Digital technologies have become powerful tools in today society in many aspects. However, without proper knowledge and guidance, youth is being challenged with potential hazards of cybercrimes. Hence, the purpose of this study was to compare who is at a greater risk of cybercrimes, and to assess whether there is a significant difference in the digital competency between girls and boys at rural areas. Digital competence was measured as technology, cognitive, ethical knowledge and communication, and cybersecurity was measured as intellectual property, privacy, accuracy and accessibility. Questionnaires were distributed to selected secondary schools. Based on the t-test analyses of 211 responses, the findings indicate there is a significant difference in the attitude toward ICT usage between male and female students, as well as significant differences in the behavior of troubleshooting, staying safe online and being credible and in the ethical knowledge. Comparing the cybersecurity traits, gender differentiates the privacy concerns, accuracy and accessibility behavior. As the results are alarming, specific concerns and focus must be placed on youth digital technology usage and education for ensuring they are not neglected, and exposed as cyber victims, but also to raise a responsible e-society with excellent digital citizenship attributes.
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