The rapid increase of information and communications technology is manifested by its tremendous positive outcomes on the economy, business, and society. However, online application use by adolescents, especially mobile technology, has caused uneasiness among parents owing to cyber grooming incidents. This study reflects on the current cyber grooming situation. Investigating the current state of online grooming and the means through which parents can ensure the online safety of their adolescents from adults offering “candy” or wanting to start a relationship is necessary. Teen behavior related scholars believe that parents play a vital role in building safe environments. We conducted a qualitative study by interviewing 19 parents with children between the ages of 13 and 17 years in an urban setting to determine the level of the parents’ awareness. Interviews were conducted based on five key components, namely, social media, unknown friends, sex education, private chats, and family time. The results present the actual situations of the parents and highlight related challenges as well as adolescents’ ignorance and vulnerability to cyber grooming. Results are mapped to three main determinants of cyber grooming, namely, parental factors, self-efficacy, and self-regulation. We conclude with insights and recommendations for parents, schools, and the government to be vigilant for online predators by increasing awareness of cyber grooming.


awareness, cyber grooming, cybersecurity parents, privacy, general qualitative inquiry, self-efficacy, adolescents

Author Bio(s)

Magiswary Dorasamy, Ph.D. is an academic at the Faculty of Management of Multimedia University, Malaysia holding Deputy Dean, Research and Industrial Collaboration, and an Associate Professor position. Her area of expertise is Management Information System (MIS) especially on IS success factors, knowledge management systems for disaster, frugal innovation and cybersecurity. In the field of cybersecurity, she has obtained a national grant, several awards, and presented her findings at international conferences. To date, she has had a distinguished corporate career in ICT industries and academia career spanning over 24 years and has established herself with extensive experience in NVivo software training and qualitative research. Please direct correspondence to magiswary.dorasamy@mmu.edu.my.

Maniam Kaliannan, Ph.D., an Associate Professor of Human Resource Management, and the Director of Research (LLM Division) in the University of Nottingham Malaysia, Malaysia. His area of expertise includes talent management, cybersecurity, e-government, and knowledge management. He has obtained several national grants in talent management. Please direct correspondence to maniam.kaliannan@nottingham.edu.my.

Manimekalai Jambulingam, Ph.D., a Senior Lecturer II in the School of Management & Marketing, Faculty of Business and Law, Taylor's University, Malaysia. Her area of expertise includes ICT, social media studies, entrepreneurial studies, cyber security, and organisational behaviour. To date, she has published extensively in international journals and conference proceedings. Please direct correspondence to manimekalai.jambulingam@taylors.edu.my.

Iqbal Ramadhan, a lecturer of the International Relations Department at the Faculty of Communication and Diplomacy, Universitas Pertamina, Indonesia. His area of interest includes cybersecurity, security studies, Middle East Studies, and Foreign Policy. Please direct correspondence to iqbal.ramadhan@universitaspertamina.ac.id.

Ashok Sivaji, is a Software and System Test Manager at MIMOS Technology Solutions Sdn Bhd. He has vast experience and knowledge in the field of cybersecurity. Additionally, he is an adjunct lecturer in HCI at various universities in Malaysia. He actively published his research in both local and international conferences. Please direct correspondence to ashok.sivaji@mimos.my.


We thank the Malaysian Ministry of Education for awarding a Fundamental Research Grant Fund (FRGS/1/2016/SS03/MMU/02/5) to conduct this research. The findings shared in this paper are a part of this project.

Publication Date


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.









To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.