The Internet is a dangerous place for Children, almost every teenager is always online through desktop PC and mobile device, resulting exposed to dangerous threats. The dangers are not negligible for children that could have easy access to inappropriate content. The experts at Kaspersky have conducted an interesting investigation of potential online threats to children by analyzing data from more than a million Kaspersky Lab customers.
The first disconcerting data is that each customer had encountered dangerous content at least once in the last year, adult content accounted for 59.5% of customers followed by gambling and weapons websites respectively at 26.66% and 20,29%.
“Among the changes that took place in 2014, it is worth noting an increase in the percentage of users who visited various chat sites – up 18.16 percentage points. At the same time, the proportions of users encountering other types of dangerous sites declined.” states the report published by Kaspersky.
Another interesting discovery made by the researchers is that the threats for children changes significantly from country to country.
Principal exposure to the threats for children is caused by frequenting Chat services (67,29%), this data is alarming if we consider the diffusion of such services for different platforms used by Children, including mobile and social networks.
“However, the data does confirm the popularity of chat; and the greater the popularity of chat services in any given country, the greater the probability that children might occasionally or even intentionally enter into an unsafe chat environment. So, if nothing else, evidence of frequent encounters with chat services could be a sign for parents to pay more attention to the nature of these services and the likelihood of their child being drawn in.” states the report from Kaspersky.
The list of inappropriate content also includes websites proposing an obscene Language, violence scenes and images and Alcohol and Drugs.
The experts analyzed data provided by the Kaspersky Lab protection solutions, the frequency of detections of inappropriate content online was higher for users from China, USA, Germany, the UK and Russia.
“China, the USA, Germany, the UK and Russia lead the list of countries with the greatest frequency of Parental Control detections in 2014. In the previous year the situation was more or less the same, with the exception of China, which jumped from fourth place in 2013 to first place in 2014.” continues the report.
As anticipated threats for children appear very differed from country to country, for instance, adult content was the biggest threat to users in Germany (with 172 detections per user), followed by China (144.18 detections per user), and the US (126.16 detections). The situation is different for Russian users that were threatened by a content about alcohol, tobacco and drugs
Parents need to pay special attention to protecting their children online threats, to this it is crucial to understand the menace, for this reason I consider this research exceptional and I recommend it to adults. Choose protection solutions with Parental Control technologies and make full use of safe “children” modes in search engines and applications that allow access to multimedia content and which are used by children.
Be sure to use Parental Control technologies to mitigate threat for children and ‘make full use of safe “children” modes in search engines and applications that allow access to multimedia content and which are used by children.’
The limit of Parental Control technologies resides in the fact that they fail to protect our son from cyber threats for children when they access web services like chats and social networks. Predators or cyber bullies represent serious threats for children online.
We must consider seriously the possible consequences of the exposure to cyber threats for children, parents must be a point of reference in real life and in the digital one, we cannot leave them alone.
The “Children online” study is a report that you must read!
(Security Affairs – Children online, threats for children )