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How kids cost you online

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Kaspersky Lab and B2B International, 18% of users in South Africa have lost either money or important information as a result of their children’s online activity. This suggests that, in addition to the risk of children encountering cyberthreats, they can also cause inadvertent problems for their parents.

However, the numbers are not so surprising when we consider that 41% of respondents locally believe their children know little about computer technology and 28% believe their kids know nothing of cyberthreats. That same lack of awareness poses risks for parents who allow their children to use their online devices. 9% of respondents said their children had accidentally deleted important information, while 8% faced unexpected bills from app stores after the youngsters got online. All in all, every fifth polled parent confessed they had had an experience of losing money or important data because of their children’s actions.

Despite this, only a third of parents are really alert to the danger: just 35% are concerned that their children may spend money online without parental consent, and only 23% are worried that their kids share confidential information too freely online. At the same time, the parents use various methods to avoid problems and protect their children from online threats. For example, 36% personally control how their children use devices, and 16% asked their Internet provider to block access to certain sites. In addition 36% of parents regularly remind their children about the dangers of the Internet, while 15% opted to befriend their children on social networks. It is significant that only 29% of parents use specialised software to regulate their children’s activities online, although this is a convenient feature available in many security solutions.

When parents think of their children spending time online, their first concern is to protect them from unwanted content on the web. However, there is another important aspect that should not be forgotten, and that is the problems kids may cause for their parents. Applying parental control is not showing distrust to your child: it’s a sensible precaution with which you can, among other things, protect your device and the data on it. Interestingly, it also works the other way round: adult children might use these kind of software products to help older parents who know little about cyberthreats,” said Konstantin Ignatev, Web Content Analysts Group Manager at Kaspersky Lab.

The Parental Control module for Microsoft Windows and Apple OS X is included in Kaspersky Internet Security – multi-device 2015. It allows parents to control which sites their children visit and which games they play, as well as disallowing file downloads, blocking access to content on unwanted topics and preventing the disclosure of confidential information. Additionally, parents can further improve security by analysing their child’s messages in social networks and instant messengers and/or by specifying unwanted keywords and phrases that should be filtered out. This way, Kaspersky Lab’s technologies help protect finances and confidential data from cybercriminals, and children from the risks that may lurk in the online environment.

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