Kids pulling the wool over parents’ eyes: Cyber-safety study
By Digital News Asia August 1, 2013
- More than 50% of youngsters admitted to posting ‘risky’ comments or photos online
- Almost 70% admitted to hiding their online activities from their parents, according to McAfee
TEENS and ‘tweens’ seem to have the upper hand over their parents, engaging in risky online behaviour while being savvy enough to hide it from their folks, according to a cyber-safety study by security solutions provider McAfee.
In the 2013 McAfee Digital Deception study ‘Exploring the Online Disconnect between Parents and Kids,’ 48% of kids who responded admitted they have looked up a site that their parents would disapprove of.
More than half of youngsters aged 10-17 admitted to posting ‘risky’ comments or photos online; while almost 70% admitted to hiding their online activities from their parents.
About 25% of youth spend five to six hours a day online, while 86% believe that social media sites are safe and are aware that sharing personal details online carry risk – yet they continue to post personal information such as their email addresses and social security numbers, McAfee said in a statement.
To address this increasing disconnect between parents and their tech-savvy offspring, the company launched the McAfee Cares – Online Safety for Kids Programme, a free school initiative that involves McAfee employees, partners and customers who volunteer to train school-age children and parents on ways to stay safe and secure, as well as maintain good ethics in their online behaviour.
“We have a responsibility to equip the next generation of computer users with the skills they need to safely experience all the benefits of the Internet,” said Michelle Dennedy, chief privacy officer at McAfee.
“And just as important is making sure they understand how to be responsible cyber citizens. We teach skills needed to navigate the digital world, including how to safeguard against cybercriminals, hackers and cyber bullies,” she said.
McAfee said it has reached more than 100,000 youth, parents and teachers around the globe with the cyber education programme, including about 15,000 in South-East Asia, where the programme has been running for a year in schools across Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
“While we were able to reach out to a wide number of children through McAfee’s Online Safety for Kids programme, there is still more to be done to ensure that the next generation is well aware of the dangers that the Internet holds,” said Wahab Yusoff, vice president of South Asia at McAfee.
“As the global leader in cyber security, it is our duty to share our knowledge and expertise with the communities around us,” he added.