In light of the increasing cybercrime in the state, the Himachal Police has written to the education department urging them to include digital civics and cyber security in the school curriculum. Due to the increasing use of mobile and digital payments, cybercrimes have increased and complaints registered in such matters have gone up from 923 in 2017 to 6207 in 2021, according to the information procured from the police department.
The inclusion of chapters on cyber safety and digital civics in school curriculum will spread awareness on cybercrimes and enable younger generations to stay safe in the digital world, a letter addressed to the principal secretary (education) said.
Nowadays, school going children start using computers and mobile phones from an early age and it has become essential to sensitise them about cybercrimes, it said. Unlike conventional crime, cybercrime has no boundaries and is characterised by fast-paced technological changes, police officials said.
The cops are conducting awareness drives regularly in schools and colleges to appraise the students about such crimes but still combating cybercrime is challenging and campaigns are essential as precaution is better than cure, they said.
Common cybercrimes include phishing scams, identity theft, online harassment, cyberstalking, invasion of privacy, debit/credit card fraud, ATM fraud and pornography and a significant rise has been witnessed in cybercrime against women and children, they said. Superintendent of Police (cybercrime) Rohit Malpani said 10 to 15 per cent of the cyber complaints involve children directly or indirectly and the number goes to over 30 per cent in complaints pertaining to social media.
A proposal has been sent to the education department for introducing chapters on digital civics and cyber security in the school curriculum, said. Requesting for the introduction of these chapters in the school curriculum of all the schools affiliated with the Himachal Pradesh Board of Secondary Education, the letter also said that the CBSE and ICSE have already taken steps in this regard.