Parents Misread Threats Kids Face Online: Kaspersky Lab Research

by August 12, 2016 0 comments

The Growing Up Online – Connected Kids survey conducted by Kaspersky Lab and iconKids&youth has shown that parents often misread the threats their kids face online.

The five most common threats faced by children, in their own words, are pornography (8%), virus infections (8%), as well as stolen accounts, false content on sites, and scenes of violence (all 6%). Parents, on the other hand, believe the top five threats their children encounter online are pornography (14%), drug- and alcohol-related sites (8%), scenes of violence (8%), virus infections (8%) and Internet addiction (7%). Children are obviously confronted with information about drugs and the dangers of Internet addiction much less than their parents think, while the loss of access to accounts and false content are clearly underestimated.

The number of threats a child faces online depends to a great extent on where they live and how often they use the Internet. On average, 37% of children have come across unwanted content or incidents on the Web, although in the United States and Russia this figure accounted for 52% and 56%, respectively. Moreover, 47% of those children who use the Internet almost constantly have encountered online threats, while the figure for those young respondents who are less active online was just 30%.

It is also interesting that the majority of children (two-thirds) are afraid of online threats just as much as real life ones, or even more so.

“To help their children cope with the mass of unwanted information or traumatic experiences on the Internet, parents should talk to them more, teach them how to protect themselves online, help them distinguish between what is false and what is true and how to deal with any negativity. However, considering the fact that almost half of children don’t tell their parents about incidents that occur online, a technical solution becomes a necessary part of that communication. A parental control program installed on a child’s device will quickly inform parents if their child has visited a site with unwanted content, making it possible to avoid any potential psychological trauma,” said Andrei Mochola, Head of Consumer Business at Kaspersky Lab.


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