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Experts warn parents, gadgets expose children to cyber risks

Online gaming is one of the cyber risks identified by a a study conducted by an international think tank, Ivan Mayrina reported on State of the Nation with Jessica Soho.

In the study conducted by DQ on 38,000 children from 29 countries including the Philippines showed that 56 percent of children aged between 8 to 12 are exposed to cyber risk.

In the Philippines, the number is higher with the number of children aged between 8 and 12 exposed to cyber risk reaching up to 73 percent.

Other cyber risks for the kids in the Philippines listed in the 2018 DQ Institute Impact Report include:

  • Cyberbullying (61 percent)
  • Online sexual behaviors (29 percent)
  • Meeting online strangers (18 percent)
  • Video game addiction (18 percent)

According to data from the PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP ACG), for the first three months of 2018 about 160 complaints were filed at the agency that are related to children and 98 of these are on acts committed in violation of RA 9995 or the Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act of 2009.

"Kung walang parental supervision 'yung mga anak nila, halimbawa, nag-social media siya, kung sinu-sino na lang yung ina-accept na mga friends du'n sa isang doon sa isang media platform so 'yun 'yung nagiging delikado," PNP ACG Chief Senior Superintendent Bernard Tambaoan said.

Aside from cyber risks, parents were also warned against the effects of children's unsupervised online activities.

"Gawa ng instant gratification, again, hindi na sila marunong maghintay. Laging ang question, when you take them, or they have to take a part of their time, they will ask you 'What's in it for me?'" said child psychologist, Dr. Joseph Regalado.

"So 'yung ganitong klase ng development is something that we are so afraid of kasi 'yung emotional maturity or EQ, emotional quotient, becomes lower," he added.

Experts advised that parents limit the time their children spend on their gadgets, monitor the websites they visit and those they chat with online. — with Margaret Claire Layug/BAP, GMA News