Getting a birthday present from your parents is always an exciting feeling and when it is your favourite gadget, it is a dream come true. It was a pleasant surprise to get a brand new Smart phone first thing on my 15th Birthday. Feel of becoming a teenager couldn’t have started in a better fashion than this. The wishes and blessings were just an add on to this gift.
Being a Sunday, I could really enjoy my first day with my new possession. Getting my wish list of apps downloaded was the first thing on my agenda. A few social networking apps, some games, some music apps etc… The excitement was too much to handle. I was literally in a different world all of a sudden. That day just flew and of course I was totally glued to my new phone the whole day till I called it a wonderful Birthday. I even remember the dream I saw that night. I was collecting the gold coins on my way as I surfed through the cities with trains and buses coming towards me ala the girl in the game I played all day.
On the days which followed, I would rush to get connected to the phone as soon as I got back from school. It was turning out to be a major distraction in my routine, or as my parents put it, I was addicted to the phone and they repented gifting it to me.
Very soon my friends and followers in social networking increased in number and I eagerly waited for the likes on my posts and photos. This though came at a cost. My grades dropped in the following tests at school. I never understood why I couldn’t remember my lessons, and I started hating studies all together. Soon I lost the freedom to use my phone as my parents took it back and restricted the usage to only weekends, after my studies were completed. I believed that smart phone had made me smarter and I somehow used to manage to get into the sites on my parents’ phone without their knowledge. Soon this was to end as my parents found out what was going on. They locked their phones with a password and there ended my daily dose of fun.
A few weeks passed and on one fine day, my Mom got a call from her sister enquiring why Ananya, that is me was posting such wierd photographs on the social media site. I was summoned right away and was asked for an explanation. To my shock, the photographs and the posts weren’t mine and I had never posted anything for more than a week prior to that day. When I tried logging into my account, it was denied access. Even forgot password wouldn’t help as I didn’t receive any OTP. This became a cause of worry for me as well my Mom. She called up my Dad and explained what had happened and he sounded equally worried on hearing it. He said he will consult his friend who was a software and programming professional.
Soon we got a call from my Dad saying that my account was hacked and it needed to be reported or it may lead to a lot of consequences. Such cases are increasing in number where the hackers are targeting younger people who don’t have any idea about how to make their account secure. Presumably, I had not made my account secure and being a novice and a proud one at that, had given all my details in my profile, so it made the reporting even more necessary.
My dad took an off from his office and went to the nearest police station to file a report with the Cyber cell. By evening, we got a call from the Cyber Cell saying that the hacker has been tracked down and my account had been deleted successfully. We all breathed a sigh of relief on hearing that. They also warned us not to allow children to access the social media sites as it is not legal to do so.
This incident shook us all up and needless to say I have deleted all the social media sites from my phone which I use only for making calls and play some offline games. My parents on their part have been spreading awareness about the risks and consequences of exposing children too early to the social media.