Children the weakest link in your family’s online security

Norton Cybersecurity Insights Report highlights how parents grapple with cyber bullying, online predators and privacy in Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur | Online predators and privacy are two of the biggest issues parents in Malaysia are dealing with today, as bullies from the playground to the online world. Norton by Symantec, released in May 2016, findings from the Norton Cyber Security Insights Report, highlighting parental concerns about their children in the online world.

The report found that 62 percent of parents say their child has already experienced online crime.

A family’s online security

The report found that 62 percent of parents say their child has already experienced online crime.


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What else do parents worry about when it comes down to their child’s behaviour online?

  • 64 percent of parents are afraid that their children will give out too much personal information to strangers;
  • parents are worried about their children being lured into meeting a stranger in the outside world (64 percent);
  • 60 percent of parents are worried that their children will be lured into illegal activities like hacking.
Choon Hong Chee

Choon Hong Chee

“The social media has become the weapon of cybercriminals to find and exploit their potential victims,” said Choon Hong Chee, Director, Asia Consumer Business, Norton by Symantec. “As more children in Malaysia adapt to the fast-evolving digital world and social media, we encourage parents to take proactive measures to take responsibility and teach their children online etiquettes.”

“Children are becoming increasingly comfortable with technology devices like smartphones or tablets, and parents must be proactive in educating their children on online safety. Protecting children online is weighing heavier on parents than ever before as cyberbullying, online predators and privacy are now “real” world concerns.”

Virus download most common online crime parents report their children experience

Nearly all parents surveyed (95 percent) worry about their children’s safety online – and in particular, how their actions will have repercussions on the family.

The report revealed that fathers are the most likely to report their child has been a victim (67 percent) compared to mothers (57 percent). Additionally, millennial parents are more likely to report crime (67 percent) than older parents (59 percent.

To alleviate these concerns, parents are taking measures to protect their children online including :  

  • 48 percent only allow Internet access with parental supervision;
  • 45 percent limit the amount of information they share online about their children;
  • 44 percent limit access to certain websites; and
  • 43 percent check the browser history of the children.

Despite these measures, downloading a virus is the most common (26 percent) online crime parents report their children experiencing.

However, understand that as positive role models for our children, it is critical that we lead by example.

Practical tips for parents

Here are three things you can do to protect your child and keep your family safe online.

#1 Have an open dialogue

Start the conversation with your children early and ensure that it is an open one. Put aside the time to  discuss appropriate online behaviour and create age-appropriate “House Rules” about how computers, smart-phones and gaming systems are used.

However, understand that as positive role models for our children, it is critical that we lead by example.

#2 Educate your children

Spend time educating your children regularly about the dangers of the Internet. Create sufficient awareness around issues such as sexting, cyberbullying, online predators and privacy.

Check to make sure your children are not sharing private information like passwords, addresses and phone numbers with people they don’t know.

#3 Explore technologies that can help you
Consider free parental control technologies, such as Norton Family, that help to set and enforce the ground rules and can limit the sites that can be accessed and the type of information that can be shared online. For example, you could try a 30 day free trial of Norton Family .

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Child & laptop image courtesy Nevit Dilmen of freeimages.com

The Norton Cybersecurity Insights Report is an online survey of 21,302 mobile device users ages 18+ across 21 markets, commissioned by Norton by Symantec and produced by research firm Edelman Berland and Morar Consulting. The margin of error for the total sample is +/-0.75%. The Malaysia sample reflects input from 1,000 Malaysia mobile device users ages 18+. The margin of error is +/- 3.0% for the total Malaysia sample. Data from Malaysia was collected Feb 2016 by Morar Consulting.

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