7% of online content reached by kids is about drugs, report says

2016-06-01 10:15

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Pietermaritzburg - A recent report has revealed that seven percent of online content accessed by children was websites containing information about drugs.

International software security company Kaspersky Lab’s latest report showed that while communication tools and social networks were still the primary usage of the web by children globally, children accessing other content online was still a concern.

“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 children are becoming more self-reliant online: they choose what music to listen to, movies and cartoons to watch, and what software to install,” said Anna Larkina, senior web content analyst at Kaspersky Lab.

In South Africa, the figures showed that 56% of search results and online content were for social networks, 18% for e-mailing and chats, nine percent for gaming, and seven percent for websites containing information about alcohol, narcotics and tobacco.

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 14 preset categories that include adult content; ­alcohol, tobacco, narcotics; explicit ­language; gambling and lotteries among others. The statistics show that during the reporting period, children cut back on visits to communications 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.

“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 believe that to prevent encounters with harmful content, parents need to combine a 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.” — WR.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  online  |  children

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