Thailand and the Philippines have been named as the top countries where children are highly exposed to online risks and don’t have sufficient skills to cope with cyberthreats
A study done by cybersecurity company Surfshark said children in these countries, together with Turkey, are most exposed to online threats. In contrast, children in Japan, Italy, and Spain have the lowest exposure globally.
A media statement released on April 26, said the study shows that Thailand ranks third from the bottom in children’s ability to cope with online risks, following only Uruguay and Saudi Arabia.
Managing exposure to online risks and developing abilities to cope with them have become increasingly important nowadays, said the Surfshark’s study, which found that six out of 10 children with ages between eight and 12 are exposed to cyber risks online.
In addition, one in two children encounter cyberbullying, and close to one-third experiences other cyber threats such as phishing or hacking.
The number of cybercrimes against children steadily grew each year by five to nine percent, but sharply spiked by 144 percent in 2020, after roughly one billion school children worldwide were relocated online for remote learning.
“Through this study, we can see that educating children about cyberthreats plays a massive role in them knowing how to deal with any problems that may arise online,” said Aleksandr Valentij of Surfshark.
Interestingly, the study shows that low and lower-middle-income countries have better online safety education than the rich ones.
High-income countries like Saudi Arabia and Uruguay have basically non-existent online safety education, scoring 6.5 and 2 out of 100. “Thus, it does not surprise that children in Saudi Arabia and Uruguay are the least prepared to deal with online threats,” read the statement.
Children in Asia-Pacific countries (India, Malaysia, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand) have the strongest online risk management skills.
The report said India has 30 percent stronger online safety education programs than the global average, while Malaysia, Australia, and New Zealand have even stronger online safety education programs than India.