Do you know where your child is on the Internet?

2014-01-25 00:00

CHILDREN love the Internet — but sometimes that can come at a price. And often it’s Mom and Dad who end up footing the bill for their kids’ online blunders. Almost one in five parents has lost either money or important personal data due to their child’s unmonitored computer use, according to a 2013 survey carried out by B2B International and Kaspersky Lab.

What exactly are your children up to? The question is more pressing than ever in this age of widespread Internet access via computers, smartphones and tablets. Online there are no borders or boundaries: if you can use a computer you can reach all kinds of sites — and children are often at least as tech-savvy as their parents. However, not everything online is suitable for youngsters, and while the Internet is a valuable tool, it is also home to some alarming threats.

The recent B2B/Kaspersky Lab survey found that globally about 27% of parents feared their children had been at risk on the Internet at least once over the past 12 months. About 11% of that survey reported that children had faced inappropriate content and seven percent of respondents had evidence that their offspring had contacts with strangers.

About 10% of respondents reported that their children had accidentally removed important data from their PCs and five percent of children had inadvertently shared this data with others. Similar numbers admitted they had been stung by an unexpected bill for online purchases after children got access to their parents’ accounts in App stores. In total, 18% of families reported financial costs or lost data due to their children.

Parents are usually busy at work or at home, so they can hardly keep track of everything that their child is doing on the Internet. However, any parent can delegate this task to reliable technology that will protect the child against all Internet threats.

Experts strongly advise that parents monitor their children’s Internet usage.

There are a range of applications available to protect young children from accessing explicit information or content on the Internet.

Parental Control, incorporated in Kaspersky Internet Security for Windows and Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac, includes the necessary technologies.

Kaspersky Internet Security and Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac are also available as part of Kaspersky Internet Security — Multi-Device, a comprehensive security solution developed to protect devices working on different operating systems — Windows, OS X and Android.

Alternatively, a Google search for parental controls will yield results of various applications, some of which are free. The same can be done for Android, iOS and other operating systems.

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