Children from Mumbai experienced the most cyber-bullying and outscored children in other cities when it came to watching adult content online, according to a new survey on the cyber safety of children across ten Indian cities.
The survey covered 500 children aged 9-17 years and 500 parents across ten cities including Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai. While 33% of the city children reported being bullied online, 40% said they had watched some form of adult content.
The survey was conducted by McAfee, a security technology company, through a questionnaire, in May. The results were released on Monday.
“Mumbai is a place where children go for multiple tuitions, where demands are great and all this can cause increased stress levels,” said psychiatrist Harish Shetty, who conducts cyber safety workshops with students. “However, angst can also cause lower levels of tolerance and even a small joke can be viewed as bullying.”
Several schools in the city have in the past two years held sessions for students on cyber bullying and online safety.
The survey also showed up the gulf between what children say they are doing online, and what parents are aware of. While 42% of the children said they spent one to two hours online, 32% of parents believed the same. While 62% of the children said they were asked for personal information online, only 32% of the parents were aware of this.
“This is because of the communication gap between parents and children,” said Anindita Mishra, the McAfee-designated “Cybermum” who counsels parents on cyber safety.
Mismatched responses between parents and children also showed up when it came to questions on parental strictness. While 19% of the parents believe they were strict, 32% of children their parents were so.
While 43% of the parents polled believe they are responsible only 28% of kids polled believed this.