41 p.c. of youngsters share information about themselves online

At a time when more children are taking to social network sites, a recent survey reveals that children are potentially vulnerable to risky behaviour, as almost 41 per cent of the children surveyed shared information about themselves on Facebook.

The report titled McAfee’s Tween and Technology Report 2013 was compiled through a survey administered across children aged between 8 and 12-year-olds comprising 572 boys and 428 girls from Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Delhi.

The survey raises concerns about children as it reveals that 36 per cent of those surveyed have spoken to strangers online. Further, 22 per cent shared personal information online and over a quarter did not think it was risky.

Most experts say the survey throws light on the poor precautions and safety measures. They state that even though Facebook had a restriction and permitted only children above 13 on the site, several children were on the virtual world by giving a fake age. Anindita Mishra of McAfree Cybermum India, who was involved in the survey, said the survey indicated that several children were on social networking sites with the consent of their parents.

Throwing light on the average usage of Internet, the survey reveals that 53 per cent of the children were online everyday between one and three hours.

The survey also revealed that one in four children surveyed have seen nasty comments directed either at them or a friend in the virtual world. The survey further states that 21 per cent of them did not tell anyone about their comments, while the remaining told their friends, parents, teachers and family members.


The survey indicates that Facebook is the popular site followed by Skype and Twitter. Apart from preferences among social networking sites, the survey reveals that children also have preferences for the medium used for the activity. While desktop is preferred mainly for homework, tablets are preferred for playing games and exchanging pictures.

However, the survey may bring a sigh of relief for parents in the city as Bangalore children rank highest in saying no to chatting online with strangers with 71 per cent of them doing so. Besides, Bangalore parents appear to be the strictest in monitoring Internet usage.

  • 36 per cent of those surveyed have spoken to strangers online

  • Several children are on Facebook by giving false age