Speakers at a summit on cyber security Friday said that internet is a popular part of daily life and an amazing resource of information, connectivity and entertainment, but at the same time it is also a breeding ground for criminal and terrorist activities where one’s every move can be monitored and information compromised. The summit titled ‘Social Media, Modern Teaching, Safe Internet, Fifth Generation War and Use of Artificial Intelligence’ was organized by the University of Lahore, Defence Road Campus. Experts and researchers from across Pakistan besides a number of academicians, lawyers, civil society members and students attended the event.Speaking on the occasion, Digital Rights Foundation Chief Executive Nighat Dad apprised the participants as to how much the modern technology was influencing the lives of the younger generation. The internet can be a dangerous neighborhood for the children and teens, she said, and added that from cyber-predators to social media posts that can come back to haunt them later in life, the hazards can be frightening. She said the children may also unwittingly expose their families to online risks, for example by accidentally downloading malware that could give cyber criminals access to very sensitive personal information.Dad said the internet can also open doors of wonder for the youth that the previous generations could not even have dreamed of. “But make sure that your children experience the joys of an online world, not its hazards,” she cautioned, while quoting a recent study according to which Pakistan is ranked 7th in terms of the countries with the worst cyber security. While discussing good practices in using social media platforms, other speakers underscored the importance of personal data and significance of its protection. Highlighting the risks of hacking and misuse of personal information, they cautioned about terrorist groups using cyber space for recruitment and radicalization of the youth.The speakers said that a fifth generation hybrid war has been imposed on the country which is affecting the minds of the youth, adding that efforts are being made to divide the nation through different means by creating confusion and chaos. They called upon the youth to take it upon themselves to respond to the enemy’s propaganda on all fronts, whether it is on social, digital or conventional media, adding that unity was imperative to foil all sorts of propaganda against Pakistan. The summit sensitized the participants about potential threats of promotion of liberal ideologies, drugs business, violence and sexual harassment on the internet. They also highlighted the role the academic institutions can play in sharing good practices in order to promote safe surfing guidelines.Published in Daily Times, February 23rd 2019.