Malaysia has recorded the highest number IP addresses uploading and downloading photographs and visuals of child pornography in South-East Asia.
According to authorities, there is also a sharp increase with regard to the number of children becoming victims of perpetrators befriended online.
Ong Chin Lan, an officer with the police's sexual, women and child investigation division, told a seminar that information provided by Dutch police based in Malaysia in 2015, showed 17,338 IP addresses involved in child pornography were from Malaysia.
She said prior to 2014, some 60 children fell prey to sexual assault involving people they had befriended through the Internet.
The figure increased to 184 in 2015 and 183 in 2016. In 2017, the figure was 117 as of May 2017, according to a report published in The Star, which was attributed to Sin Chew Daily.
The report stated that it is learned about 51 percent of children aged between 13 and 15 befriended the perpetrators through messaging app WeChat. Other channels included Facebook, WhatsApp and Beetalk.
Apart from this, the report also highlighted an investigation carried out by the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) of children between 10 and 17 in 2015, which found that 91.6 percent of them owned a handphone before the age of 15 while 88.5 percent had Facebook or other social media accounts.
It also found that only 35.6 percent of parents monitor their children's activities.
It was also revealed that 60 percent of girls and 40 percent of boys would meet the people befriended through the Internet.
Figures from United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) indicated that more than 60 percent of children or teenagers spend time in online chatrooms every day.
And about three of four children are willing to exchange their information for “goods and services”.