NINETY per cent of “child online surfers” between now and 2020 will be from emerging economies, given the rapid increase in Internet usage.
This was highlighted in the 2018 DQ Impact Report, which is a multi-nation study of online child safety and digital citizenship that was published by Singapore-based DQ Institute in association with the World Economic Forum.
The study was based on a sample size of 34,000 schoolchildren, aged between eight and 12, from 29 countries and showed the need for concerted action by governments, industries and civil societies to help parents counter the threats facing young “digital citizens”.
Since partnering with the World Economic Forum in 2017, the DQ Institute has reached over 600,000 children in 15 languages across more than 30 countries.
“We must act quickly and take positive steps to help these children facing cyber risks around the world, especially in ICT emerging countries,” said DQ Institute founder and chief executive Yuhyun Park.
“From an early age, our children’s use of social media through personal mobile phones has been excessive.
“We need to work together to help our children outsmart cyber-risks and become successful and responsible digital citizens who maximise their potential and minimise cyber-risks.”
The highlights of the report are:
- 56pc of children aged eight to 12 are exposed to at least one online-related challenge when using digital platforms, which include a host of threats from cyberbullying, video game addiction, offline meetings and online sexual behaviours.
- 47pc of those in the sample studied have been victimised through cyber-bullying in the past year.
- Threats to children are more widespread in emerging economies where the risks are 33pc higher.
- Fast adoption of mobile technology and digital platform use without adequate and appropriate preparation for children is a concern.
- Children aged between eight and 12 spend an average of 32 hours per week in front of digital screens for entertainment alone – longer than the time children spend in school.