SINGAPORE – July 6, 2010 – Singaporean parents are generally aware of the activities being conducted online by their kids and the dangers they may encounter from exposure to inappropriate content, giving out personal information or meeting with people in real life. However, they are still underestimating the actual risks and the amount of time their kids spend on each activity.
The Norton Online Family Report, released today, is a good reminder for parents to plug into their kids online lives, if they’re not already – especially with kids spending an average of 64 hours online per month.
According to Effendy Ibrahim, Norton Internet Safety Advocate and Norton Business Lead for Asia, “Besides highlighting the importance of online safety and security issues and its impact on children, the Norton Online Family Report 2010 offers insights and information that can empower parents to help their kids use the Internet safely. It emphasizes the role of parenting the ‘online lives’ of children as well as the significance of keeping communication open and ongoing as a way to enhance Internet safety.”
Greater exposure: It is not all fun and games online
Children in Singapore are spending 16 hours a week online, and 73 percent think that they are spending too much time online. While parents are mostly in sync with the main activities their kids participate in, they have underestimated the extent to which the latter download games, music and videos – activities which lead to exposure to inappropriate content or disclosure of personal details. In reality, 90 percent of kids download digital content from the Web while parents only perceived that 47 percent did. Parents need to realise the risks of download dangers especially if their kids are doing it without any supervision.
The emotions kids go through
The Web has become a new ‘playground’ for cybercriminals to prey on the active young Internet users and anyone who goes online is vulnerable. With 73 percent of kids having been exposed to negative experiences online, the victims are also accompanied with a range of powerful emotions that have impacted them. Kids in Singapore felt angry (45 percent), annoyed (42 percent), fearful (38 percent), disgusted (36 percent) and shocked (34 percent) as a result of such incidents. Three in 10 Singaporean kids also reported that they have done something online that they regretted doing.
This study also witnessed a 13 percent increase where kids reported that they were exposed to porn or violent content, driving accessibility to inappropriate content and giving away personal information freely online to become the top parental concern.
Kids need to beware of the strangers online
As social media gains more presence in the digital world, a new but real threat to kids online in Singapore today lies in stranger danger. The study uncovered a startling trend ‐ up to 57 percent of children have had strangers try to add them as a friend on a social networking site and 26 percent met an online stranger who has tried to meet them in the ‘real world’
The good news
Kids actually want more parental involvement in their online lives. Seven in 10 Singaporean parents have house rules in place and almost four in 10 have set parental controls on their family computer. Almost three‐quarters (74 percent) of children agree they always follow the family’s rules when using the Internet.
Parents are also the first port of call for kids in Singapore with 45 percent of children trusting their parents the most when it comes to protecting them from being a victim of cybercrime.
What parents can do?
While kids are aware of many common sense rules for staying safe online, they are missing some important pieces of the puzzle. Only 17 percent always check for the ‘s’ after the ‘http’ in the URL. Just over a fifth listen to recommendations from others, while fewer than four in 10 use a software or a plugin which gives users safety advice about websites to block risky websites.
“There is clearly an important role for parents to play by increasing their understanding of the Internet, the role it plays in their kids’ lives and the experiences their kids are having online. There is also a need to ensure rules are sufficient and current to keep kids safe online. For parents, a combination of technology and talking openly about issues can help ensure our kids have a positive experience online, and this report shows us where to focus our efforts,” said Ibrahim.
The award-winning The Norton Online Family service, available free of charge in 25 languages, gives parents insight into their kids’ lives online.
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About the report
The Norton Online Family Report 2010 is based on research conducted in April 2010 by The Leading Edge, an independent market research firm, on behalf of Symantec Corporation. The online survey polled 455 adults aged 18+ (of which 102 were parents of children aged 10‐17 completed a separate parent focused survey) and 101 children aged 10‐17 (who spend 1+ hour online per week) in Singapore.
SOME USEFUL LINKS:
Norton Online Family Home Page - https://onlinefamily.norton.com/familysafety/loginStart.fs
Symantec Family Resources - http://www.symantec.com/norton/familyresources/index.jsp
Online Family Safety blog - http://community.norton.com/t5/Ask-Marian/bg-p/askmarian
FAQs for Norton Online Family - https://onlinefamily.norton.com/familysafety/help.fs?action=what-you-should-know