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Parents Misread Threats Kids Face Online, Kaspersky Lab Research Shows

The Growing Up Online – Connected Kidssurvey conducted by Kaspersky Lab and iconKids&youth has kespersky logoshown that parents often misread the threats their kids face online.

The five most common threats faced by children, in their own words,are pornography (8%), virus infections (8%), as well as stolen accounts, false content on sites, and scenes of violence (all 6%). Parents, on the other hand, believe the top five threats their children encounter online arepornography (14%), drug- and alcohol-related sites (8%), scenes of violence (8%), virus infections (8%) and Internet addiction (7%). Children are obviously confronted with information about drugs and the dangers of Internet addiction much less than their parents think, while the loss of access to accounts and false content are clearly underestimated.

The number of threats a child faces onlinedependsto a great extent on wheretheylive and how often they use the Internet. On average, 37% of children have come acrossunwanted content or incidentson the Web, although in the United States and Russia this figure accounted for 52% and 56%, respectively. Moreover, 47% of those children who use the Internet almost constantly have encountered online threats,while the figure forthose young respondents who are less active online was just30%.

It is also interesting that the majority of children (two-thirds) are afraid of online threats just as much as real life ones, or even more so.

“To help their children cope with the mass of unwanted information or traumatic experienceson the Internet, parents shouldtalk to them more, teach them how to protect themselves online, help them distinguishbetween what is false andwhat is true and how to deal with any negativity. However, considering the fact that almost half of children don’t tell their parents about incidents that occur online, a technicalsolution becomes a necessary part ofthat communication. Aparental control program installed on a child’s device will quickly inform parents if their child has visited a site with unwanted content, making it possible to avoid any potential psychological trauma,”comments Andrei Mochola, Head of Consumer Business at Kaspersky Lab.

For more advice on protecting children on the Internet, visit kids.kaspersky.com. Information about a technical solution to these problems can be found at Kaspersky Safe Kids.

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