Six Out of 10 Children Exposed to Cyber Risks Online, Says Surfshark Study

Six out of 10 children aged between eight years to 12 years are subject to cyber risks online, shows a study by cybersecurity firm Surfshark. The number of cybercrimes against children is rising sharply each year and with the sudden rise in remote schooling, it surged by 144 percent in 2020, notes the report. One in two children face cyberbullying, and around one-third come across phishing or hacking. In the US, around 12 million children were exposed to cyber risks in the past three years. The report suggests that educating kids about internet safety may prevent these negative consequences. As per the report, children in Asia-Pacific countries have better online risk management skills than in high-income countries.

As per a recent study by cybersecurity company Surfshark, six out of 10 kids in the age group of eight years to 12 years are exposed to cyber risks online. Also, one in two children experiences cyberbullying, and close to one-third faces cyber threats like phishing or hacking. The number of cybercrimes against children is increasing by five to nine percent each year. But in 2020, with the popularity of remote learning, it mounted by 144 percent and financial losses from cybercrimes against children hit $660,000 (roughly Rs. 50,313,400), registering a year-on-year decrease of 32 percent.

As per the report, in the last three years, around 12 million children in the US were exposed to cyber risks, nine million were affected by cyberbullying, and six million faced cyber threats. Thailand, Philippines, and Turkey have the highest online risk exposure level for children, while countries like Japan, Italy, and Spain have the lowest online risk exposure levels. Malaysia, India and Japan are the top countries capable to manage online threats.

Online safety education helps children to tackle cyberbullying and cope with the risk of phishing, and other cyberthreats, suggests the study. High-income countries like Saudi Arabia and Uruguay lack basic internet safety education for kids. In contrast, children in Asia-Pacific countries — India, Malaysia, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand— possess sound online risk management skills for kids.

The study states that India has 30 percent stronger online safety education programmes than the global average. Malaysia, Australia, and New Zealand have even better online safety education programmes than India.


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