Workshop on Cyber Safety - Ms. Akanchba Srivastava
21st and 22nd September 2017
Akancha Against Harassment - a workshop on cyber-bullying
On the 22nd of August 2017, the students of classes 9-12 attended a workshop on identifying, preventing and fighting against cyber crimes. Akancha Srivastava, the founder & director of Azure, a strategic brand-consulting firm based in Mumbai and the head of the Akancha Against Harassment campaign, conducted the workshop.
Ms. Srivastava spent a long time in a relationship with a partner who emotionally abused her, lied to her, and cheated on her only to realize that he was a sociopath. He had been stalking her through her social media accounts, giving her a sense of false security and going to lengths and heights to impersonate coworkers, ex-lovers and friends. It was this experience that shook her to her core and she struggled to rebuild the life that she had envisioned for herself. Her determination to provide a platform for those who had suffered and to protect others from being harassed led to her successful national campaign, 'Akancha Against Harassment'.
She helped the students identify the different kinds of cybercrimes ranging from bullying, the sharing of inappropriate content and the act of voyeurism to impersonation. Ms. Akancha Srivastava also created a framework of rules that students should keep in mind while using social media. She encouraged students to never upload real time pictures, to have complex passwords, to never reveal a daily schedule or pattern online, to never open suspicious or inappropriate emails and to keep privacy settings on and location settings off at all times. Through her question answer session, she was able to re-enforce the dangers of the cyber world without compromising on the importance of social media as a tool for communication.
Her ability to connect with the students and to be honest about the malicious intent of search engines, applications and anonymous websites made her advice and her experiences all the more valuable. She also deeply expressed her hope for people who had been cyber-bullied to be brave and share their stories.
In the 21st century, where social media represents the dichotomy of a powerful tool that can help the masses and at the same time a weapon for people to pray on each other, a workshop for students, parents and teachers on cybercrime is essential. Stressing on the consequences of committing such and the need to be vigilant on the Internet is an important take away for both parents and students. Ms. Srivastava's workshop was an eye-opening event, one that really invited the students to reconsider their online safety and protect themselves from any cyber harms.
Vasant Valley School organised a series of 5 workshops, over two days: 21st and 22nd September 2017 on Cyber Safety. Ms. Akanchba Srivastava spoke to the parents regarding safe Internet usage for various age groups of children. The modules have been designed keeping the needs of the children in focus. There were 4 workshops, for the parents of Foundation to Class 2, Classes 3 to 5, Classes 6 to 8 and Classes 9 to 12.There was a a workshop for the students of classes 9 to 12 as well, since they are among the most prolific users of technology and, as teenagers are very resistant to parental supervision.