Did you know that one in two children hide risky online behaviour from their parents?
These days it’s hard to imagine a child being away from the Internet, and despite its many helpful contributions to the modern life, it is also a place replete with dangerous things lurking behind the shadows.
In a study conducted by Kaspersky Labs, a global cybersecurity company protecting businesses and governments around the globe, together with one of Europe’s leading child and youth research agencies, iconKids & Youth, and European Schoolnet, a network of 30 European Ministries of Education based in Brussels, it revealed that almost half of children (44%) hide potentially dangerous online activity from their parents.
“The older the child, the more he or she hides. At the age of 8-10 only a third (33%) of children do not inform their parents about incidents on the Web, but that number rises to 51% for teens aged 14-16.”
The top offenders include inappropriate games and films seen (12%), websites visited (14%), and time spent online (22%).
Prohibited device usage (8%), inappropriate social media contacts (7%), and use of illicit apps (6%) also rank high.
Meanwhile, other activities such unsuitable accounts (5%), illegal downloads (5%), inappropriate data sharing (5%), being bullied (4%) and cyber bullying (4%) also make the list.
“Parent education plays a major role in protecting children online,” says Janice Richardson, Senior Advisor at European Schoolnet. “If children think their parents are able to calmly discuss the issues they encounter, they are much more likely to confide in them.
“That’s why it’s very important for parents to find out more about online threats, increase their own cyber savviness and to build trust with their children in order to be a part of their lives, whether they are online or offline.
“Let children know that whatever happens, you are always there to listen, support and help.”
Echoing her statement, head of consumer business at Kaspersky Labs Andrei Mochola says, “Parental care and guidance cannot be limited to the real world only, because such a large part of children’s lives nowadays is spent online.
“For those times when parents cannot be there, they can protect their child with specialised parental control solutions.
“These programs not only shield children from harmful sites and apps on desktops and mobile devices but also keep parents notified about any dangers.”
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