50% parents fear their children might fall prey to cyber bullying

New Delhi: While 40 per cent of Indian parents allowed their children to access the internet before age 11, 54 per cent of them fear that their children are more likely to be bullied online than on a playground, a Norton by Symantec study revealed the report.

The findings from the “2016 Norton Cyber Security Insights Report: Family Edition,” shed light on parents’ perceptions of cyber bullying and the preventative measures to protect their children.”A concern for many parents is that cyber bullying doesn’t stop when their child leaves school – as long as your child is connected to a device, a bully can connect to them,” said Ritesh Chopra, Country Manager, Norton by Symantec.

The report also pointed out that 71 per cent parents thought their children would download malicious programmes or a virus, 69 per cent think their kids would disclose too much personal information to strangers and 65 per cent thought a stranger could lure their children in the physical world.

Parents were also concerned that their kids might do something online that could make the whole family vulnerable (62 per cent) or embarrassed (60 per cent). Nearly 61 per cent believe the children could be lured into illegal activities like hacking.

In what can be called a silver lining, the report also showed that Indian parents are starting to recognise how damaging cyber bullying can be for children and are putting preventative measures in place.

“Nearly 57 per cent parents chose to check their child’s browser history, 46 per cent only allow access to certain websites, 48 per cent allow internet access only with parental supervision,” the report said.

Also, 37 per cent parents review and approve all apps before they are downloaded, 36 per cent enable internet access only in household common areas and 35 per cent limit information their child can post on social profiles. The survey also revealed that seven per cent of parents fail to take any action to protect their children online.

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