Kaspersky: Parents need to do more to protect kids Online

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.

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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.

Key findings:

Consumers are concerned about online threats to the people and things that matter most

  • 70% are aware and concerned about online hacking
  • 64% of people are worried about online banking fraud
  • 44% say the data stored on their devices is so sensitive that they wouldn’t want anyone else to see it
  • Yet only one–in–five (21%) consumers believe they are a target for cyberattacks

The dangers online can have severe consequences for people’s data

  • Overall, 29% of people have been affected by online threats
  • Malware is the biggest threat faced by consumers. 42% have faced malware, with 22% of them
    suffering from devices infected with malware as a result
  • 17% of people online have faced a ransomware threat, with 6%
    becoming infected as a result. One–in–five users that pay a ransom don’t get their files back

And children are also exposed to online threats

  • Their kids seeing inappropriate content (37%) communicating with dangerous strangers (36%) and
    becoming victims of cyberbullying (34%) online, are top worries for parents
  • 14% of parents believe their children are addicted to the Internet
  • 12% believe their children are seeing inappropriate/ explicit content online
  • Compared to last year, more parents feel they do not have any control over what their children see and do online

People should be more cyber savvy — and protect what matters most — when they are online

  • Only 60% use a security solution on every connected device they own
  • 71% use insecure public Wi–Fi in cafés, bars and fast food restaurants, with 15% using it to shop,
    bank, or make payments online
  • 51% use insecure methods to remember passwords
  • 22% have accidentally disclosed confidential data or personal information to someone online
  • Around a quarter (23%) believe security solutions are just a gimmick

“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.

[Download PDF]– Kaspersky Lab’s Consumer Security Risks Survey 2016 Report

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