Today’s youth increasingly rely on the Internet – a recent research from Synovate shows that 1in 3 children said they could not live without it. In Taiwan, about 26 percent of children use the Internet for over three hours every day, and this ratio significantly increases to 50.2 percent over weekend. In the US, 90 percent of teens are online. In the Philippines, 19 percent of kids who are 13 to 17 are into Facebook. In South Korea, 15 percent of children and teenagers are addicted to Internet/video games. In India, 62%of youth go online to search for information. This statistic, coupled with the fact that the Internet can also be a hotbed for several types of criminal activity, could be seen as a cause for concern for many parents.
Trend Micro has detected a shift in terms of data disclosure. One of the predictions for this year is that the new social networking generation will redefine the meaning of “privacy,” being more likely to reveal personal data such as email addresses, cell phone numbers, and school names to other parties. Moreover, the various applications and services available online mean that children can readily access files such as movies, music, and software; however, these might be illegal, or might be malware in disguise that could infect the user’s system.
A study conducted by Trend Micro reveals that while 83 percent of parents claim to be worried about their children’s online behavior, but only 30 percent actually visit their children’s SNS profiles to see what they are doing online. Although not all young people will encounter these risks, the more they are aware of these potential hazards, the more likely they are to be safe online. This awareness, combined with technology, common sense, and critical thinking, can help to make sure the Internet is in fact a great and safe place for children.
Suchita Vishnoi, Head – Marketing, Trend Micro (India & SAARC) said, “The Internet should be a place where you can talk, learn, shop, and share without worrying about your own safety or the security of personal information. One needs to be smart about what to share and whom to share it with, as well as how one behaves. For ensuring this behavior in the kids, parents must play a more active role in checking what is reaching their children and keep them safe from inappropriate content, unwanted contact, aggressive commercialism and security threats.”