DQ Institute Announces Three in Four Children Worldwide Experienced at Least One Cyber-Risk in 2022

73% of children experienced at least one cyber risk this year. The 2022 Child Online Safety Index reveals that cyber risks for children decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020-2021 but rose again in 2022.

November 15, 2022 12:11 AM EST | Source: Plentisoft

  • UK topped as the best country for child online safety worldwide, followed by Japan

  • Cyber risks for children decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020-2021 and rose in 2022

Singapore, Singapore--(Newsfile Corp. - November 15, 2022) - Almost three in four (73%) children and adolescents aged 8-18 around the world experienced at least one cyber risk in the 12 months to September 2022. This, and the Child Online Safety Index (COSI) rankings of 100 countries were announced by international think-tank DQ Institute at the Global Cybersecurity Forum in Riyadh today. Constituting these risks:

  • 50% of children and adolescents across the surveyed countries are affected by cyber-bullying

  • 40% experience cyber threats

  • 25% are exposed to violent and sexual content

  • 16% are at risk for a gaming disorder

  • 8% are at risk for social media disorder

  • 40% of adolescents (aged 13-18) experience unwanted sexual contact

  • 13% of 8-12-year-old children experience risky contact, such as offline meetings with strangers or sexual contact.

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Three in four children worldwide experienced at least one cyber-risk in 2022

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The 2022 Child Online Safety Index (COSI) is a national-level measure of child online safety that countries can use to track their performance and progress across six different stakeholders: children, families, schools, ICT companies, and soft and hard infrastructures of the government. As part of the 2022 COSI, a global ranking of 100 countries was also announced based on data from almost 330,000 children and adolescents across 100 countries, collected through DQ Institute's internal programs and through aggregation of data from external sources.

It has been a widely believed myth that the COVID-19 aggravated the cyber risk exposure of children and adolescents, but the 2022 COSI revealed otherwise. While the rates of cyber risk exposure among children and adolescents remained high, they decreased by 2 to 10 percent during the 2020-21 pandemic, compared to the three preceding years (2017-2019). Meanwhile, children with excessive screen time and underage social media access increased by 10 to 15 percent amid widespread lockdowns. In 2022, children's exposure to cyber-risk surged back up by 5 to 15 percent and increased more as lockdowns were lifted worldwide. The findings suggest that there was an increased awareness of threats to children's online safety during the COVID-19 lockdowns and thus increased reporting.

The United Kingdom emerged as the most conducive country for children online globally in 2022, followed by Japan. The 2022 COSI revealed that the Western and the East Asian countries in general ranked higher for child online safety, while the South and Southeast Asian, Latin American, and the Middle Eastern and African countries tended to rank lower.

Dr. Yuhyun Park, Founder of the DQ Institute, emphasized:

"The 2022 Child Online Safety Index should serve as a wakeup call to everyone about the safety of the world's children online. The cyber risks for children have always been present even before the pandemic but the pandemic has provided an opportunity to recognize the pressing need to address the issue.

"With the advent of the metaverse, risks in the digital media industry already in web 2.0 are amplified. Everyone in society has a role to play in turning this around. Commercial entities providing social media and gaming services must collaborate more actively with legislators, the police force, and other non-government organizations to protect children online."


The methodology report and an interactive online platform are available at:

The images of the key findings can be found in the link below:

About DQ Institute: The DQ Institute (DQI) is an international think-tank that is dedicated to setting global standards for digital intelligence and to ensuring the safety, empowerment, and well-being of individuals, organizations, and nations in the digital age. Its DQ framework has been recognized as the global standard for digital literacy, skills, and readiness (IEEE 3527.1-2020). DQI operates as a 501(c)(3) organization in the United States and as a not-for-profit organization in Singapore. For more information, please visit https://www.dqinstitute.org/news-post/three-in-four-children-worldwide-experienced-at-least-one-cyber-risk-in-2022

Contact Info:
Name: Joyce Lee
Email: jlee@dqinstitute.org
Organization: DQ Institute
Address: 20a Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore, Singapore 088443, Singapore
Website: https://www.dqinstitute.org/

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