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Kids online in SA: chats, games, drugs

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A recent Kaspersky Lab report has revealed that chatting, gaming and searching for narcotics are among the few of the highest activities children perform online.

Kaspersky Lab’s latest report shows that children around the world spend most of their time online using communication tools such as social networks, email, chats, etc. (accounting for 67% of online activity). Globally, gaming portals (11%) and websites containing information about alcohol, narcotics and tobacco (9%) came second and third, respectively. At the same time, there is a noticeable difference between children’s interests in different countries. 

In South Africa, the figures are as follows:

·         Social networks (56%)

·         Email (12%)

·         Chats (6%)

·         Gaming (9%)

·         Drugs (7%)

The report, covering 12 months, shows anonymised statistics from Kaspersky Lab solutions for Windows PCs and Macs with the Parental Control module switched on, and presents the share of visits or attempted visits to websites with potentially harmful content that fall under one of the 14 preset categories. The statistics show that during the reporting period, children cut back on visits to communication media and adult-themed websites. This trend can be explained by children moving most of their sensitive activities to mobile devices, which were not covered in the report.

The “Internet communication media” category was most popular in Mexico (86%), Russia, Brazil and Italy (all slightly more than 70%). The least communicative during this period were children in China (30%), Germany (31%) and the UK (32%). Interestingly, the less popular this category was in a country, the more popular the “Computer games” category was. Children in the UK (28%), Germany (26%) and Australia (21%) are most likely to play online, while children from Mexico (4%), Italy (6%) and Japan (7%) do so less frequently.

When it comes to watching videos, listening to music and downloading software, kids in Japan are the clear leaders (12% of all Parental Control notifications). They are also more likely to shop online (17%), as are children and teenagers in China (20%). The category “Alcohol, tobacco and narcotics” racked up the most notifications in Germany (23%) and the UK (25%). In its turn, adult content generated most interest among children in China (23%) and Japan (5%). This topic was of least interest in the UK and the US (both less than 1%).

“The popularity of certain types of websites among children in different countries can be linked to each country’s cultural traits and economic conditions. We see that children are becoming more self-reliant online: they choose what music to listen to, what movies and cartoons to watch, and what software to install. This independence is great, but on the Web, as well as in real life, it is necessary to guide youngsters and teach them how to behave wisely, safely and responsibly. We at Kaspersky Lab believe that to prevent encounters with harmful content, parents need to combine a comprehensive security solution with constant communication. Conversations educate young users about online threats and help to build trusting relationships in families, while security solutions provide a basis for such conversations and a safe environment for all the family,” says Anna Larkina, Senior Web Content Analyst at Kaspersky Lab.

The Kaspersky Total Security – multi-device and Kaspersky Internet Security – multi-device consumer solutions include a Parental Control module to help adults protect their children against online threats and block any sites or apps with inappropriate content.

Kaspersky Lab also offers the Safe Kids solution that allows parents to monitor what their children do, see or search for online across all devices, and to show them what is dangerous or inappropriate online.

*Categories of websites which can be blocked by Parental Control module in Kaspersky Lab’s solutions: Adult content; Alcohol, tobacco, narcotics; Computer games; E-commerce; Explicit language; Gambling, lotteries, sweepstakes; HTTP query redirection; Internet communication media; Job search; News media; Religions, religious associations; Software, audio, video; Violence; Weapons, explosives, pyrotechnic.

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How we use phones to avoid human contact

A recent study by Kaspersky Lab has found that 75% of people pick up their connected device to avoid conversing with another human being.

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Connected devices are becoming essential to keeping people in contact with each other, but for many they are also a much-needed comfort blanket in a variety of social situations when they do not want to interact with others. A recent survey from Kaspersky Lab has confirmed this trend in behaviour after three-quarters of people (75%) admitted they use a device to pretend to be busy when they don’t want to talk to someone else, showing the importance of keeping connected devices protected under all circumstances. 

Imagine you’ve arrived at a bar and you’re waiting for your date. The bar is busy, and people are chatting all around you. What do you do now? Strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know? Grab your phone from your pocket or handbag until your date arrives to keep yourself busy? Why talk to humans or even make eye-contact with someone else when you can stare at your connected device instead?

The truth is, our use of devices is making it much easier to avoid small talk or even be polite to those around us, and new Kaspersky Lab research has found that 72% of people use one when they do not know what to do in a social situation. They are also the ‘go-to’ distraction for people even when they aren’t trying to look busy or avoid someone’s eye. 46% of people admit to using a device just to kill time every day and 44% use it as a daily distraction.

