Kids on the Internet

May 31, 2013

During the summer holidays, your kids will spend their time not only in parks and on seaside beaches, but a majority will also spend their time on the Internet.

kids internet

That is why you need to pay more attention to their online activities. Our analysis clearly shows that kids encounter inappropriate content on a regular basis, moreover – they are actively looking for it.

The activity graph is different for each country analyzed, e.g. Japanese kids are not that active in new kinds of social media and prefer “traditional” forums, while 60% of Russian teenagers seek forbidden content in local social networks. Nevertheless, worldwide statistics show that most inappropriate content is still found via social media with porn sites holding second place.

While most popular networks like Facebook take special care to protect children and prevent unauthorized registration and communication over the network, this kind of site still challenges parents the most, with the content and nature of communication varying wildly.

The main danger is strangers trying to talk to your child. There are both fraudsters and predators, the former trying to steal some money from kids or swindle private information like parents’ credit card numbers, and the latter is at best trying to discuss inappropriate topics with your child, or at worst, attempting to meet in real life.

Our analysis clearly shows that kids encounter inappropriate content on a regular basis, moreover – they are actively looking for it.

However, communication with classmates is not perfectly safe either. Thanks to the Internet, whereas “traditional” bullying can be left behind at the end of the school day, cyberbullying can intensify after school hours.

This mixture of approved and dangerous content makes protecting your kids quite complicated and increases the need to implement a detailed filtration tool. You can’t simply “block all social networks” and use provider’s site filtration. You have to classify and filter content by its type and source, and you should be informed if something suspicious happens.  This is very important because research shows that teens actively hide their online activities from parents.

To address this problem, you might use a dedicated Parental control solution, which is conveniently included in Kaspersky Internet Security and Kaspersky PURE. Thanks to this tool, you can limit the time your child spends online or just playing games, filter out specified types of unwanted content, prevent communication with specific contacts and get alerted in suspicious cases.

It’s important to understand that parental control software does not replace parental attention and effort. Experts agree that the best measure to prevent unwanted activities online is talking to your kids, teaching them and trying to understand their interests, passions and intents. Technical measures can provide some backup and insurance, but the most important things happen in real life. Here are the main points you should share with your kids:

  • Do not make any private information publically available or send it to strangers, especially your contacts, addresses, your school, etc. By “strangers” we mean any people of any age you don’t know in real life.
  • Don’t accept any requests to meet in person from strangers
  • Don’t publicize your phone number or e-mail
  • Don’t click any links from unknown senders
  • Don’t trust tempting messages of any sort – free stuff, discounts, increasing your reputation/likes/stars on some site, etc. Just delete such messages and don’t click any links
  • If you have a troubling talks or something uncomfortable happens online, tell your parents to get their help in solving the problem

Parents should also follow the same rules online, with the exception of troublesome talks – you’ll have to solve these by yourself. In addition, we recommend parents teach their kids to follow Internet Safety Rules, to always pay attention to their kids’ online activities and to use Parental Control technologies to make sure you don’t miss anything important.