Indian Children Rank Best In Dealing With Online Risks: Survey

According to a study by UK-based cybersecurity firm Surfshark, children in India have the best ability to deal with online risks in the world. India ranks after Malaysia and Japan, while Saudi Arabia, Uruguay, and Thailand are at the bottom for children with poor online risk-management skills.

The study states that the number of cyber crimes against children has steadily increased by 5-9% each year but increased by 144% in 2020, after nearly one billion school children worldwide moved online for distance learning. In 2020 alone, the annual financial loss from cybercrime against children reached Rs 5.02 crore (US$ 660,000). However, India ranked 5th lowest globally in terms of children’s exposure to online.

Managing exposure to online risks and developing the ability to deal with them has become increasingly important these days, say experts. A Surfshark study found that 6 out of 10 children aged 8-12 were exposed to cyber risks online. In addition, 1 in 2 children have experienced cyberbullying and nearly one-third have experienced other cyber threats such as phishing or hacking.

According to the study, low- and lower-middle-income countries have better online safety education than rich countries. For example, while India has 30% stronger online security education programs than the global average, high-income countries such as Saudi Arabia and Uruguay have essentially no online security education.

Asia-Pacific countries (India, Malaysia, Japan, Australia and New Zealand) performed well overall and had the strongest online risk management skills, which played an important role in helping children deal with cyberbullying, phishing and other cyber threats.

Aleksandr Valentij, Chief Information Security Officer of Surfshark said, “Through this study, we can see that educating children about cyberthreats plays a massive role in them knowing how to deal with any problems that may arise online. Every child is an individual. They all seek different things from their online experience, handling danger differently. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to discussing online safety with your children. Instead, you must discover ways to converse with them and assist them in understanding what to do.”