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McAfee says Indian tweens are potentially vulnerable to risky internet behaviour

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MUMBAI: There is a growing trend of Indian tweens (kids between 8-12 years old) that are rapidly adopting internet through multiple devices and a variety of social networking platforms.

McAfee unveiled its tweens and technology report 2013 which analyses the online behaviour of India’s next generation of digital natives.

A few important highlights from the report are: On an average, Indian tweens are using between three and four devices that can be internet enabled, internet access is predominantly PC/laptop based (71 per cent and 76 per cent access the internet via these devices respectively), however 42 per cent access the internet via a mobile device.

Almost half (45 per cent) of the online tweens access internet post 8:00 pm. They are regularly playing games (91 per cent) on tablet or chatting with friends on mobile (63 per cent). Tweens are widely using mobile/smartphones to access internet (68 per cent use mobile to access the internet). Despite the age eligibility for Facebook being 13 years, three in four (70 per cent) tweens admit to currently using Facebook.

Online tweens are potentially vulnerable to risky behaviour on the internet as 36 per cent of online tweens have chatted to someone online that they didn’t know previously.

The findings of McAfee’s Tweens & Technology Report 2013 were released at a panel discussion with McAfee consumer marketing director (APAC) Melanie Duca, McAfee India VP of engineering - consumer and mobile Venkat Krishnapur, McAfee Cybermum India Anindita Mishra, Dr. V. Jayanthini, M.D, D.P.M, leading psychiatrist and Meeta Sengupta, a veteran educationist and advisor to schools.  



Speaking about the relevance of these new-age parenting challenges, McAfee Cybermum India Anindita Mishra said, “There is an increasing influence of the online world on children’s persona that cannot be undermined because of the emotional and developmental impact it has. The role of parents in delivering safe and positive cyber experience to their kids is significant than ever before. Having a genuine and transparent two-way communication with children is absolutely fundamental to establishing a safe and positive cyber experience.”



“With malware writers mastering their craft, they continue to transfer their skills to new and popular mobile platforms in addition to PCs and laptops. The proliferation of multiple mobile device usage and this staggering increase in new malware will require Indian parents to recalibrate on how to arm their children with best online practices ensuring safe online experiences for them.” said McAfee India VP of engineering - consumer and mobile Venkat Krishnapur.



McAfee consumer marketing director (APAC) Melanie Duca said, “As a company, McAfee is dedicated to making the internet safe by providing resources to help educate and protect families. Our Cybermum initiative and cyber education program in Indian schools reinforce commitment towards this cause.”



Across APAC, McAfee has developed a cyber education program, which is delivered to school-aged children by McAfee employee volunteers. The initiative has now been rolled out in India whereby McAfee is reaching out to Indian schools and will scale up the program over the next one year.  



McAfee’s tweens & technology report 2013 was conducted through a survey administered across Indian online tweens aged 8-12 years old comprising 572 male and 428 female respondents from Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Delhi.

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