The recent pandemic-hit years have seen children spend more time at home being online — especially for online classes. This and the age old parenting conundrum, of whether or not to use a video on YouTube as a way to get children to sit still, tends to introduce them early on to an online life.
Now, released today, the Life Behind the Screens of Parents, Tweens, and Teens, a 2022 study by the online security company McAfee, has revealed that in India, children between the ages of 10-14, adopt mobiles quicker than children elsewhere. This statistic also comes combined with a red-flag: 48% children in India reportedly carry on “private conversations without knowing a person’s real identity” — this is “a noteworthy 11% higher than for other children around the world.” McAfee’s report also noted that India has an early age of mobile maturity.
This has increased children’s experience with online risks — this includes 22% of children being subject to cyberbullying, which is 5% more than the global average. “Note how this compares to the highest and lowest reported rates, with the U.S. at 28% and Japan at 6%,” the report added. 23% of children in India have also experienced leaks of financial information, which is at 13% more than the global average.
Despite this, the study notes a slightly alarming follow-up statistic: parental concern about such cyber risks has trended lower in India, at only 47% of parents stating that they worry. This is 10% lower than the global average of 57%. Children in India, also reported a lesser concern towards exposure to cyber attacks of various kinds. While 49% of their peers worried about this globally, in India, only 42% expressed a similar concern.
The McAfee study had 15,500 parents of children in the age group of 10-18 participate in the study, along with over 12,000 of their children. The findings in the study “represent connected families not collections of individuals,” the report said.
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