In addition to just being a distraction, devices are also a lifeline to those who would rather not talk directly to another person in day-to-day situations, to complete essential tasks. In fact, nearly a third (31%) of people would prefer to carry out tasks such as ordering a taxi or finding directions to where they need to go via a website and an app, because they find it an easier experience than speaking with another person.

Whether they are helping us avoid direct contact or filling a void in our daily lives, our constant reliance on devices has become a cause for panic when they become unusable. A third (34%) of people worry that they will not be able to entertain themselves if they cannot access a connected device. 12% are even concerned that they won’t be able to pretend to be busy if their device is out of action.

Dmitry Aleshin, VP for Product Marketing, Kaspersky Lab said, “The reliance on connected devices is impacting us in more ways than we could have ever expected. There is no doubt that being connected gives us the freedom to make modern life easier, but devices are also vital to help people get through different and difficult social situations. No matter what your ‘connection crutch’ is, it is essential to make sure your device is online and available when you need it most.”

To ensure your device lifeline is always there and in top health – no matter what the reason or situation – Kaspersky Security Cloud keeps your connection safe and secure:

·         I want to use my device while waiting for a friend – is it secure to access the bar’s Wi-Fi?

With Kaspersky Security Cloud, devices are protected against network threats, even if the user needs to use insecure public Wi-Fi hotspots. This is done through transferring data via an encrypted channel to ensure personal data safety, so users’ devices are protected on any connection.

·         Oh no! I’m bored but my phone’s battery is getting low – what am I going to do?

Users can track their battery level thanks to a countdown of how many minutes are left until their device shuts down in the Kaspersky Security Cloud interface. There is also a wide-range of portable power supplies available to keep device batteries charged while on-the-go.

·         I’ve lost my phone! How will I keep myself entertained now?

Should the unthinkable happen and you lose or have your phone stolen, Kaspersky Security Cloud can track and protect your device from data breaches, for complete peace of mind. Remote lock and locate features ensure your device remains secure until you are reunited.

 

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Five key biometric facts

Due to their uniqueness, fingerprints are being used more and more to quickly identify and ensure the security of customers. CLAUDE LANGLEY, Regional Sales Manager, for Africa at HID Global Biometrics, outlines five facts about the technology.

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How many times in a day are you expected to identify yourself? From when you arrive at work you are required to sign in, visiting your bank, receiving healthcare services… The list is endless. When a system knows who you are, you are able to do any number common, everyday activities. Your identity is unique and precious. It is also easily stolen and the target of many hackers across the globe. Technology is constantly evolving alongside the criminal element, always looking for ways to protect data and identity. One such solution happens to be biometrics and it is rapidly gaining traction in our increasingly complex modern world.

Reliable, secure and fundamentally YOU, unique biometric traits such as fingerprints are being used by banks, enterprises and consumers to verify identity. Biometric solutions offer significant identity protection because they use unique biological details to ensure an account is only accessed by the account holder, a door only opened by the owner. Here are five things that are little known about this technology…

  • The uncut identity. Your fingerprint is unique to you. Nobody can use a copy of it to impersonate you. Good technology is capable of scanning down into the layers of the fingertip to differentiate unique elements of a person’s fingerprint, this data is then encrypted and used as a key to unlocking whichever physical or virtual door that the biometric system protects.
  • The living proof. No, there is nothing to the stories of fingerprints being used without their owner’s knowledge or permission. Biometric solutions can use specific variables to determine if the finger used to access the system is that of a present, living person.  A copy or a fake cannot be used to access a cutting-edge biometric solution.
  • Easy and convenient. Queues and documents and paperwork may well be a thing of the past should biometrics take a firmer grip of government and banking systems. The process of registering is easy, and access to identity documents and records is yours alone.
  • Security blanket. A thousand passwords and a hundred post-it notes stuck on walls and drawers.  An excel file with a list of sites and applications and their corresponding passwords, all a thing of the past.  Nobody needs to remember their password with biometrics, they only need to show up.
  • Anywhere is cool. Schools, airports, networks, offices, homes, toilets, banks, libraries, governments, border controls, immigration services, call centres, hospitals and even clubs and pubs – knowing “who” matters and biometrics can quickly and conveniently confirm your identity where needed.

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