According to the 2019 report from Kaspersky Safe KidsChildren, children today in Southeast Asia (SEA) use the Internet more on video and music entertainment as well as for software downloads, and lesser for online messaging.
Based on the results in the 2018 and 2019 report, 38.72-60.33 percent of children in Indonesia use the Internet for accessing software, audio, and video websites, 25.41-49.12 percent in Philippines, 25.03-42.32 percent in Singapore, 11.28-37.23 percent in Thailand, and 27.11-50.14 percent in Vietnam.
Only Malaysia scored a slight decrease from 60.08-51.15 percent. This category, however, remains the current top online interest among Malaysian kids.
“Our report showed videos, music, and software are increasingly becoming kids’ favorite activities, and we are fully aware that such sites are plagued with malware, virus, and dangerous content. We hope these findings could help parents in understanding their kids better and in protecting them against the potential dangers in the digital world,” comments Yeo Siang Tiong, General Manager for Southeast Asia at Kaspersky.
“It is an accepted fact that our children are better Internet navigators than us, adults. With their curiosity and quickness in grasping or even making their own online trends, it is undoubtedly important for parents to know their interests and habits.”
The decline in the use of PCs for online messaging, however, reflects the shift in children’s preference in using mobile devices over computers for messaging apps.
With the shift in their online interests, the top three internet activities for kids in SEA for 2019 are software, audio, and video websites; online messaging, and electronic commerce.
More young shoppers, lesser adult content visitors in SEA
The same report also showed a trend of increasing young shoppers in SEA where the year-on-year comparison showed as much as 13 percent increase from January to July 2018 and 2019.
Singaporean kids led the pack tallying 18.82 percent compared with just 5.58 percent of children using the Internet for ecommerce. The Philippines closely followed at 13.21 percent compared with 2.39 percent last year.
Malaysia recorded an increase of over 8 percent, while Indonesia and Thailand increase 4.8 percent and 1.62 percent respectively. Only Vietnam showed a decline from 1.03-1.02 percent of young shoppers online.
Another finding is the decrease in percentage of kids in the region who use the Internet to access adult content. Most countries in the region showed lesser interest for pornography and related content this year. Malaysia posted a very minimal increase of only 0.09 in this category.
“It is encouraging to see that fewer children are interested in online adult content in the region. We credit the steps being done by SEA governments to block easy access to such sites. However, the shift of interest towards online shopping should mark a closer guidance between kids and parents. The risks in ecommerce such as fake sellers, fake products, malware-infected sites, compromised payment gateways, and more, pose a real and costly danger against the family’s financial details. Parents, we urge you to pay attention to this,” adds Yeo.