Children prey to cyber-crime; majority of parents don’t feel so

Negative online experience refers to experience someone posting private/intimate content without permission.

By: Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: June 15, 2014 12:42 pm

cybercrime

52 per cent of the children surveyed in India said they were victims of cyber-crime (Source: Reuters)

With easy access to Internet and smart gadgets, a growing number of children in the country today are falling prey to cyber-bullying, security software firm Symantec said on Sunday.

However, more disturbing is the fact that a majority of the parents don’t feel their child is being bullied online.

According to a report by Norton (a Symantec brand), 52 per cent of the children surveyed in India said they were victims of cyber-crime and/or had online negative situation and about 18 per cent said they had been bullied online.

However, 84 per cent of the parents surveyed in India said they did not feel that their child was being bullied online, The Norton Report: Family Edition said.

Cyber-bullying refers to people using electronic communication like emailing, social networking and texting to harm others.

Interestingly, 34 per cent of children surveyed in India admitted to creating negative online experience for others.

Negative online experience refers to experience someone posting private/intimate content without permission, being approached online in an unwanted sexual way, online stalking or harassment, receiving SMS text messages from unknown people asking to click on an embedded link or receiving adult content.

“Going online is a daily affair for many of us, not just adults but children too as they tackle schoolwork and indulge in playtime on the Internet. With social media and the online world continuing to infiltrate our lives and that of children, cyber-bullying remains a very real online danger due to the damaging effect on people’s mental health,” Ritesh Chopra, Country Manager (India) for Norton by Symantec told.

Also, with more and more people using their mobile devices, there is more direct impact.

“Unlike offline forms of communication, these chats and messages are being digitally stored and can be forwarded to someone other than the original recipient, edited to distort the communication, and be published to different places,” he said.

Once the communication is “out there,” the person has lost control of it, Chopra added.

About 54 per cent of the girls surveyed said they were victims of cyber-crime or a negative online situation.

Also, 58 per cent girls said they were bullied online during school year compared to 28 per cent boys who said they were bullied in school year.

The study, commissioned annually by Symantec, surveyed 13,022 adults (aged 18 to 64) from 24 countries in 2014.This includes Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Italy,Japan, the UAE, the UK and the US.