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Parents Lack Visibility and Control over Kids’ Online Activity, Study Shows

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Parents need to do more to protect their kids from the growing number of online threats, but many currently lack visibility of the dangers their children are facing. New research from Kaspersky Lab reveals that only a quarter (26%) use parental control software to help restrict their kids’ activity online.

Worryingly, among those parents who haven’t installed parental control features, one in five (21%) believe that it is better for children to learn how to use the Internet safely themselves.

The Consumer Security Risks Survey 2016 uncovered what parents think about the online world and the challenges they face in protecting their family from threats.

The research showed that only a third (37%) of parents worry that their children could be exposed to inappropriate or explicit content online. Just 36% are wary of their kids communicating with dangerous strangers, and 34% worry about them becoming a victim of cyberbullying.

The study also found that not enough parents are taking the required steps to protect their children, with only a third (38%) regularly talking to their children about the dangers online and bringing the Internet into family conversation and a quarter (27%) regularly checking the Internet history on the browser. One in five (21%) prefer to become a contact within their kids’ social networks.

Parents need to be more aware of the dangers lurking on the Internet. According to the survey, 41% of kids were exposed to online threats in the 12-month period leading up to the research. These threats included being exposed to inappropriate content, cyberbullying, dangerous strangers and more.

“Parents need to be more aware of the dangers their children face online. They need to help their kids become more cyber-savvy and put protection methods in place to keep them safe online, as they would in the physical world, said Andrei Mochola, Head of Consumer Business at Kaspersky Lab.

“You wouldn’t let your children cross the road or talk to strangers on their own, so it’s surprising to see almost a quarter of parents leaving their kids to browse the Internet independently. It’s easy to overlook the security threats of the online world when you’re a busy parent but leaving kids to deal with threats without help is unsafe. As the digital world increasingly impacts on all aspects of our lives it is more important than ever to boost knowledge and put safeguards in place.”

Kaspersky Lab offers a range of security solutions that help the whole family browse the Internet in safety. With Kaspersky Safe Kids, for example, parents can guard their children against online risks, monitor kids’ locations and manage their ‘device time’.

With solutions like this in place, parents can have peace of mind that their kids are benefiting from all of the advantages of the online world – in terms of communication and learning – without suffering from its dangers.

Methodology

The study was conducted online by B2B International in August, 2016. Users from 21 countries were surveyed online these include: USA, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, South Africa, Spain, France, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Italy, Turkey, UAE, Russia, China, India, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia and Australia.

A total of 12,546 people, aged 16 and over, split equally between men and women, were surveyed. 28% were aged under 24, 26% were aged between 25 and 34, 19% were aged 35 to 44, 14% were aged 45 to 54. 13% of those surveyed were over 55s, with 7% aged 55 to 64, and 6% aged 65 or older.

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