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APAC parents hide internet activity from children more than cyber attackers

26 Jun 2020

It’s a well-known trope in modern society that children and teenagers, especially internet-native ones, have things listed in their browser history that they’d rather their parents didn’t see. But a new study from Kaspersky has revealed that, in fact, the opposite is also true.

In a study which asked adults in the APAC region whom they are most afraid of seeing or having access to their private information, the most cited answer at 10.3% was respondents’ children – followed closely by partners/spouses (9.9%) and parents (9.1%).

“Ironically, online users in APAC are more concerned of having their blood relatives or relationship partners seeing or accessing their private data online way more than malicious actors,” says Kaspersky managing director for APAC Stephan Neumeier. 

“In fact, our survey showed cybercriminals is their least concern with only 3.1%. This truth is really alarming in the sense that these virtual criminals are actively riding the current chaos, urgently looking for new preys to loot money or information. 

“The lack of awareness and the needed fear to keep their hands off our data can put our online assets and reputation at risk.”

A clinical psychologist of Mind what Matters in Singapore, Joel Yang, says that given the region’s comparatively collectivistic societies, the statistics can be viewed through a cultural lens.

“Collectivistic attitudes typically encourage the ‘correctness of social relationships’ and such ideals emphasise hierarchy in family structure,” says Yang.

“It is key to the social harmony that each member understands and plays their role. In the family unit, this means that children are expected to show respect to their parents without question. 

“This perpetuates the behaviour of parents not disclosing any private matters to children which may bring any question to the authority of the parent,” says Yang.

He also mentions a finding from the survey which indicates that parents in the APAC  region are not as worried about cyber criminals accessing their private information as others globally are. 

“Through the same cultural lens, people place more trust in the governing bodies and believe that their interests will generally be taken care of,” adds Yang.

Another research from Kaspersky unmasked that parents care about their childrens’ online safety but spend less time to educate their kids about online security – with more than half (58%) of the surveyed respondents admitted speaking to their children about the subject for less than 30 minutes.

“Trust is important to keep the familial bond intact. Parents should establish openness through constant communication, discuss both the physical and online lives of their children,” says Neumeier.

“As guardians, moms and dads should show their kids that they are allies on the internet and their mutual enemy are cybercriminals. 

“From there, they can build on educating the young and themselves about the best online habits.”