McAfee annual report accentuates that young people must commit to online safety

McAfee-logoNew Delhi, India, November 10, 2014: McAfee, part of Intel Security, has  released findings of its annual study, the Tweens, Teens and Technology 2014 report, which examines the online behaviour and social networking habits of Indian tweens and teens, and aims to educate on the impact that risky behaviour has on their privacy, reputation and social media experiences.

According to the research, half (50%) of the youth in India have had some experience with cyber-bullying (been cyberbullied online or witnessed others being cyberbullied), out of which one-third (36%) have been cyberbullied themselves. This behaviour was perceived to result in anger and embarrassment, showcasing how online behaviour translates into offline impact. The study highlights how risky online activity can possibly make them even more susceptible to cyberbullying, substantiated through some of the following statistics.

Need to be constantly connected

An eye-opening trend is that half (52%) of India’s youth even access their social media accounts while at school, with tweens (57%) being more connected during school hours than teens (47%). Even though the minimum age to register to on social networking sites like Facebook, Snapchat, Pinterest, Tinder, Tumblr, and Vine is 13, 10-12 year olds report higher daily access to than their teen counterparts. 

Oversharing of risky information

Despite a majority (80%) of Indian youth being aware that their online activity can affect their identity, 92% have done or posted something risky online. An added fact is that of these, 70% have posted their contact details like email, phone and home address.

Youth are increasingly trusting unknown people in the virtual world, in spite of being aware that it is risky. 53% have met someone in person that they first met online. 63% of youth do not turn off their location or GPS services across apps, leaving their locations visible to strangers.

Finding Social Acceptance

Another critical concern stemming from peer pressure is youth feeling compelled to portray an untrue image of themselves online. 64% even admit to trying  to reinvent their online personas making themselves appear older, creating fake profiles or posting photos that are not their own. Moreover, 46% say they would put themselves in danger to see more engagement/ activity on their posts (e.g., more likes, comments, shares or retweets).

Lack of parental involvement

Only 46% say their parents have had a conversation with them about online safety. Others say their parents simply don’t care (52%). 

Melanie Duca, APAC Consumer Marketing Director, McAfee, part of Intel Security says, “Teens and tweens are very comfortable operating in the online world, yet the risks have never been greater. Young people are often the pioneers for new technologies so they need to understand the consequences of their online behaviour and how they can maintain their social engagement.”

The findings of McAfee’s Tweens, Teens & Technology 2014 report were released at a panel discussion with Melanie Duca, Consumer Marketing Director (APAC) McAfee; Venkat Krishnapur, Vice-President of Engineering – Consumer and Mobile, McAfee India; Anindita Mishra, McAfee Cybermum India; and, Dr. Sunil Mittal, a leading psychiatrist in New Delhi on November 10, 2014.

Speaking about new-age parenting challenges, Anindita Mishra, McAfee Cybermum India said, “The findings of the study reaffirm that the online behaviour of youth needs much more involvement from parents than they are currently providing. As a result, I believe there is an urgent need for parents to update themselves on potential threats such as cyberbullying and become part of their children’s online experience to ensure they aren’t navigating alone through an unrestricted virtual world.”

“Internet-enabled devices collect information about online behaviour, track location and links to social media accounts which are vulnerable to threats that can disrupt devices and extract personal data leading to cyberbullying and identity theft,” said Venkat Krishnapur, Vice-President of Engineering- Consumer and Mobile, McAfee India Centre, McAfee, part of Intel Security. “Education is key to empowering both parents and children with the tools to tackle these risks. In fact, McAfee also recently announced the launch of Intel Education’s Cyber Wellness Curriculum that is a comprehensive guide for this purpose.”

Melanie Duca continued, “McAfee is dedicated in making the internet safe by providing resources to help educate and protect families. As a result, we need to do our part to provide appropriate assistance and teach them to STOP, THINK & CONNECT online.”

