We can’t avoid using the Internet, and it’s indeed true. It’s been only about three decades or so since its start, and we can’t think of living without it. And because of COVID, we all use it now for literally everything. But an area of concern that keeps upsetting many Muslim parents is whether learning Quran online is safe for their kids.
Most worry about the risks the Internet harbors. Some call it an unsafe place for kids because even roads have rules, it doesn’t.
Is Learning Quran Online Safe?
Did you know that one in three Internet users is a kid? And, as per the European Commission, “around half of all 11-16 year-olds have faced one or more of six frequent Internet risks.”
Wow, there are a lot of kids facing digital risks. While the Internet has proven to be an invaluable asset, it has also posed many new threats. For example, DQ Institute’s Child Online Safety Index (COSI) surveyed 145,426 children in 30 countries and found that “60% of kids aged 8-12 have experienced at least one cyber risk.”
That doesn’t mean any harm to our children. It’s just as a number of risk exists whenever your kids move out. But you haven’t let them stay in your house all the time. You’ve instead taught them to stay safe while stepping out.
Your kid can stay just as safe online. And learning Quran online is safe as well. All you need is to know how such risks occur. This way, you can then place any Internet safety advice in context.
But first, you need to understand that online safety isn’t about technology; it’s all about human behavior. In other words, many of the risks online have nothing to do with technology and everything to do with your nature. Your life experiences as parents are precious assets. It is because you know human behavior better. And you have years of experience in interacting safely in the world.
How Internet Risks Occur?
The Internet gives crooks access to more information than ever before. Here are the reasons why such risks occur:
- Lack of Knowledge: Education is key, and we all lack a good cyber safety and security education. And sometimes, our behaviors online put us in harm’s way.
- Negligence: Even when we all know better, we make mistakes. It is indeed true when we see no cause and effect to help us correct our behavior. Say when you post something on Twitter and crooks use it a month later to rob you, you aren’t likely to recognize a link between the two events.
- Erratic Exposure to Content: The presence of disturbing content online can make online learning unsafe. Examples are pornography, violence, hate, or sites (that encourage crime, terrorism, and self-harm). Your kid can explore such content either intentionally or unintentionally.
- Holes in Consumer Protection Standards: Right now, most of the burden is on you. Because of the rapid growth of the Internet, governments have not yet created a full set of standards and laws.
- Criminal Acts: The Internet doesn’t create crime. And sadly, it will not abolish it. But it does offer some powerful tools for crooks to take advantage of kids.
Such issues create a setting in which criminals and malicious acts can flourish. Predators are generally equal-opportunity criminals, happy to target victims of young age. That is why your kids are at risk.
So How to Make Quran Learning Online Safe?
Start on the right foot. Internet safety isn’t about “don’t,” “never,” or “no.” Remember: kids remain kids, even if they are online. It’s about learning how to create an environment to say “yes.”
Real safety is all about what you both do together. You can’t force your 10-years-old kid (or older) to act safely online.
Luckily, kids have a basic sense of safety most of the time. They don’t want someone to insult, rip off, or abuse them. And when they realize their actions may place them, their family members, or friends at risk, they are interested in using safety measures.
Aside from the risk factors, there is also a concern that online tutors may hold radical views and brainwash learners. But an award-winning BBC journalist Rahila Bano said:
It remains unknown if any youngsters have been led astray through online services run by radicals, but it is clear there is concern among some Muslims that it could happen.
Again, kids remain kids, even when they are online. They are going to engage with the digital world in silly ways. And as long as they’re safe, that’s okay. Don’t expect them to do unexpected things.
An intuitive editor and a published writer, with extensive experience writing/editing papers on many subjects.
He also worked as an editor (at JFE), senior content writer (at SORCIM.com), and proofreader in several multinational companies.
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