At least 72% of children were hit by cyber threats in 2021

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A recent survey made by a Saudi based firm has discovered that about 72% of children were hit by cyber threats last year, i.e., 2021 and estimates are in that there can be a rise by 10% in such attacks by this year’s end.

Saudi based Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in association with Global Cybersecurity Forum (GCF) indulged in a survey to find why children are unsafe online and discovered that most of them were vulnerable to hackers as they reveal more than intended information online.

It was detected in the survey, Children aged 8 and more were using internet on an active note and were being targeted by ads that were inappropriate and contained content related to harassment, bullying and what wasn’t meant for the young minds to see.

The survey that was conducted across 24 countries involving 40,000 parents and an equal number of children, highlighted the fact that there is an urgent need for a global action on a collective note, as children were been exposed to constant cyber threats in this rapidly developing cyberspace.

A large majority of children (say 83%) from the Middle East and Latin America were being exposed to the highest number of threats and among them, more than half of them admitted they were feeling threatened to go online for reasons.

Conversely, over 53% of parents say that their child might have never experienced such threats as they did not reveal any such thing to them. But the GCF claims that many might have stayed silent as they did not know whether to report such incidents or weren’t aware that the experience they met was harassment.

What’s even more concerning is the fact that children aged 10 and above were using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and businesses are still failing to filter such young age users from using their services, despite of their sincere efforts.

Covid pandemic ejected the severity of the issue as more school going children were exposed to online hackers, all because of their online classes. And this made difficult for the law enforcement to protect young minds from many criminals lurking online.

So, parents, caregivers, guardians, teachers are being urged to keep a vigil on their students and children and protect them from online abuses by taking help of various technologies.

The GCF is planning to hold a summit on this topic in the Kingdom of Riyadh on November 9th and 10th of this year and will head it with the theme ‘Rethinking the Global Cyber Order’.

 

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Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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