90 per cent of Singaporeans youth purposely take action to hide their online behaviour from parents, according to a survey by Internet security company McAfee.
More than 30 percent of also reported experiencing cyberbullying. This includes: Witnessing cyberbullying in action
Being victims of cyberbullyting
Being the one who bullies
“Of those who responded that they were cyberbullied, the majority cited that it was due to appearance and academic achievements,” McAfee said in its press release of the study. “Compared to other countries, religion, race or sexuality play a less significant role in Singapore.”
Commenting on the findings, Mr David Freer, Vice President of Asia Pacific Consumer business at McAfee, part of Intel Security, said: “Parents should have an open discussion with their children so they will be better equipped to keep themselves safe online. The experience of cyberbullying or being cyberbullied can have a deep and lasting effect on a child’s identity and life offline.”
The 2014 Teens and the Screen study found that of the 34.6 per cent of youths, or 177, who indicated that they had experienced cyberbullying, 61 per cent of them witnessed the act done on others.
Additionally, 29.4 per cent, or 52 youths, said they have bullied others online while 27.7 per cent, or 49 youths, said they have been bullied online. A public relations representative for McAfee said there are overlaps in the findings, given that someone who has been cyberbullied could have also bullied someone else.
The study polled 512 young men and women aged 13 to 18, and it was split evenly among age and gender.
Of those who witnessed cyberbullying, 43 per cent said victims became defensive or angry while 57 per cent said the victims deleted their social media accounts. The survey also found that 41 per cent of youths would not know what to do if they were harassed or bullied online.
McAfee suggests the following tips for parents to help educate their children:
Talk to them about the risks of being online and make sure the communication lines are always open
Take the time to research the various devices your kids use; you want to know more about their devices than they do
Stay knowledgeable about the newest and latest social networks.
Join whatever networks or sites your kids are into so you understand how it all works
Make sure your kids are aware that anything they post online is permanent
If your children approach you with an online problem, don’t overreact. Deal with it calmly and do no threaten to take devices away or they may not feel confident about seeking your help again