With 81% of the world’s children using the internet every day, A Coordinated
Strategy is required to protect them
BOSTON, September 21, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — As many as 72% of children who access the Internet have encountered at least one cyber threat online, rising to 78% in the 16-18 age group. Overall, 81% of children go online every day and 45% spend more than three hours on the internet every day (see exhibition). The most common non-academic activities are watching, gaming or using social media, where these cyber threats can often appear. These are the findings of a report by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and the Global Cybersecurity Forum (GCF) based on a worldwide survey of 41,000 parents and children online in 6 regions and 24 countries and an assessment of the more than 60 organizations focused on Protection of children in cyberspace. The study, titled Why Children Are Unsafe in Cyberspace, is published today.
The report found that while 83% of children surveyed said they would contact their parents if they were threatened online, only 39% of parents were approached with concerns about online threats, indicating that many incidents not to be announced. Also, only 41% of parents would report problematic content their children receive to the police, and only 34% would report such content to their children’s school. While three quarters of parents limit their children’s online time, only 60% check their internet activity at least weekly and 20% only do so once a year.
Commenting on the report, Ms. Alaa AlFaadhel, Initiatives & Partnerships Lead at the GCF, “With 72% of children exposed to cyber threats, we believe protecting children is vital in a rapidly evolving cyberspace. The solution to the pervasive threats children face is to raise awareness of the issues and ensure that collective action can be taken from educators to the private sector. We all have a responsibility to create a safe place to learn and connect in cyberspace as it becomes more ingrained in everything we do.”
“With almost all 12-year-olds now online and virtual learning on the rise during the COVID-19 pandemic, child safety in cyberspace is an urgent issue that requires an immediate solution,” he said David Panhansa BCG executive director and partner who leads the firm’s technology, media and telecommunications practice in the middle East. “Everyone involved in the online and child safeguarding ecosystem has a role to play, from international organizations, regulators and law enforcement agencies, parents, carers and education providers to private sector technology companies.”
Latin America and the middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is home to the highest percentage of younger children who are online: 70% and 65% of 8-year-olds are online in these regions, respectively, compared to 50% in Asia Pacific and 48% a Europe. children one Latin America and MENA also experienced the highest cyber threats at 79% Latin America and 77% in MENA have experienced at least one such threat. Fortunately, however, parents in the MENA region also monitor their children’s online activities more regularly: 65% do so at least once a week, and 50% regularly talk to their children about internet use, compared to just 46% and 35%, respectively. in Asia Pacificthe lowest levels worldwide.
“We are encouraged to see so many organizations and efforts to make cyberspace safer for children and to support victims of online threats,” he said Shoaib Yousuf, a BCG partner and co-author of the study with Panhans and three BCG colleagues. “But challenges remain, including a lack of standardized data on children’s online behavior across regions and limited scope as many initiatives focus on the Western world and on responding to threats rather than preventing them.”
Download a copy of the report here:
To arrange an interview with one of the authors, please contact Eric Gregory at +1.617.850.3783 or [email protected].
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SOURCE Boston Consulting Group (BCG)