Woburn, MA – April 27, 2016 –
Children today are spending an increased amount of time online, according to the second part of the global study carried out by Kaspersky Lab*. "Growing Up Online: Connected Kids," shows that 44 percent of children admit to being online constantly and more than half said they cannot do without a smartphone in their lives.
According to the study, children are keeping their devices with them continuously through the day and night. Four-in-ten are reluctant to put their smartphone down during mealtimes and 53 percent continue to use devices in social meetings with family or friends. Also, 43 percent of parents admitted that their kids take their mobile phones to bed with them, which increases to 64 percent of those aged 14 to 16.
When constantly on their devices, children surveyed said they are mainly using social media and messaging apps, playing online games or watching movies. Surprisingly, 65 percent of kids in the U.S. – compared to 31 percent globally– have made a financial transaction on the Internet and would like to do so again. Many also prefer using the Internet to obtain information over any other source and trust the information they get from the Internet almost as much as they trust information from friends and family.
With these harmless activities also comes the potential for risky behavior. When online, one in three children lie about their age, 40 percent disclose sensitive information, 14 percent share where they live and 11 percent share what their parents earn. These types of activities leave the potential for cybercriminals to build a profile of that child.
"As parents we assume to know how attached our children are to their devices, but this study shows how much they are truly connected," says Michael Canavan, vice president at Kaspersky Lab North America. "Learning from studies like this, we as parents need to cultivate open and honest relationships with our kids about acceptable device use, Internet best practices and online dangers they may not be able to recognize. We also need to teach them what is right and wrong, just like our parents did, but with the added responsibility of including a virtual element that our parents never had to deal with."
Janice Richardson, Senior Advisor at European Schoolnet adds: "The Internet is shaping the behavior of children and young people in wide-ranging aspects of their lives. It is the shared role of the family, school and the community in general, to help them use online tools and platforms responsibly and maintain a healthy life balance. It is important that online technology becomes an integral part of a child’s learning activities, whether at home or at school. More needs to be done to bring school education into line with the reality of today's world, and to stop undermining the very important role that parents play in educating their children, despite not always being able to match their technical skills."
Solutions like Kaspersky Safe Kids provide parents with parental control capabilities for their family devices. With features like monitoring online activity and regulating the amount of time a computer or mobile device is used, parents can better protect their children when online.
For more information about 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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About iconKids & Youth
iconKids & Youth is one of Europe’s leading child & youth research agencies. Founded in 1996, its team of experienced researchers conducts about 150 studies each year and keeps up a constant and intensive dialogue with young people under 30 and related reference groups like parents. Digital media and their effects on children and adolescents have always been a high priority in the work of iconKids & Youth. Learn more at http://www.iconkids.com.
About European Schoolnet
European Schoolnet (EUN) is the network of 30 European Ministries of Education based in Brussels. As a not-for-profit organisation, it aims to bring innovation in teaching and learning to key stakeholders: Ministries of Education, schools, teachers, researchers, and industry partners. To fulfill its goals, EUN develops, coordinates and implements a broad range of projects and services including the promotion of digital citizenship skills and broader take up of science education in schools, aiming to attract children towards science, technology, engineering and math. Learn more at http://www.europeanschoolnet.org.
* 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.