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Children’s Internet Habits : Telenor India WebWise Report

Posted on the 27 December 2016 by Jyoti Arora @Jy0tiAr0ra
Children’s Internet Habits Telenor India WebWise Report Children’s Internet Habits : Telenor India WebWise Report

It will come as no news to anyone that internet is full of dangers. The more we depend on it, the more we are opening ourselves to cyber crimes. We may keep ourselves safe to some extent using good security software and apps and a hefty dose of common sense. But we can't expect same caution from children. Children are the most vulnerable set of internet users. They are curious, reckless and easily trust anyone.

Telenor recently did a survey to judge the internet habits of kids. This WebWise survey was conducted across schools in 13 Indian cities. It covered a sample size of 2727 students. It was followed by workshops conducted by Telenor employees to inform children about safe internet practiced.

Talking about the WeWise Report, Mr. Sharad Mehrotra, Chief Executive Officer, Telenor India Communications said, "At Telenor, we believe in promoting a digitally connected society. As our children embark on this journey, it is our responsibility to ensure that Internet becomes a window to a wealth of information for them. On one hand the WebWise Report highlights the vulnerabilities and cyber threats, and on the other hand it presents us with insights that can help us to create focused awareness campaigns around safe internet practices. Telenor has taken many steps towards enabling safe internet including Child Helpline 1098 by embedding the number on SIMs. Additionally, we conduct WebWise workshops to coach students on how to be safe while being online. We have reached out to over 55,000 students and will continue to educate them, along with parents and teachers, to ensure a secure digital future."

Children’s Internet Habits Telenor India WebWise Report
Children’s Internet Habits : Telenor India WebWise Report

The Telenor India WebWise report makes it clear how extremely vulnerable children are to cyber crimes like account hacking, receiving inappropriate messages, being bullied online, etc.

The major findings of the Telenor India's WebWise report:

  • 98.8% urban school-going children access internet regularly and and 49.5% of them do it from home
  • More than 43% use mobile to access internet. Laptops are the second most popular device among children, followed by desktop and tablets.
  • Children most commonly use internet to find information for school projects, play games, read online books (that's a surprise for me!), listen to music, watch movies and use social networking sites, email, etc.
  • 54.8% children share their passwords with their friends. That shows just how easily trusting kids are and how easily they can be taken advantage of.
  • Most children were willing to seek their parents' help in case they experience any cyber harm
  • Over 76% children are not aware of the Child Helpline 1098. Actually, even I was not aware of it!
  • Facebook is the most favourite platform, followed by WhatsApp, Twitter and Instagram. No surprises there. Ask any parent and they'd tell you.
  • Over 35% children have experienced their account being hacked
  • 15.74% children have received inappropriate messages.
  • 15% of children complained of being bullied online. 10.41% admitted of having faced humiliation through picture/video that were uploaded on Internet. As per the WebWise report, Cyber-bullying has become one of the biggest online threats for kids. And it often goes undetected because children feel hesitant to discuss the issue with their parents or teachers.

This makes it clear how much our kids are at risk when they use internet. As children become more and more dependent on internet, this risk is going to increase. It is expected that nearly 180 million children will access internet by 2017 in Telenor markets (13 countries). Amongst the 12 countries studied by BCG, children in India were judged to be at the highest risk. A combination of factors like affordable Internet and smartphones, and lack of internet safe practice knowledge is going to put more and more of us and our children at risk.

Therefore, it is of prime importance for parents to monitor the internet use of their children. Children must be educated about how to use internet safely. And they must be given the confidence to seek help in case they become victim of any cyber crime. The Child Helpline number 1098 can help them fight these crimes.

We can no longer ignore or avoid internet. But with safe practices, we can make it less of a risk for ourselves and our kids.

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