SA kids' online activity during lockdown is up by 200%, here's what they've been searching for

(Image: Pollyana Ventura/Getty Images)
(Image: Pollyana Ventura/Getty Images)

South African children have become more active online as the national lockdown progresses say global cybersecurity company, Kaspersky. 

Taking data from its parental control app, Kaspersky Safe Kids,  the company compared activity from January to March 2020, finding the overall number of website visits grew by 200%. 

With similar numbers recorded worldwide, Kaspersky Head of Child Safety, Andrey Sidenko assures parents there is no need to panic, sharing that "the vast majority of children are most interested in socialising online and watching videos and listening to music, rather than in potentially unwanted content or disturbing news." 

So, what exactly are they searching for online? 

When talking online trends among SA's young internet users,  Sidenko says that much like their parents, kids' activity online has shown a more substantial interest in news and video content. 

The biggest trend

At the end of March 2020, the most definite trend was an increase in the role of music in video content consumption. The share of children that actively use the internet to look for audio, video and software increased by 15%. 

More interest in the news 

Along with the spike in audio and video content, news resources is another trend on the rise among kids' online activity. 

According to Kaspersky, children's interest in news resources accounted for around 3% of all website hits. 

Less interest in online shopping and video games 

A surprising finding is that children seem to be less interested in e-commerce websites and video games. 

From January to March, Kaspersky Safe Kids data shows that the number of kids visiting online shopping websites decreased by 4%. Dropping by a massive 10%, video game websites have seen the most negative impact. 

Tips for parents 

Along with considering a reliable security software solution, Sidenko offers the following tips to parents on protecting their children from various online threats. 

  • Try to persuade your child not to use social media during school lessons or at night.
  • Try not to limit your child's social circle but tell them to take care when choosing friends and acquaintances.
  • Discuss with your child how much time they can spend on social media. 
  • Take this time during lockdown as an opportunity to do these things together and bond, rather than worry.

How do you manage your kids' online activity during lockdown? 

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