Urban Indian parents are more sure about their kids’ online safety than their own

Short on safety.
Short on safety.
Image: AP Photo/Gerald Herbert
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Urban Indian parents have an inconsistent approach to online safety.

About 55% of urban Indian parents in a survey said they are unsure of and ill-prepared to surf the internet safely. Yet, 61% of these parents claim to have prepared their children in this area. In fact, these parents are so sure about having taught their kids right that 60% of them don’t even monitor the content their children are exposed to.

The survey, conducted by OLX, an online marketplace for pre-owned products, included 4,000 parents aged between 25 and 50 in Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Pune. The survey was conducted between May 5 and May 25.

“Parents are usually the primary sources of information for kids, especially in their younger years,” said Akanksha Dhamija, director for customer centricity at OLX India. “With ever-evolving cyber threats, digital literacy is a must-have skill that parents must acquire and inculcate in their kids.”

The findings of this survey reiterate those from a February survey by OLX, which said that most internet users neglect cybersecurity practices.

Given the host of threats posed in the online world, including cyberbullying and exposure to age-inappropriate content, close supervision of kids online is an important, say experts.

“Informed parents will make for informed kids. Therefore, it’s critical that parents start early on their digital education and this can save heartache and nasty surprises later down the track as their young ones grow into teens,” said Rachna Khanna, entrepreneur and founder of Pinwi, a smart-parenting app that maps kids’ activities and interests.

Pestering kids and online shopping

One of the most detrimental effects of exposure to the internet is increasing pestering of parents by kids to shop online, the OLX survey showed. Over 50% of the parents reported experiencing this.

However, 36% said they do pre-researching and due diligence before making an online purchase.

Impulses aside, 69% of the respondents were able to exercise restraint and focused on savings for their kids.