Study Shows That Online Harassment Mostly Affects Children

Most kids have been at least once threatened over the internet

A recent study made by Bitdefender reveals that virtual molestation takes its toll on youngsters who spend their free time on the internet.

Even though some might not consider online harassment as bad as physical torment, just over half of the 1740 parents replied that their kids suffered dearly after being victims to such incidents.

Conducted in the UK, US, Germany, Australia and Spain, the figures resulting from the survey show that when it comes to spending time online, youths aged between 11 and 15 spend most of their leisure period in virtual environments, followed closely by middle and upper teens. The first category also spends the most hours on the internet, in some cases even more than three each day.

According to MalwareCity, when asked about their offsprings' social media friends, almost 90% of the parents admit that they don't actually know 35% of them, of the known ones most being classmates and relatives.

Regarding activity on the net, 43% of adolescents aged 16-18 utilize the web for school-related activities and 31% of them browse social networks, while the younger ones mostly chat using IM services.

The alarming numbers refer to the almost 90% of minors abused in some sort of way on the internet, half of which were very affected by the threats. 19% of parent even got to the point of asking for specialized help for their children as they became angry, violent or apathetic.

Sabina Datcu, Bitdefender E-Threats Analysis and Communication Specialist and author of the study, stated that the figures should represent a warning to parents as in the case of such incidents, they must intervene and take immediate measures.

“Parents should understand the importance of a parental control application and the need to supervise the activity of their children while surfing on social networks and the web in general,” she added.

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