June 19, 2017
According to a new survey by Digi Telecommunications (Digi), cyberbullying is showing signs of spreading beyond children in Malaysia
As well as joining the Telenor Group's global 'Stop Cyberbullying Campaign to Support '4 Million by 2020,' Digi recently unveiled results from its quick local study of an older age group.
To set some context, Philip Ling, Digi CyberSAFE programme manager, said that Malaysia now has more than 20.1 million active internet users, with 16.8 million active on social media. (See - Chldren want more guidance to being safe online)
With the rise of internet usage in this country, the risks of internet abuse including cyberbullying has also become heightened, said Ling, adding that half a billion children in Asia were expected to have internet access by 2020. (See - Digi CyberSAFE programme spreads through rural Malaysia)
However, he pointed out that cyberbullying is spreading beyond the children: It has been happening regardless of age.
First look at new age segment
Digi undertook a recent 'Be Smart, Use Heart' survey with 96 undergraduate students, aged 18 to 20, the first for this age segment, said Ling.
He said the purpose of this survey was to identify the level of awareness and experience with cyberbullying of this age group as well as to compare them with findings from previous surveys.
Ling listed some key findings:
- 98 percent of these undergraduates are super users (high daily usage) of the internet.
- About 90 percent of them agree they are at a risk of being cyberbullied and 86 percent to the risk of being sexually harassed online, with 40 percent of them not knowing how to protect themselves when such incidents happen.
- 79 percent reported high encounters with inappropriate language online and as many as 51 percent of them admitted to being a cyberbullying victim, at least once on each of the various mediums such as social media, and social chat. 65 percent admitted to receiving nasty messages in multiplayer online games and 25 percent have been a victim of sexual harassment in social media.
- 38 percent of these undergraduates have tried to fix the problem but more than half of them have kept quiet, hoping that cyberbullying would stop, rather than consult a trusted adult on this matter.
- A worrying average of 59 percent feel that meeting in person someone they befriended online is not wrong and about 23 percent have admitted to doing so.
- In spite of the high percentages, digital resiliency skills are still relatively low with only 35 percent admitting to using privacy settings, 37 percent using the blocking tool and 27 percent reporting the problem. About 25 percent quarter admitted to doing none of the above.