A new Kaspersky Safe Kids study has revealed the top activities of Malaysian children during the first four months of 2021, when the second Covid-19 lockdown was imposed across parts of the country.
The top online activities were related to software, audio and video, involving 44.7% of the children studied.
Other activities included internet communication media (32.53%), computer games (8.62%), e-commerce (8.13%) and news (4.36%).
YouTube was the most visited website with nearly three in 10 Malaysian kids visiting the video-sharing and social media platform during this period.
Zalo (15.67%) came second followed by Facebook (15.10%) and the rising app TikTok (12.18%).
On a global scale, the most popular website categories among children were software, audio, video (44.38%), internet communication media (22.08%) and computer games (13.67%).
Again, YouTube was the most popular video streaming service among children around the world.
In second place was WhatsApp, and third was TikTok which overtook Instagram with almost double the level of popularity.
Searches on YouTube were varied in categories. Cartoons (50.21%) accounted for half of all video searches, followed by TV shows and movies.
Children were also active in listening to and watching music videos on YouTube, with the platform holding a 17.35% share in searches for music genres and videos.
TikTok remained the undisputed leader among children.
However, the app is no longer only a social network for clips and lip syncs, as more educational and creative content has begun to appear on the platform.
As for video games, those trending the most with children included Minecraft (22.84%), Fortnite (6.73%), Among Us (3.80%), Brawl Stars (6.34%) and Roblox (3.82%).
Roblox was also the most frequently played game in almost all countries involved in the study.
In a statement, Anna Larkina, a web content analysis expert at Kaspersky, said modern children grow up with gadgets from a very young age and can adapt to the digital space and master new technologies much faster.
“We see how TikTok has become one of the main trendsetters among children in a short time and continues to keep their attention,” she said. “At the same time, YouTube hasn’t lost ground and remains the leader in popularity among children.”
Larkina added that understanding and analysing the interests of children on the internet highlights the importance of online safety.
“By knowing what kind of music a child listens to, who their favourite bloggers are or what games they play, parents can strengthen their trusted relations with kids.”