Many dangers can be found lurking in different corners of the Internet, and all too often our children are ill-prepared to face them. However, it seems that many parents are still complacent about protecting the younger generation: according to statistics from a Harris Interactive survey of approximately 9,000 users from the USA, Russia and Europe in February-March 2012, only 5% of users are prioritizing the protection of their children from “adult” content.
This is despite the fact that the online community is getting younger and younger: personal laptops or modern smartphones are no longer the sole preserve of university students; they are common among schoolchildren as well. At the same time, every third mobile phone (35%) and two out of three smartphones (62%) are used to access the Internet.
It seems that more people fear their children might be harmed by people they encounter in chat rooms or on social networks – 10% of respondents cited this problem, making it the second biggest online concern. These concerns are well founded, with 53% of users considering virtual abuse a serious problem. Some have already caught their children browsing prohibited content (9%) or sending personal information to strangers (4%). On the whole, however, it is worrying that parents are not doing more to help their children get the best from the Internet without putting them at risk.
Happily, this help is readily available, and with the right software there is no need for parents to be constantly looking over their children’s shoulders when they are online. The software market abounds with programs which automatically monitor who uses a computer or the Internet, and how. This functionality is available as stand-alone software or as part of a bigger security package – for example, the Parental Control module in Kaspersky Internet Security 2012 can regulate children’s access to websites and applications, and monitor their communication on social networks. The only thing a caring parent needs to do is create an account for the child on the home computer and initially customize the module.
Along with personal computers, protection is also required for mobile devices. According to the same survey by Harris Interactive, about half of respondents use their tablets (46%) and smartphones (47%) to communicate on social networks. To protect these devices, dedicated mobile solutions are needed. Kaspersky Parental Control for Android can block access to websites containing unwanted content, and place restrictions on the launch of applications.
The full report on the survey by Harris Interactive is available at: