April 6, 2016

Kaspersky Lab Study Finds Half of Children Hide Risky Online Behavior from Parents

Kaspersky Lab Study Finds Half of Children Hide Risky Online Behavior from Parents

Woburn, MA – April 6, 2016Kaspersky Lab today published, "Growing Up Online: What Kids Conceal," the first part of its global studyi into the behaviors of children online and how constant connectivity impacts the way that they communicate and leverage technology in their daily lives. The study found that almost half of children (44%) conceal potentially dangerous aspects of their online life from their parents, a percentage that rises to 57 percent in the United States. In addition, while these children are hiding their online activities, 70 percent of parents are unaware that their children even have a reason to do so.

Connected devices and the Internet have become an embedded part of life for young people, with 51 percent of American children admitting to being online almost constantly. Many of these connected children are not telling their parents what websites they’re visiting, games they’re playing or content they’re downloading.

They are not only keeping quiet about online behavior, but also about their efforts to bypass parental monitoring. For example, many use passwords on their devices that their parents do not know, they go online when adults are away or they consistently delete their browser history. In addition, one in five (22%) children uses anonymizer tools, and one in seven (14%) uses special programs that hide the apps they use.

Despite two-third of parents being unaware that their kids might be hiding something from them, children are open to the opportunity to talk about safety and dangers online. Seventy-five percent of young people surveyed say they would welcome more conversation with their parents about the dangers they might encounter online. Additionally, they indicated they would feel safer if their parents provided guidance on the apps and websites that were OK to use and restricted access to those that weren’t.

"Parent education plays a major role in protecting children online. If children think their parents are able to calmly discuss the issues they encounter, they are much more likely to confide in them. Recent researchii from the European Commission shows that it is often children themselves who ask for parental controls to protect their younger siblings", states Janice Richardson, Senior Advisor at European Schoolnet.

"Kids today are always connected and because their activities are often shielded from parents, it can make a parent feel powerless to understand what’s happening while kids are online," said Brett Schetzsle, consumer security specialist, Kaspersky Lab. "There are steps parents can take to develop an interactive relationship with their child to determine what is appropriate for their digital lives, such as using parental controls. By incorporating these tools with other practical measures, such as keeping computers in family areas, limiting kids screen time and talking to children about what cyber threats actually are, we can help keep children safe online."

Parents looking for technological assistance can use a comprehensive security solution with parental control capabilities. Solutions like Kaspersky Safe Kids provides features to monitor online activity, block inappropriate websites, and regulate the amount of time a computer or mobile device is used.

For more useful advice on protecting children on the Internet, visit kids.kaspersky.com.

About Kaspersky Lab

Kaspersky Lab is a global cybersecurity company founded in 1997. Kaspersky Lab’s deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly transforming into security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe. The company’s comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint protection and a number of specialized security solutions and services to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats. Over 400 million users are protected by Kaspersky Lab technologies and we help 270,000 corporate clients protect what matters most to them.

Learn more at www.kaspersky.com

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Sarah Kitsos

i This research was undertaken by iconKids & Youth, surveying online 3,780 families with children aged 8-16 (one parent and one child per family) in the following countries: USA, France, UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, and Russia.

ii Chaudron S., Young Children (0-8) and digital technology: A qualitative exploratory study across seven countries, http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC93239

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