Business Standard

Your social circle more likely to bully you online than strangers: Report

The respondents who had met their abuser in real life were almost twice as likely to experience an online risk: Microsoft report

IANS  |  San Francisco 

social media

While strangers pose the majority of threats online, a new study from says people are now at more of being bullied, getting unwanted contact and receiving unwelcome sexual images and messages from immediate family and social circles.

The study showed that more than 60 per cent of risks were sourced from strangers and people whom respondents knew only

But, 28 per cent of risks came from family and friends.

The respondents who had met their abuser in real life were almost twice as likely to experience an online risk, said Jacqueline Beauchere, Chief Officer in a blog post.

More disheartening were indications that people were targeted because of their personal characteristics, namely gender, age and physical appearance, Beauchere added.

The commonly experienced hoaxes, scams and fraud was led by false and misleading information. Fake news and were the most common type, far outpacing fake anti-virus scams.

Compared to data from 2017, negative experiences from family, friends and acquaintances were up by four per cent, seven per cent and two per cent, respectively.

In 2018, a new classification of perpetrators -- colleagues and co-workers -- accounted for nine per cent of people's unpleasant interactions online, Beauchere said.

like name-calling, purposeful embarrassment topped the behavioural category, followed by repeated unwanted contact experienced by more than four in 10 respondents.

In the sexual category, receipt of unwelcome sexual imagery and messages dominated, with nearly four in 10 experiencing repeated attempts to start a romantic relationship.

The findings are based on attitudes and perceptions of teenagers and adults in 22 countries including India, Canada, France, South Africa, Turkey, the UK, the US and Vietnam, among others, about the they face and how their interactions impact their lives.


First Published: Thu, November 15 2018. 13:32 IST