KASPERSKY HIGHLIGHTS WAYS THAT KIDS CAN STAY SAFE WHILE ONLINE DURING THE LOCKDOWN

Kaspersky’s latest research shows that during January and February 2020, the top 3 activities children in South Africa participated in or searched for online included software/audio/video (at 40.95%), computer games (at 18.76%) and social networks (at 18.14%). The local region research also showed that child online activities linked to what would be classified as inappropriate content for children, including adult content, weapons/explosives/pyrotechnical tools and alcohol/tobacco/drugs for example, was low in respect to search history and online activities at 0.16%, 0.20% and 0.05% respectively.

Says Alaina Huysamen, Marketing Manager at Kaspersky in Africa; “It was very encouraging to see the low figures with regards to inappropriate content surfing and activities in general by South African children, however the top 3 activities identified by our research must aim to help parents and guardians understand their children’s preferences, and act accordingly from a security perspective, as these can still pose great dangers to children.”

Cyberbullying can take place on social networks, or children could be exposed to harmful videos or audio that is not appropriate for their age. Some computer games can also be harmful, and children can expose themselves to cybercriminals or predators seeking to do harm.

Adds Huysamen; “Kaspersky urges parents and guardians to pay attention to their children’s online habits – and we share some top tips to support this – especially as South African schools have closed for an extended holiday period and the use of mobile gadgets will substantially increase.”

These serve to assist and guide parents and guardians in protecting their children and mitigate their potential online exposure:

  • Have open and honest discussions with children about the online world and the dangers they can be exposed to. Reiterate that these steps are taken to protect them
  • Teach/remind children how to appropriately use and engage on social media networks – talking through what pictures can and should not be shared, what information should never be shared (like home and school addresses) and to only connect with people/friends they know. The same real world ‘stranger-danger’ principle applies in the online world
  • Make use of parental control features that allows you to:
    • Limit the websites your children can have access to
    • Manage access to games and apps that may be inappropriate
    • Manage their screen time by device
    • Reports on their public Facebook activity, including their posts and newly added friends

Kaspersky offers Kaspersky Safe Kids in this regard.

Concludes Huysamen; “The Internet is full of education, information and fun, but it can be a dangerous space if children are left to navigate the digital world on their own. In a world full of uncertainty, the one thing we can and must be certain of, is the safety of our children in the digital world.”

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