28% OF PARENTS WORRY ABOUT HARMFUL ONLINE CONTENT, PROVING THE IMPORTANCE OF RELIABLE PARENTAL CONTROL
According to Kaspersky’s Family Report, more than a quarter (28%) of parents globally with a child aged between 7 and 12 consider harmful (violent or sexual) content as the most important risk facing their children while they are online. Harmful content can be found everywhere on the internet, even in-app advertising, where the producer of such materials can profit from applications. Kaspersky Safe Kids for Windows recently received the 2019 AV-Comparatives Approved Parental Control Award and helps keep children shielded from inappropriate content.
Not everything on the internet is suitable for younger audiences, and the amount of harmful content online is increasing rapidly. To minimise the risks of their kids stumbling on inappropriate content, more than a quarter of parents (28%) try to regulate the time children spend online. Nearly half (47%) feel that they need to control or oversee their kids’ online browsing and internet usage.
Children may access such content by accident, and parental control software can minimise the risks of encountering harmful content while online.
However, it is also the case that each parental control solution performs differently and it is not an easy task for parents to choose the right one for them. To find the best tool to protect kids using the internet, every year AV-Comparatives carries out certification tests for various parental control software vendors. To be certified, an analysed product must block at least 98% of pornographic websites, have no more than a few false alarms on child-friendly websites, and have no severe unresolved bugs (or design flaws) discovered during the review.
As the recent test results show, Kaspersky is the only vendor among six participants to receive certification from AV-Comparatives.
Kaspersky Safe Kids has gained a competitive advantage over other participating vendors due to its improved content filtering technology. The technology combines several approaches that enable a high level of recognition of inappropriate content: it includes both heuristic approaches and machine learning (ML). Heuristic approaches are used when it is necessary to analyse the HTML code of a website (tables, headings, paragraphs, etc.). While with the help of machine learning, the filtering technology is enriched by the most precise heuristics.
“Over the last few years, we have added several new languages, including Arabian, to our filtering component. We have also worked on identifying specific content, which is sometimes difficult to recognise within each of the categories presented in the product. We try to catch new trends around inappropriate content on a daily basis in order to make our product better. By doing so, we are helping parents to properly educate their children and ensure they are not harmed as they grow up. All of these improvements are aimed at enhancing the safety of children while they surf the internet,” comments Konstantin Ignatiev, Head of Content Analysis & Research, at Kaspersky.
Choosing the right parental control app for parents isn’t a simple task, and it’s even more difficult to explain to children why such software is necessary. Kaspersky recommends taking the following steps:
- Ensure that any parental control software you choose to install is developed by a reputable company, so that you are comfortable your child will remain safe online.
- Check if the parental control software has an option to remotely configure the application. This provides the ability to adjust the settings depending on your preferences.
- Check that the app has various options to control your kid’s activities online – such as blocking, warning, or simply collecting data. This way you will be able to find the right option that works best for you and your children.
- Check the variety of features that the parental control software can offer. For example, it’s good practice to protect your kids not only online, but also in the real world. This can be done by tracking their location via GPS, and also setting the area and time when your child should be at a certain place (for instance, school, extracurricular activities, etc.).
- Before installing parental control software on a child’s device, don’t hide the fact that you will be able to see information about their activities. Try to reach a mutual agreement for installing this software on your child’s device.