70 pct Indian tweens admit to using Facebook, overlooking age eligibility, raising risk

Nov 27 2013, 15:59 IST
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70 pct of Indian tweens admit to using Facebook, despite the age restrictions. Reuters 70 pct of Indian tweens admit to using Facebook, despite the age restrictions. Reuters
SummaryMcAfee report also finds 36 pct of online tweens chatted with strangers.

The growing trend of Indian tweens (kids between 8-12 years old) rapidly adopting internet through multiple devices and a variety of social networking platforms has made them vulnerable to associated risks.

McAfee's Tweens & Technology Report 2013, which analyses the online behaviour of India’s digital native boys and girls, says that 70% admit to using Facebook, despite the age restrictions. At present, Facebook's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities require users of the social network to be at least 13 years old and even older, in some jurisdictions.

McAfee’s Tweens & Technology Report 2013 was conducted through a survey administered across Indian online tweens aged 8-12 years old comprising 572 male and 428 female respondents from Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Delhi.

The report also finds that about 36% of online tweens have chatted to someone online that they didn’t know previously. Interestingly, on an average, Indian tweens are using between 3 and 4 devices that can be internet enabled Internet access is predominantly PC/laptop based (71% and 76% access the internet via these devices respectively), however 42% access the internet via a mobile device, the report finds.

About 68% of Tweens are widely using mobile/smartphones to access internet. Almost half (45%) of the online tweens access internet post 8 pm. They are regularly playing games (91%) on tablet or chatting with friends on mobile (63%).

Anindita Mishra of McAfee Cybermum India said, “There is an increasing influence of the online world on children’s persona that cannot be undermined because of the emotional and developmental impact it has. The role of parents in delivering safe and positive cyber experience to their kids is significant than ever before. Having a genuine and transparent two-way communication with children is absolutely fundamental to establishing a safe and positive cyber experience.”

“With malware writers mastering their craft, they continue to transfer their skills to new and popular mobile platforms in addition to PCs and laptops. The proliferation of multiple mobile device usage and this staggering increase in new malware will require Indian parents to recalibrate on how to arm their children with best online practices ensuring safe online experiences for them.” said Venkat Krishnapur, Vice-President of Engineering-Consumer and Mobile, McAfee India.

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