Gold Silver Reports — Even 10-yr-old kids have a secret cyber life, says study — Children as young as 10 are actively attempting to hide their online activity and circumnavigate the rules their parents set to govern internet use, according to a new study.
With half of ten year olds (51%) owning a tablet and a third (33%) their own smartphone, a worrying 42% believe they have the skills and knowledge to hide what they’ve been doing online from parents.
By age 13, this rises to a concerning 70%, according to Kaspersky Lab, which conducted the poll of over 1,000 children. Of the ten year olds Kaspersky polled, 10% hadn’t spoken with a parent about their behaviour online, despite having easy access to a multitude of digital devices.
Of those that did have rules put in place to keep them safe, one in four (27%) admitted to logging onto the internet at a friend’s house to get around these. Unsurprisingly , this has led to children as young as ten being exposed to bad language (42%), violence (28%) and pornographic materials (11%).
The study highlights a clear divide between parents seeking to protect youngsters from harmful content and threats, and the inquisitive nature of tech-savvy youngsters. “As the first truly digital native generation, it’s frighteningly easy for children today to find their way into the dark corners of the internet or be exposed to content way beyond their years,“ said David Emm, principal security researcher at Kaspersky Lab. “ At ten, many children appear mature and confident enough to handle internet-enabled devices, but parents seem to overlook their impulsive and often naïve nature. Our study found that almost one in five ten-year-olds wouldn’t think twice about posting something nasty about a person online if they’d been made to feel upset,“ he said.
Emm urged parents to create an environment for their children where discussions are open from an early age, and where both parties can agree together what is safe. — Neal Bhai Reports