A recent survey conducted by McAfee across 10 Indian cities has revealed that 62 percent of affluent kids ages 4-12 have an email account, while 58 percent have an account on social networking sites. But while 32 percent of the parents surveyed knew their kids were sharing personal contact information online and all parents of 4-8-year-olds admitted to letting them access the Internet, a sizable number voiced concern over potential exposure to inappropriate content. 56 percent of parents of 13-17-year-olds are concerned about their kids’ Internet activity, while 42 percent of parents of 4-8 year olds worried their kids could be exposed to inappropriate material.
“As the Internet evolves into a new platform for self expression and social interaction, children will be prone to indulge in information exchange leading to increasing rate of cyber exploits,” McAfee Cybermum India blogger Anindita Mishra said. “Hence, parents need to use protective technology to understand, handhold and mold our children’s online persona and behavior.”
The survey, titled, “How safe are Indian kids online?,” involved 500 children and 496 parents throughout the cities of Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Cochin, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Ludhiana, Mumbai, New Delhi and Pune. Parents in Bangalore and Ludhiana were found to have the most minimal awareness of their kids’ online activities, whereas Pune had the highest level of involvement at 84 percent.
McAfee, an Intel subsidiary, recently unveiled a Family Protection software suite, which protects children of all ages from online risks and allows them to explore the Internet safely. The software CDs are valid for one year.