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72% of Children Globally Face Cyber Threats—Report

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Cyber Threats

A new report from The Global Cybersecurity Forum (GCF) has found that 72 per cent of children worldwide have experienced at least one type of cyber threats 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 per cent 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.

It noted that 83 per cent of children claimed they would alert their parents for help if they felt threatened online; however, of the parents surveyed, only 39 per cent 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.

The report calls on all stakeholders, including parents, educators, tech companies, and law enforcement agencies, to join forces to ensure that robust solutions can be found to meet the threat to children online.

Speaking on this, Ms Alaa AlFaadhel, Initiatives & Partnerships Lead at the GCF, commented on the report: “With 72 per cent 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 November 9-10 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

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