Children even below the age of 13 have Facebook accounts in India: Study

Growing popularity of social networks has a huge number of children in India creating their accounts on Facebook even before they turn 13, a study by Intel Security claimed today. The social media platform has set 13 as the minimum age for a user to create an account.


Growing popularity of social networks has a huge number of children in India creating their accounts on Facebook even before they turn 13, a study by Intel Security claimed today. The social media platform has set 13 as the minimum age for a user to create an account.

According to the study covering 2,370 participants (1,185 parents and 1,185 teens and tweens), 77 per cent of the children said they had created their Facebook account even before they became 13 years old. Also, 81 per cent of the children in India in the age group of 8-16 years said they are active on social media networks compared to 70 per cent in the US and Singapore.

While 69 per cent said they have published photos, 58 per cent said they have posted their email addresses, 49 per cent name of their schools, 46 per cent their full birth date and 42 per cent said they have posted their phone number.

"Due to the proliferation of connected devices like smartphones and laptops, there is an unprecedented level of personal data available online now, expanding the risk canvas exponentially," Intel Security Group India Development Centre Head of Operations Venkat Krishnapur told reporters in New Delhi.

Increased education and use of technologies like parental controls, content filtering and creation of activity logs will play a huge role in empowering parents to ensure a safe digital footprint for their children, he added.

"The good news is there are open conversations between parents and children but work is still required on ensuring that these go beyond casual chats," Intel Security APAC Consumer Marketing Director Melanie Duca said.

She added that It was imperative to focus on ensuring children understand the consequences of their actions as well as agree on good Internet etiquette. Interestingly, 82 per cent of the children surveyed said they are concerned about maintaining privacy of their personal information.

Almost half (44 per cent) of the children surveyed said they would meet or have met someone in person that they first met online.

"While this is down from last year's 53 per cent, it still is risky behaviour. Also, when it comes to online activity, parents believe (48 per cent) that the worst thing that could happen to their children is interacting with strangers online," "Ms Duca said.

The study found 86 per cent parents claiming to know the kind of activities that their child regularly participates in while online. Interestingly, 56 per cent children said they would change their online behaviour when they knew their parents were watching and 43 per cent children use anonymous names or aliases for their social media profiles.

PTI


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