What Are Children Doing On The Internet?

what are children doing on the internet?Photo: Giga

Gone are the good old days of MSN and online chat rooms.

A recent study by Kaspersky showed that children in South East Asia have an increasing interest in video and music entertainment, along with software downloads, while interest in online messaging has dropped. 

Kaspersky Safe Kids revealed that there were more kids who went on the internet to watch their favourite television shows, be it movies or television series.

what are children doing on the internet?

According to the report’s 2018 and 2019 results, there was a double-digit growth in children using the internet to access software, audio, and video websites. The numbers close to doubled in Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, while Malaysia encountered a slight drop from 60.08% to 51.15%. However, it is still the top online interest among Malaysian children.

“It is an accepted fact that our children are better internet navigators than us adults. With their curiosity and quickness in grasping or even making their own online trends, it is undoubtedly important for parents to know their interests and habits. Our report showed videos, music, and software are increasingly becoming kids’ favorite activities, and we are fully aware that such sites are plagued with malware, virus, and dangerous content. We hope these findings could help parents in understanding their kids better and in protecting them against the potential dangers in the digital world,” said Yeo Siang Tiong, General Manager for Southeast Asia at Kaspersky. 

This trend was also observed to happen globally. Figures show that audio, video, and software sites are most popular in Africa, Asia, and in Arab nations while the drop in the use of PCs for online messaging reflects the shift in children's preference in using mobile devices over computers for messaging apps.

Online shopping is another activity young children these days favour as well. The Kaspersky Safe Kids report indicated that there was also a rising number of young shoppers in Southeast Asia. 

what are children doing on the internet?

Singaporean children are in the lead at 18.82% while the Philippines fall behind at 13.21%. Malaysia’s numbers climbed from 4.70% to 13.02% while Indonesia and Thailand have 4.8% and 1.62% growths respectively. Vietnam, on the other hand, showed a slight drop from 1.03% to 1.02% of young shoppers online.

Regarding internet content, most countries in the region display reduced interest in pornography related content this year. The report showed that the highest number of users were from Latin America (4.28%), South Asia (2.74%) and Asia (2.26%). 
“It is encouraging to see that fewer children are interested in online adult content in the region. We credit the steps being done by SEA governments to block easy access to such sites. However, the shift of interest towards online shopping should mark a closer guidance between kids and parents. The risks in e-commerce such as fake sellers, fake products, malware-infected sites, compromised payment gateways, and more, pose a real and costly danger against the family’s financial details. Parents, we urge you to pay attention to this,” adds Yeo.

Kaspersky suggests communication, setting boundaries, education, and using available resources as some of the ways to protect children from the threats they may face online.

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By: Celestine Foo