Cybercrime & Children in the Digital Age

by April 5, 2016 0 comments

Online predators and privacy are some of the biggest issues parents are grappling with as cyber crime goes beyond online and moves to take over personal life.

Fast-paced technological innovation and easy accessibility of information and communication technology (ICT) have transformed our societies. The current generation has unprecedented access to computers and mobile technologies, as they have adopted it from an early age. With the advent of the digital age the exploitation of children is on the rise thereby making them more vulnerable.

Norton by Symantec has released the findings from its Norton Cyber Security Insights Report which reveals parents have great concerns about their children in the online world. Perpetrators always look for new ways to evade technological solutions with new tools which makes it necessary for increased cooperation between industry, law enforcement, NGOs and government.

Some of the key findings from this report show that:

  • 54 percent worry their children will give out too much personal information to strangers
  • 21 percent parents are concerned about their children being lured into meeting a stranger in the outside world
  • 51 percent believe what their children will post today will come back to haunt them in the future
  • The Norton Cybersecurity Insights Report reflects consumer attitudes from more than 17,000 people surveyed in 17 countries, including 1000 people in India.

Children in the Digital World

According to a study by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) on behalf of the Telenor Group, in India approximately 100 million children will come online by 2017. Despite government’s strict norms that prohibit children under 13 from joining the social-networking site, nearly 76 percent of children ages 7 to 13 visit ‘YouTube’ daily in tier-I and tier-II cities and a vast majority (75 percent) of the parents of 7-13 year-olds are aware of their child for signing up for the YouTube site. Social media is another area which has high concentration of children.

In 2013, the Delhi High Court observed that India is way behind when it comes to online protection of children and changes in online safety-related policies and implementation of digital literacy programs in schools have been moving at a snail’s pace.

The policymakers are quite active when it comes to cybercrime but the debate on online child protection is fragmented. According to a survey by Assocham, 65 percent of kids under 13 use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Lack of Digital Literacy

“Children in India are in the highest risk category due to increased access to smartphones and affordable internet which makes them the weakest link in the family’s online security,” says Ritesh Chopra, Country Manager, Norton by Symantec.

It is the parent’s responsibility to talk to children about their internet habits. Also, it is necessary to monitor their activity and have rules around their internet use.

Compared to global average, Indian parents worry more about their children online presence.

Define Boundaries

Online behavior and real world behavior are one side of the same coin. Parents should set rules about when and for how long children can remain online, the websites they can visit, and how to treat people online. They should also be aware about all the privacy filters for safe browsing.

On privacy

Parents should make sure that their children are not sharing sensitive information online with someone they don’t know. Online etiquette is necessary and children should be groomed early about the implications of reckless online behavior.

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