NEW DELHI: Telenor India’s WebWise report indicates that a whopping 98.8% of children in urban areas are using internet and 54.6% of those surveyed use “weak passwords” i.e. passwords with only alphabets or numbers and which are less than 8 characters.
Additionally, 54.82% children share their passwords with their friends, family or relatives, hence creating a threat to their digital security.
The WebWise survey was done in 13 cities and covered 2700 students. It also showed that 83.5% children between 6 to 18 years are active on social media and, hence, are likely to have a higher threat perception. The study found that over 35% children have experienced their account being hacked while 15.74% shared that they have received inappropriate messages.
On the occasion, Sharad Mehrotra, Chief Executive Officer, Telenor India Communications said, “Though India is home to the second largest internet population in the world, majority of users, specially our children, are exposed to cyber threats due to weak and easy-to-guess passwords. At Telenor India through projects like WebWise we are empowering the digital society by spreading awareness among our next generation of digital natives on how to stay safe from cyber vulnerabilities while accessing the Internet. On the World Password Day, we should understand the significance of using strong passwords and secure our identity in this digital world.”
Post the WebWise workshops, 81.9% children said that they will reconsider to change their passwords and 84.26% children agreed that they will not share their passwords with anyone apart from their parents. Additionally, 72.26% of children said they will use a strong password which is a mix of alphabets, numbers, small & capital letters, symbols and special characters.
Telenor India had initiated WebWise workshops in 2014 amongst school children, teachers and parents. Through WebWise more than 55,000 individuals have been trained on safe internet practices. Telenor WebWise ambassadors conduct these workshops in schools where they run modules on internet safety and explain the importance of setting a strong password.