PORUS, Manchester — The opportunities and challenges of the digital age and their significance to the role of parenting has been emphasised by Don Dobson, director of communications at the Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica.

He was addressing parents and teachers at Porus Primary School's annual parenting seminar held during Parents' Month. Dobson warned that without proper parental intervention, “these tools of innovation [electronic devices] could become tools of destruction”.

With the aid of power point presentation slides, Dobson demonstrated the benefits of the Internet when properly utilised as against its misuse, which he said has led to suicides and the destruction of young lives and careers.

“Online actions have offline consequences,” he cautioned.

Dobson stressed that parents and guardians will have to familiarise themselves with the digital devices their children use, such as smart-phones, laptops and tablets. He advised adults to use Google services to set up parental controls, and not to leave it up to their children to do it on their behalf. He added that Google provides instructions that enable parents to use their smart phones to monitor those of their children, and receive alerts when an undesirable site is visited or anti-social activities such as cyberbullying are carried out online.

He explained that parental control is grounded in proper values and attitudes, which have to be supported by the social skills needed to interact with children and the technical skills required to implement the digital monitoring and controls.

The Broadcasting Commission's information officer stressed that PG (parental guidance) has long gone beyond television viewing, and parental control must now be applied to all the other personal digital devices that are available to children.

He warned, too, that sexting [the transmission of pornographic material by smart- phones, etc] is now moving from high school students down to primary schools.


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