‘58 per cent children exposed to cyber risks’

Bhaktapur, February 6

Children aged between eight and 12 years, who are active on social networking sites, are vulnerable to cyber risks.

A recent study conducted on ‘Digital Intelligence Quotient Impact Report’ by Apex ICT Institute Suryabinayak, Bhaktapur, reveals that 58 per cent of the children aged between eight and 12 in Nepal are exposed to  cyber risks such as cyber bullying, video game addiction, online grooming and online sexual activities.

Releasing a summary report today on the occasion of Safer Internet Day-2018 in Bhaktapur, Kedar Kilanbu, DQ Ambassador to Nepal said increasing use of internet among children and teenagers of Nepal is making them more vulnerable to cyber crime and bullying.

In Nepal, 49 per cent children are at the risk of cyber bullying, 26 per cent are involved in online sexual activities and 15 per cent are involved in online grooming.

Globally, 56 per cent of children in this age group are exposed to cyber risks. Cyber risks for children increase when they own a mobile phone and actively engage themselves in social networking sites. “In such cases, chances of children being exposed to cyber risks increase by 20 per cent.

According to Dr Mita Rana, medical psychologist at TU Teaching Hospital, children become more vulnerable to cyber risks if they are given internet facility without proper supervision and control from parents. She said, “Parents have given unrestricted access to internet to their children which exposes them to cyber risks. Children between eight and 12 years of age should be allowed to use internet under the strict supervision of their parents but in our country parents themselves expose their children to cyber risks due to lack of awareness,” she added.

According to Boyd, J Wesley, a psychiatrist at Cambridge Health Alliance, for both kids and adults, attachment to cell phone can be similar to addiction. Personal and face-to-face interactions might also take on less importance which expose them to cyber risk unknowingly.