In a recent study by the World Economic Forum, children between the ages of 8 and 12 are the most vulnerable online. It was found that 62% of children in that age group have been exposed to at least one cyber risk. These statistics place South Africa in the top 10 of countries that are at risk out of the 29 countries that were polled.
The study polled 38 000 children and measured the different risks they’re exposed to, including cyberbullying, sexual grooming, the sharing of sexual content and video game addiction. This means that 64% of these children have been exposed to one or more cyber risks.
Experts founds that 55% of the children polled were victims of cyber bullying, 11% had chatted with a stranger online and 18% had engaged in online sexual behaviours. These sexual behaviours included sexual conversations with strangers and searching, downloading and sharing sexual content online.
The study found that children residing in developing countries where there is an emerging IT sector are mostly at risk and therefore reinforcements and safety precautions should be put in place to prevent them from being exposed to dangerous behaviours online.
According to Dr Yuhyun Park, the founder of the DQ Institute, the “risky pair” of social media and mobile phone use among young children have placed millions of children at risk of cyber misdeeds from cyber bullies and sexual predators.
How do you make sure your children are safe on the internet? Share you thoughts and comments at firstname.lastname@example.org and we may publish them.
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