|Parents urged to be vigilant in protecting kids against cyberbullying|
Your kid is beside you with his device but do you know where your child is in the World Wide Web? It's about time you become aware of your child's whereabouts in the digital world. A recent Kaspersky Lab study called ‘Children Online’ revealed that more than two-thirds of Parental Control technology users encountered inappropriate or dangerous content online.
The study showed that 68% of parent Internet users, who use Kaspersky Lab’s filtering technology, faced prevalent threats to children such as adult content, gambling and sites carrying information about weapons.
Results also said that more than half or 59.5% of users encountered pornography while over a quarter or 26.6% landed on websites dedicated to gambling. Every fifth user stumbled across sites featuring weapons and almost the same number were confronted by strong language.
Websites carrying inappropriate content like pornography, gambling, weapons, strong language, along with others featuring drugs, tobacco and alcohol, were the ones blocked most often by Kaspersky Lab protection solutions.
Amid the increasing online threats and harmful contents present in the Internet, Kaspersky Lab encouraged parents and adults to use Parental Control programs that monitor and regulate children’s access to search engines and applications with possible dangerous content.
On the other hand, it is now harder for parents to monitor their children’s online activities and protect them against existing cyberthreats as children today are often far more active Internet users than adults.
Parental Control technologies can block access to sites with dangerous content but it does not guarantee full protection especially in web services like social networking sites where chats and dialogues are used as platform for the most well-known cyber menace, cyberbullying.
“Because of children’s active online presence, they are now more prone to encounters with the dangerous sides of the Internet. We encourage and urge parents to be vigilant and be active in their children’s digital lives. That is the only way to be sure that their young will not fall as victims of harmful online activities especially cyberbullying,” said Jimmy Fong, Kaspersky Lab’s Channel Sales Director for Southeast Asia.
Among the existing cyberthreats, cyberbullying is one of the unpleasant effects of hyper-socialization that the Internet as a whole – and social networks in particular – bring us.
Cyber bullying is a form of online communication with the intent to abuse or degrade someone, specifically kids. Nearly half of children have been bullied online, every 1 in 4 has had it happen more than once.
“The Internet brings a great many benefits, but unfortunately it also allows certain people to unleash their destructive human traits, and cyberbullying has become a widespread problem today. For its victims, the psychological damage can be massive and long-lasting,” said Eugene Kaspersky, founder and CEO of the security firm.
“There’s probably no purely technological answer, but we must talk about it to raise awareness of this issue and help young people and their parents safely make the most of the good things the Internet has to offer,” he added.
According to an AGB Nielsen 2011 report1, almost two thirds or 65% of Filipino Internet users were aged 15 to 19. With the Philippines’ ‘young’ Internet population, it is important for the modern-day parents to know how to protect their kids against cyberbullying.
So what should adults do to protect their kids from psychological traumas due to cyberbullying? Kaspersky Lab has some advice:
- First, be patient, it will take time. Like every serious issue, problems with cyberbullying can’t be solved in a couple of minutes.
- Don’t wait when you child come to you and tell about problem. Maybe it won’t happen at all. You should be the one who starts this conversation.
- Of course, each person has a right to privacy. But this is not a reason to neglect your child’s online activity. Learn what your kids do in social networks. For a start, add them to your friends list in every social network in which you both have accounts. As few as 20% of parents do this — let’s make this figure better.
- Talk to your children about cyberbullying, tell them they should come to you if/when they face this problem. Explain that cyberbullying is a commonly encountered problem. It could help your kid realize there’s nothing wrong with him personally.
- Never use prohibition. Taking away a kid’s phone or disconnecting his devices from the Internet won’t help. Actually, such prohibitions are what your child is afraid of and why they wouldn’t tell you about cyberbullying to begin with.
- Talk to your kid about basic online security and privacy. Show him how to change privacy settings in social networks to prevent strangers from seeing his private data.
- To protect your child as efficiently as possible, use parental control applications. For instance, Kaspersky Lab has recently developed new app called Kaspersky Safe Kids. You can download this app for Windows, Mac, iOS or Android. It is currently available free of charge.