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The dark side of kids online

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Most parents are aware of the dangers a child is exposed to when they get a smartphone. However, many parents do not know which sites their kids visit the most. Kaspersky Lab’s latest survey shows the Internet search patterns of youngsters.

Every year more and more children go online. Most parents are perfectly aware that there are sites that contain pornography, show images of violence, promote drug-taking, and show other undesirable content. However, not every parent can imagine which particular categories of such undesirable sites children tend to visit most, or how often. So Kaspersky Lab decided to find out by analysing the Internet search patterns of young users.

Ten categories of undesirable website content were chosen for the investigation, as follows: pornography and erotica, illegal software, narcotics, cruelty and violence, strong language, weapons, gambling, anonymous proxy servers, payment systems, and online games.

The Forbidden 10:

Parents traditionally deem three categories of undesirable content especially undesirable for their children. These are: pornography and erotica, cruelty and violence, and narcotics. With regard to these three, the investigation returned the following findings:

Illegal software is especially popular in China, and so in this country this category is far in front from the rest (69.4%, against the 24% of the nearest ‚Äòcompetitor’ – Spain, and the 10.6% of Japan). Extra danger posed by sites in this category lies in the fact that on sites offering illegal software, malware is very often distributed too.

Indicators of other categories:

Commenting on the findings, Anna Larkina, Senior Web Content Analyst at Kaspersky Lab, said: “Besides unwanted content, the Internet brings with it other dangers no less damaging for children, for example cyber-bullying or cyber-trolling. Aggressors can exploit all possible channels of online interaction – including social networks, forums, chats and messengers – which when used together can cause victims untold mental suffering. Technically, the fight against cyber-trolling is not so simple, so Parental Control is not so effective against it. As a rule children are not able to cope with aggressors on their own: therefore, parents have an important role to play in the protection of children from cyber-bullying. Ideally, parents need to pay attention to their children’s Internet activity.

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