Survey lift lids on dangers SA kids face online


African children online

JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) A NEW survey has revealed the threats and abuses- mostly bullying and access to adult content- that South African children are suffering in the cyber space.

Digimune, the digital identity, privacy and social media protection company, revealed the violations after surveying 200 parents in February 2021.

Worryingly, a staggering 51,5 percent of children have been cyber bullied and 54 percent have accessed inappropriate content via digital platforms.

Some 35 percent of children have been victims of cyber stalking and 36,5 percent have fallen victim to online shaming.

In another gory trend, 43,5 percent of children willingly share their personal information on online platforms.

The researchers believe it is likely that this data is an under-representation, due to a combination of children’s reluctance to tell their parents about an attack and the sophistication of cyber crime today.

Far from ad hoc, brute force attacks using rudimentary technology and techniques, cyber criminals harness the latest tech, bide their time and are strategic about their activities, officials said.

Children’s access to devices is also a driving force.

By the age of ten, 30,5 percent of children have their own smartphone and 41,5 percent have access to a shared smartphone.

“Today, being online and having access to a variety of digital tools and platforms are a must-have, not a not a nice-to-have,” said Simon Campbell-Young, co-founder and VP global sales at Digimune.

“Unfortunately, this has been weaponised by criminals wanting to profit from and wreak havoc in our, and our children’s, lives,” the official added.

Campbell-Young said parents must protect themselves and their families by harnessing technology as an important early warning system and an effective line of defence.

– CAJ News