An increasing number of Indian parents may be allowing Internet access to their kids even before they turn 11, but they also feel that their children are more likely to be bullied online than on a playground, a study by security software Symantec today said.
The '2016 Norton Cyber Security Insights Report: Family Edition' found 40 per cent of Indian parents saying they allowed their children to access the Internet before age 11.
However, more than half (54 per cent) of Indian parents believed their children are more likely to be bullied online than on a playground, it added.
"Cyberbullying is a growing issue and parents are struggling to identify and respond to this threat. A concern for many parents is that cyberbullying doesn't stop when their child leaves school - as long as your child is connected to a device, a bully can connect to them," Norton by Symantec Country Manager Ritesh Chopra told PTI.
Apart from cyberbullying, parents were also worried that the child may download malicious programmes or virus (71 per cent), disclose too much personal information to strangers (69 per cent) or be lured into meeting a stranger in the physical world (65 per cent).
"They were also worried that the children may do something online that makes the whole family vulnerable (62 per cent) or embarrassed (60 per cent)," Chopra said.
The report also found that countries where parents had the strictest preventative measures in place, had the lowest incidence of cyberbullying.
It also found that 7 per cent of parents fail to take any action to protect their children online.
"Many parents are still in the dark about how to recognise the signs of cyberbullying and what to do if their children are impacted. The first step for all parents is to educate themselves about the signs of cyberbullying and learn how to establish an open line of communication with their children," Chopra said.
Signs of cyberbullying include children appearing nervous when they receive a text/online message or email, becoming defensive/secretive about online activity, withdrawal from friends and family, physical symptoms like trouble sleeping, stomach aches, headaches, and weight loss or gain and falling behind in school or acting out.
They may also appear especially angry, frustrated or sad, particularly after going online/checking devices or delete social media or email accounts. —PTI