Are your children safe on the world wide web? Did you know that children are extremely vulnerable to account hacking, receiving inappropriate messages, and being bullied online? Most of the times it all goes undetected as kids never discuss the issue they face online with their parents or teachers.
The WebWise survey conducted by Indian telecom operator Telenor India among Indian school going children revealed their internet usage and access patterns. The survey was conducted across schools in thirteen Indian cities and among 2727 students. It revealed access trends of school going children in areas like medium used to access the internet, what is internet being used for, understanding of safe internet practices, type of cyber harm faces and other areas.
Some key findings from the survey –
- Around 98.8 percent of school-going children have access to the internet in urban areas. Among them, 49.5 percent of the children access the internet from home after school hours.
- Nearly 43 percent of school-going children access the internet via smartphones. This is followed by laptops, desktops and tablets.
- What’s they browse on the Internet? – most of them are looking for information for their school projects. Along with that, they use internet for playing games, reading online books, listening to music and watching movies, social networking sites, email, etc.
- Facebook top the list of favourite website, followed by WhatsApp, Twitter and Instagram.
- More than 54.8 percent children share their passwords with friends, which cause a major cyber security risk.
- Around 35 percent children said their account being hacked while 15.74 percent shared that they have received inappropriate messages.
- Luckily, the majority of children are willing to approach their parents or teachers in case they experience any cyber harm.
- Around 15 percent children complained of being bullied online whereas 10.41 percent faced humiliation through picture/video that was uploaded on the Internet.
- Over 76 percent children are not aware of the Child Helpline 1098.
As part of the programme, Telenor employees conduct workshops in schools to spread awareness on safe internet practices for students, teachers and parents. As a result, 92.6 percent of the children surveyed said they will not share personal information with strangers while online. Whereas 89.3 percent of the children said they will block suspicious persons and inform their parents or teachers in case they are bullied online.