New research from ESET has revealed that parents are feeling increasingly concerned about the inappropriate content their children are seeing on the internet, with 40 percent admitting they worried about kids visiting terrorist sites and 60 percent worried about pornography sites and 47 percent worried about their children visiting gambling sites.
The survey studied the attitudes of 441 UK parents and also revealed 79 percent of parents would choose to block their child from using social media websites while doing their homework, highlighting just how hooked children are to modern technology. Other findings revealed that despite concern about the sites their children are visiting, 70 percent of parents still trust their child to use the internet responsibly. However 30 percent of parents admitted that they have no idea what time their child logs off the web at night.
Commenting on the findings from the study, Mark James, security specialist at ESET, said: “I find these figures quite astounding and it shows how scary a place the internet has the potential to be. One of the best ways to minimise the risk of children visiting seeing illicit content online is to monitor internet usage and teach kids about internet safety. One of the biggest problems is that parents treat their child’s internet usage like watching television – they do not expect them to see inappropriate content, however the harsh reality is that kids are curious and want to explore the internet, even when they know it’s wrong.”
When parents were asked if their child had ever received any internet safety training; 41 percent had received training at home; 35 percent had received training at school; 18 percent revealed they did not know whether their child had received training, while 7 percent said their child had received no training whatsoever. Parents were also asked if they felt the training their child had received was adequate and 62 percent of parents said yes, 4 percent said no, and 34 percent were unsure.
“Parents should be proactively encouraging their children to do internet safety courses so they are aware of how to use the internet responsibly. The training will teach children about threats on the internet and how cybercriminals lure their victims. While it has always been strongly advised that children should be supervised when using the internet, this advice is rarely taken. Parents do not view the internet as a place that could cause any immediate danger to their child as the places they visit on the internet is done in the comfort of their own home. This is not a good attitude to take and the internet should be treated with caution as there are a number of online threats which could also have a physical impact on their child,” continued James.