Cyber threat: Over 35 per cent children vulnerable to account hacking

New Delhi: Over 35 per cent children surveyed have experienced their account being hacked while more than 15 per cent shared that they have received inappropriate messages, according to Telenor’s WebWise report.

About 15 per cent complained of being bullied online whereas 10.41 per cent faced humiliation through picture or video that were uploaded on Internet, the report revealed.

“Over 35 per cent children have experienced their account being hacked while 15.74 per cent shared that they have received inappropriate messages,” as per the report analysing internet usage and access patterns of school-going children.

The report found that 98.8 per cent school-going children access internet in urban areas, and 49.5 per cent of them do it from home. Over 43 per cent use mobile as the medium to access internet, followed by laptop, desktop and tablets, it added.

Children use internet to find information for school projects, playing games, reading online books, listening to music and watching movies, social networking sites and email, it added.

The report further revealed that 54.8 per cent children share their passwords with friends. Majority of children were willing to approach their parents in case they experience any cyber harm, it added.

“Over 76 per cent children are not aware of the Child Helpline 1098,” the report said adding that Facebook was the most favourite platform, followed by WhatsApp, Twitter and Instagram.

“The Telenor India WebWise report indicates that children are extremely vulnerable to account hacking, receiving inappropriate messages, being bullied online, etc. Cyber-bullying has also emerged as one of the major threats online and often it goes undetected as children do not discuss the issue with parents or teachers,” the release said.

The WebWise survey was conducted across schools in 13 cities of India covering a sample size of 2,727 students.

As part of the WebWise programme, Telenor employees conduct workshops in schools to spread awareness on safe internet practices for students, teachers and parents.

“After the workshop, 92.6 per cent of the children surveyed said they will not share personal information with strangers while online, whereas 89.3 per cent said they will block suspicious persons and inform an adult in case they are bullied online,” it said.