Indian Parents Concerned About Kids’ Cyber Safety, Family Fallout

(Image: Digital Futures, Creative Commons)

(Image: Digital Futures, Creative Commons)

Parents in India seem to be more concerned than the rest of the world about their cyber security, with 92% of surveyed Indian parents expressing concerned about their children’s online safety. In particular, they worry about digital repercussions on the family, and are most likely to limit their child’s internet activities to preserve their safety.

This is unsurprising, since one in three Indian parents report that they know someone with a child who has compromised their internet security.

The statistics come from the Norton Cybersecurity Insights Report, which surveyed 17,125 internet users in 17 countries, including 1,000 in India, reports the Times of India.

Ritesh Chopra, India’s country manager of Norton by Symantec, said:

In the last year, Norton has seen the online safety awareness levels of Indian parents increase rapidly as technology firmly cements itself in the family home. It is interesting to note that compared to the global average, Indian parents are more worried about their children’s online safety and are more likely to limit their online activities to ensure safety.

One-third believe that their child will be bullied online, reports the India Bureau of Gizmodo, and almost half of the parents believe that their children are safer from bullies on a playground than online.

Indian parents are 20% more likely than others to limit their child’s online activity, probably because 57% of Indian parents worry that the children will make the whole family vulnerable with risky online activities.

Many are concerned about their children’s unwise judgment that could cause them to fall prey to criminals and their schemes. More than half worry that their children will be lured into illegal activities like hacking. 54% worry that they will give out personal information or agree to meet up with someone online. 55% limit the information that they post about their children on social media. 53% limit what their children post.

51% are concerned that children’s posting will affect their future.

Half limit access to certain websites, and half only allow internet access with parental supervision. 49% require children to use the computer in easily monitored areas.

According to the Hindustan Times, Chopra recommends that to minimize the problems caused by children’s internet access, parents, schools, and organizations should educate them on the possible dangers. They should address sexting, cyberbullying, online predators, and privacy, and instruct children to never share private information like passwords, addresses, and phone numbers. Payal Gwalani of the Times of India reports other suggestions like setting up clear house rules about the internet, encouraging kids to be honest and frank about their lives, and using technology like parental locks and password protection. The report also warns to look for signs of internet-related distress like disinterest in real life, moodiness, irritability, the inability to concentrate, and a lack of self-confidence.

Another study has found that about 100 million Indian children will be online by 2017, further increasing the importance of online safety education for the country’s children.

03 24, 2016