93% of children aged between 8 to 17 are active on the internet, with over 80% surfing the internet daily.
Unwanted pop-up ads and inappropriate imagery are reported as the main threats facing children online.
Only 50% of children feel safe online, with children in the Middle East and Latin America suffering the greatest number of cyber threats.
A new global report from The Global Cybersecurity Forum (GCF) has found that 72% of children worldwide have experienced at least one type of cyber threat online.
The ‘Why Children Are Unsafe in Cyberspace’ report, developed in collaboration with Boston Consulting Group, focuses on raising awareness of the critical issues facing the protection of children in Cyberspace at a time when over 90% of children aged eight and above are active on the internet.
The report surveyed over 40,000 parents and children across 24 countries in six regions, with results overwhelmingly showing that protection of today’s youth in cyberspace is falling short, impacting children globally and requiring urgent collective action. Those surveyed revealed that unwanted ads, inappropriate images, content, and bullying and harassment are the main threats experienced.
Globally, children are most active digitally at home or school. However, the report found that only half of the children worldwide feel safe online, with one in five children expressing that they have faced bullying or harassment.
83% of children claimed they would alert their parents for help if they felt threatened online; however, of the parents surveyed, only 39% noted that their child or children had ever expressed concerns to them. This raises the question of how children can be protected when parents are not always aware of the dangers they face.
Ms. Alaa AlFaadhel, Initiatives & Partnerships Lead at the GCF, commented on the report: “With 72% of children facing cyber threats, we believe the protection of children is crucial in a rapidly developing Cyberspace. The solution to the pervasive threats that children face is to raise awareness of the issues and ensure united action, from educators to the private sector, can be put in motion. We all bare a responsibility to create a safe place to learn and connect in Cyberspace as it becomes more entrenched in everything we do.”
The upcoming GCF will bring together key decision-makers and executives from around the globe to discuss the prominent issue of child protection in Cyberspace, amongst other key topics, including disruption frontier and geopolitical considerations.
The GCF 2022 Edition is returning under the theme ‘Rethinking the Global Cyber Order’ and runs between 9-10 November in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.