Half of children vulnerable on internet: Police chief

Half of children vulnerable on internet: Police chief

ANKARA – Demirören News Agency
Half of children vulnerable on internet: Police chief

Almost half of Turkish children do not have enough knowledge to protect their privacy online, a security chief has told parliament.

“In Turkey, 46 percent of children do not know the ways to protect their personal details on social networks, thus they share their posts, profile photos and date of birth openly,” said Kerim Altıay, the vice chair of the anti-cybercrime department at the Turkish General Directorate of Security, in his presentation to a parliamentary commission investigating information technologies and addiction on June 19.

“Many incidents of underage child abuse occur in private forum and messaging groups, as well as online game platforms,” he said, stressing that children born after 2010 make up the new generation going online at early ages.

“Children can put themselves and their kin in danger by sharing their name, address and phone number to get gifts. Moreover, social networks have the potential to spread cyber bullying among children,” he also said.

Some 59 million people, 72 percent of Turkey’s population, go online and 52 million of them have active social media accounts, according to Altıay’s presentation.

Some 44 million Turks access social media networks using mobile devices, he added.

“Obviously, children and teenagers constitute an important risk group in terms of technology addiction. The most important matter is about being careful in preventing children surf the internet and interact with others via online platforms without parental control,” Altıay warned.

Spreading harmful software and virus, attacking users for ransom and phishing have been the most common forms of cybercrimes recently, he also said, adding that the average age of people committing cybercrimes has been declining rapidly in recent years.

Cybercrime groups communicate over forum groups, messaging applications and the deep web, which is very difficult to monitor, he said.

Altıay also recommended citizens to be careful when using credit cards for e-commerce.

The volume of e-commerce in Turkey grew by 38 percent in 2018 from the previous year to reach $6.5 billion, capturing a 5 percent share in total retail sales, a recent study by Nielsen has shown.