Parents in APAC hide their private data from their kids more than cybercriminals

Singapore-based psychologist suggests “collectivistic attitude” of moms and dads in the region makes them keep confidential matters to their kids for the sake of respect and reputation

Online users are well aware that kids can be naughty and hide their online activities from their parents. Previous studies by Kaspersky have since revealed that children have a lot of secret activities online unknown to their moms and dads. However, the latest survey by the global cybersecurity company has unmasked that parents in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region do the same with their kids.

Parents in APAC hide their private data from their kids more than cybercriminals 1

Conducted between the first two months of 2020, the fresh report titled ‘Defending digital privacy: taking personal protection to the next level’, asked respondents: Whom are you afraid of seeing or having access to your private information? Surprisingly, the highest percent (10.3%) was given for children, followed by partner or spouse (9.9%), and parents (9.1%).

“Ironically, online users in APAC are more concerned of having their blood relatives or relationship partners seeing or accessing their private data online way more than malicious actors. In fact, our survey showed cybercriminals is their least concern with only 3.1%,” comments Stephan Neumeier, Managing Director for Asia Pacific at Kaspersky. “This truth is really alarming in the sense that these virtual criminals are actively riding the current chaos, urgently looking for new preys to loot money or information. The lack of awareness and the needed fear to keep their hands off our data can put our online assets and reputation at risk.”

Your partner / spouse9.9
Your parents9.1
Your children10.3
Your family in general8.7
Your employer7.4
Your friends8.2
Your colleagues7.7
Government of your country7.8
Internet in general5.3
Internet retailers (Amazon etc)7.5
Social networks (Facebook, Twitter etc)6.4
Big IT companies such as Google, Microsoft or Apple7.7
Other companies8.0
Other people in general8.4

Chart 1: Whom are you afraid of seeing or having access to your private information? 

To better understand the psychology behind the survey results, Dr. Joel Yang, Clinical Psychologist of Mind what Matters in Singapore noted that the statistics can be viewed through a cultural lens given that the region is largely constituted with more collectivistic societies.

“Collectivistic attitudes typically encourage the “correctness of social relationships” and such ideals emphasize hierarchy in family structure. It is key to the social harmony that each member understands and plays their role.  In the family unit, this means that children are expected to show respect to their parents without question. This perpetuates the behavior of parents not disclosing any private matters to children which may bring any question to the authority of the parent,” notes Yang.

“Another interesting finding in this survey is that parents in APAC are not as worried about cybercriminals accessing their private information as others globally are. Through the same cultural lens, people place more trust in the governing bodies and believe that their interests will generally be taken care of,” he adds.

Another research from Kaspersky unmasked that parents care about their kids’ online safety but spend less time to educate their kids about online security. More than half (58%) of the surveyed respondents admitted speaking to their children about the subject for less than 30 minutes.

“Trust is important to keep the familial bond intact. Parents should establish openness through constant communication, discuss both the physical and online lives of their children. As guardians, moms and dads should show their kids that they are allies on the internet and their mutual enemy are cybercriminals. From there, they can build on educating the young and themselves about the best online habits,” adds Neumeier.

To help families protect children from various internet threats, Kaspersky recommends:

  • Establish open communication about online activities.
  • As parents, you should also be transparent about your missteps online, if you have any. This way, your child will know that you are in this together.
  • If you know what your child is looking for online, you can offer help and support, but use the information carefully.
  • Discuss with your child how much time they can spend on social media. Try to persuade your child not to use social media during school lessons or at night.
  • Try not to limit your child’s social circle, but tell them to take care when choosing friends and acquaintances.
  • Subscribe to the Family edition of our Kaspersky Security Cloud. The service incorporates Kaspersky Safe Kids and helps to guard your family and private data, plus protect your kids online and beyond.

Note to editors

The Kaspersky Global Privacy Report 2020 titled ‘Defending digital privacy: taking personal protection to the next level’ is a study into the state of consumer attitudes towards online privacy. The survey was conducted by independent research agency Toluna between January and February 2020. A total of 15,002 consumers were surveyed across 23 countries wherein 3,012 were from the APAC region.

About Kaspersky

Kaspersky is a global cybersecurity company founded in 1997. Kaspersky’s deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly transforming into innovative security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe. The company’s comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint protection and a number of specialized security solutions and services to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats. Over 400 million users are protected by Kaspersky technologies and we help 250,000 corporate clients protect what matters most to them. Learn more at www.kaspersky.com

About Mind what Matters

Started in 2013, Mind what Matters comprises a team of mental health specialists whose aim is to provide professional, targeted and effective evidence-based psychology services. Mind what Matters’ specialists strive to destigmatize mental illness and optimize psychological well-being through open conversations, understanding and change. The team is passionate about helping people through their issues and beyond to thrive in their lives. Learn more at https://www.mindwhatmatters.com.sg/ 

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