Norton by Symantec released findings from the Norton Cyber Security Insights Report, which reveals parents have great concerns about their children in the online world. Online predators, privacy and family vulnerability are some of the biggest issues parents are grappling with as the impact of cybercrime takes over personal lives.
The report found that one in three Indian parents believe their child will be a victim of online bullying, considerably higher than global average. In fact, close to one in two parents believe their children are safer from bullies on a playground than online. Not surprising then that Indian parents are 20 percent more likely to limit their child’s online activities.
With increasing dependence on the internet, 57 percent of Indian parents also worry about children making the whole family vulnerable through their online activities. Additionally, more than half of Indian parents worry that their children will be lured into illegal activities such as hacking, while 54 percent worry they will give too much personal information to strangers or be lured into meeting a stranger in the outside world (57 percent). They also fear what their children will post today will come back to haunt them in the future (51 percent).
“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,” said Ritesh Chopra, Country Manager, India, Norton by Symantec. “Protecting children online is weighing heavier on parents than ever before as the concerns for online predators and privacy are now “real” world concerns. 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. While parents are taking some measures to keep their children safe online, more action is needed to ensure children are less vulnerable in the digital world.”
Children are the weakest link in the family’s online security
Nearly all parents surveyed (92 percent) worry about their children’s safety online – and in particular, how their actions will have repercussions on the family. Indian parents are more likely to take action to protect their children online. Three in five Indian parents report their child has experienced a form of online crime. Of these, Millennial 1parents (75 percent) and fathers (67 percent) in India are more likely to report their child as a victim. To alleviate these concerns, more than four in five Indian parents are taking measures to protect their children online:
-More than half (55 percent) limit the amount of information they post about their children on social networks
-53 percent limit the amount of information their children can post on their social profiles -More than one in two limit access to certain websites
-One in two parents only allow internet access with parental supervision
-Close to half the parents (49 percent) surveyed require computer use to take place in common areas in the home
Despite these measures, over one in three Indians know someone with a child whose actions have compromised their online security. Downloading a virus is the most common online crime parents report their children are experiencing in India (30 percent).
Top Tips for Parents:
There are some actions parents can take to protect their children and keep their family safe online –
Have an open dialogue – It’s important to start the conversation with your children early and have an open dialogue. Set aside time to discuss appropriate online behaviour and create age-appropriate “House Rules” about how computers, smart phones and gaming systems are used. It is also important to be a positive role model for children and lead by example.
Educate children – Spend some time educating children regularly about the dangers of the Internet and create awareness around issues such as sexting, cyberbullying, online predators and privacy. Check to make sure your children are not sharing private information like passwords, addresses and phone numbers with people they don’t know.
Explore technology – Consider free parental control technologies, such as Norton Family, that help to set and enforce the ground rules and can limit the sites that can be accessed and the type of information that can be shared online.