Over 85% of Indian children have fallen prey to cyberbullying at some point, highest globally, says McAfee report

McAfee global report ‘Cyberbullying in Plain Sight’ revealed that many children participate in cyberbullying. And most of their parents are not aware of it.

Over 85% of Indian children have fallen prey to cyberbullying at some point, highest globally, says McAfee report

Over 85% of Indian children were cyberbullied as well as have cyberbullied someone else at rates well over twice the international average, says a report by McAfee Corp, a global computer software safety firm. Cyberbullying is a serious issue, near about 60% of children globally are worried about it. This is a significant increase from last year, and the pandemic has been one of the biggest causes. The report shows that parents are worried about the effects of cyberbullying on their children. This is a timely issue as the school year has started, with students experiencing higher levels of anxiety and depression.

McAfee’s global report ‘Cyberbullying in Plain Sight’ revealed that many children participate in cyberbullying. And most of their parents are not aware of it. This is a shocking figure that shows how parents struggle to keep up with their kids’ behavior. It has also released India-specific findings ahead of the publication of its global report and revealed various new trends related to cyberbullying. Some of these include the types of bullying that are being reported, the identities of the victims, and the tensions between parents and kids when it comes to cyberbullying.

The survey took into account responses from parents of children in age 10 – 18 years. The survey was conducted in 10 countries including the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia, India, Canada, Japan, Brazil, and Mexico. A total number of 11,687 parents and their children took the survey.

Around 85 percent of Indian children report being cyberbullied which is significantly higher than the international average. According to their parents, 42% of the country’s children have been victims of racist cyberbullying. “More than 1 in 3 kids face cyber racism, sexual harassment, and threats of physical harm as early as the age of 10 – making India the #1 nation for reported cyberbullying in the world,” said Gagan Singh, Chief Product Officer, McAfee.

Despite the various steps that parents can take to prevent their kids from being victimized by cyberbullying, they still lack the necessary knowledge about what to do when it comes to cyberbullying, it says.

In India, children say that they have bullied others at a rate that is twice the international average. 48% of them said they have victimized someone they know and around 45% of them said they have bullied a stranger. The report also found that the most common form of cyberbullying in the country is spreading false rumors, with 30% of the respondents saying they have done so. Other forms are name calling and being excluded from groups etc.

In response to a survey about how they deal with cyberbullying with their kids, only 48% of the Indian parents said they resorted to the conversation. They noted that they were more likely to take action outside their home, such as speaking with school officials and camp counselors or changing schools.

To prevent your child from cyberbullying, read the following guidance:  

To prevent your child from being victimized by cyberbullying, contact experts. Reach out to school counselors and social workers to collect information about the effects of bullying on your child.

And the most important thing, have a good conversation with your kids about the risks of cyberbullying and how it can happen to them online. This will help them develop open and honest communication with you. You can also help them feel supported and protected by providing them with the necessary resources.

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