Nation's students are more vulnerable to internet attacks

Updated: 2016-05-26 07:47

By Zhao Xinying(China Daily)

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China's high school students are particularly vulnerable to cyberattacks compared to those in other countries, a survey released on Wednesday has found.

Almost half of the high school students polled in China said their online passwords had been obtained illegally by others, much higher than in the United States, Japan and South Korea.

The survey, which focused on the safety of high school students, was conducted by research institutes in the four countries. More than 7,600 students took part.

South Korea had the largest proportion of high school students (34 percent) saying they had been hurt by malicious remarks online.

In the US, being intimidated, having personal photos or videos spread online without permission and being attacked by groups online are major problems facing high school students, according to the survey.

The survey also found that Chinese high school students were more frequently exposed to other types of cyberassaults such as receiving sham payment requests online and being swindled while shopping online.

However, only 62 percent of Chinese high school students said they had ever been taught about cyberspace safety - the lowest proportion among the four countries.

Sun Hongyan, a researcher at the China Youth and Children Research Center, the institute that led the multinational survey in China, said young people's safety in cyberspace hasn't attracted enough attention.

"A large number of young people in China are using the internet without receiving any guidance on how to protect themselves," she said. "What's worse, many of them think it's unnecessary to have such education."

A report released last year by the China Internet Network Information Center showed that China had 670 million Internet users as of June. One of every four was a student.

Zhang Xudong, another researcher at the center, attributed the frequent occurrence of online infringement in China to the absence of related laws, as well as people's weak awareness of cyberspace safety. "More efforts should be made to raise people's awareness, to create a safe and clean cyberspace for the young, and particularly to step up lawmaking," Zhang said.