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Cyberbaiting On The Rise: Report

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The Norton Online Family Report on kids brings out the new issue of "cyberbaiting," a growing phenomenon where kids taunt their teachers, then capture the distressed reactions via cell phone videos.

Interviews conducted with 2379 teachers globally and 100 teachers across India who teach students between the age group of 8-17 for the report revealed that because of cyberbaiting 67 per cent of teachers say being friends with students on social networks exposes them to risks. Still, 69 per cent continue to "friend" their students. Only 67 per cent, however, say that their school has a code of conduct for how teachers and students communicate with each other through social media. 83 per cent of teachers call for more online safety education in schools, a position supported by same number (83 per cent) of parents.

In addition, the report reveals a surprisingly high number of kids taking liberties with their parents' credit cards for shopping online. One fifth (20 per cent) of Indian kids say that they sometimes dip into mom or dad's credit card to shop online for music, magazine subscriptions and event tickets without their parents knowledge. Almost 73 per cent of the parents reported that their child has sometimes used their online store account without their permission.

However, it's not all bad news.The report shows that following clearly stated house rules for proper internet behavior can make a significant impact in averting negative online experiences.
Effendy Ibrahim, Internet Safety Advocate & Director, Consumer Business, Asia, Symantec says that "while 57 per cent of Indian parents say they talk to their kids about online safety, 43 per cent still secretly check their children's online activities and over a third look at their social network use behind their backs. Having an open dialogue with kids in a safe environment, like at home or school, can be much more effective, along with arming children with the tools they need to stay safe."

Teachers and parents are not the only victims who face problems in the digital age. Seventy-nine per cent of kids in India said that they have had a negative experience while online. Six in 10 (60 per cent), however, have had a serious negative experience online, such as receiving inappropriate pictures from strangers, being bullied or becoming victims of cybercrime.

The report also shows that kids who are active on social networks open up more doors to content or situations that can be tricky for them to handle: in India, 84 per cent of kids on social networks find themselves in unpleasant situations online, compared to 58 per cent who stay away from social networking.

For safety purposes parents are setting ground rules, for online use, which help kids gain a more positive experience from the internet. The Norton Online Family Report shows that 39 per cent of Indian parents have rules for their kids to use the internet. Those good kids who follow the rules stay relatively safe with 75 per cent having had a negative experience online, the percentage increases to 91 per cent among rule-breakers.