Annexure 1- India Analysis Sheet- McAfee’s Tweens, Teens & Technology Report 2014

Necessary dose of internet usage

  • 70% of online youth in India spend more than 5 hours on the internet in a normal week. Internet access is still predominantly desktop based (41%), however, 36% use laptops and 27% use smartphones 

India’s youth are constantly connected

  • In terms of social networking platforms, Facebook is by far the most popular site used (93%), followed by YouTube (87%) and WhatsApp (79%).

o   10-12 year old social account users report higher daily access to Snapchat, Pinterest, Tinder, Tumblr, and Vine than their teen counterparts, even though the minimum age to register to these social networking sites is 13 years.

  • An eye opening trend is that half (52%) of India’s youth even access their social media accounts while at school; 57% being 8-12 years old v/s 47% 13-17 year old. 

Too much information

  • Youth often overshare what would be considered private information publicly, both intentionally and unintentionally. Despite majority (80%) of Indian youth being aware that their online activity can affect their identity, out of 90% who have done or posted something risky online, 70% have posted their contact details like email, phone, home address. 
  • Youth are becoming more trusting of the virtual world to familiarise themselves with unknown people, in spite of being aware that it is risky. 53% have met someone in person that they first met online. As a majority have interacted online with people they don’t know in person:  52 % Chatted during online gaming,  49% on TV show fan pages and 42% live tweeting celebrities and others during a live show. 
  • 63% of youth do not turn off their location or GPS services across apps, leaving their locations visible to strangers, and only 46% enable privacy settings on their social networking profiles to protect their content. 

Finding social acceptance

  • Two-thirds (66%) of youth in India say they feel more accepted on social media than they do in real life. 72% feel important or popular when they receive a lot of “likes” on the photos posted of themself on social media. 
  • Keeping up to the social pressure, 64% even admit to have tried reinventing themselves online by  trying to appear older or creating a fake profile or posting photos that are not their own. Moreover, 46% say they would put themselves in danger to see more engagement/ activity on their posts (e.g., more likes, comments, shares or retweets). 

Digital ignorance

  • More than half claim that online risks do not apply to them and, therefore, lack concern about their online privacy: 55% think they are  not old enough to worry about my identity being stolen and 51% say they don’t care about having privacy online. 

Online behaviour driving offline consequences

  • Unfortunately, social networks are causing a majority (88%) of Indian youth to experience negative situations in their offline lives:

o   53% of youth have been involved in an argument because of something posted on social media, 46% got into trouble at home or school as a result of being on a social network site.

  • 34% of youth stated they regretted posting something online. 

Hide and Don’t Seek: Youth would change their online behavior if they knew their parents were watching

  • Although 70% of youth believe their parents trust them to do what is right online, 64% of young people in India still manage to hide their online behaviours from their parents and 61% think their parents can’t keep up with them when it comes to technology. 62% would still change their online behaviour if they knew their parents were watching. 

Cyberbullying

  • Despite significant efforts to discourage cyberbullying, and its negative effects, Two-thirds (66%) of youth in India have had some experience with cyber-bullying.

o   36% of youth having been cyberbullied themselves. Of those who responded they were cyberbullied, 46% responded it was due to appearance while 45% answered due their intelligence level. 40% stated religion/race was the driving factor.

  • Of the 33% who say they have witnessed cyberbullying of others, 46% said the victims deleted their social media accounts and 42% said the victims became less social, underscoring its significant emotional impact. 
  • While the study reveals cyberbullying continues to represent a serious problem for youth, the 2014 survey found 57% of youth would not know what to do if they were harassed or bullied online. 

Privacy concern

  • Youth share a variety of fears regarding risks they face online, including: fear their privacy will be compromised (26%) and fear of being hacked (23%).  Notably, these fears are greater than the fear of being cyberbullied (18%) or unpopular (12%). 

Lack of parental involvement

  • Only 46% say their parents have had a conversation with them about online safety. Others say their parents simply don’t care (52%).

© Technuter.com News Service

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