Kaspersky Lab and B2B International have revealed results from new research that shows that South African kids might be addicted to the Internet. According to the research, 30% of South African parents feel they can’t control or even protect their children’s online behaviour and 60% believe that kids have unrestricted freedom to access any content they want. 38% feared that their kids are becoming addicted to the Internet.

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David Emm, Principal Security Researcher at Kaspersky Lab explains that:

Being protective is a parental instinct, but the online landscape is changing the rules. Our survey reveals that many parents fear that the number of threats facing their kids online is increasing, with so much unregulated content available.

Top fears faced by South African parents include children being exposed to explicit and inappropriate online content (45%), while 41% fear that their children will communicate with dangerous strangers. The research found that 35% of the participating parents were concerned about cyberbullying and 25% are scared their children will incur unexpected costs through in-app purchases. It seems parents are concerned over children’s clumsiness with 37% of South African parents fearing that their kids won’t identify malware and 27% concerned that their children will accidentally delete data. Unfortunately parents aren’t being proactive enough, with only 1 in every 5 people taking steps to protect their children online and only 42% educating their kids about online safety.

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And to add insult to injury, 29% of the participants have similar fears for their parents and grandparents. In fact, 13% of the participants felt that their parents and grandparents were at an even greater risk than their kids. Top concerns for older Internet users:

  • Malware – 52%
  • Fake websites – 50%;
  • Losing money – 45%;
  • Scams – 38%;
  • Spied on – 37%;
  • Dangerous strangers – 25%; and
  • Explicit content – 20%.

Emm explains the importance of having software and support for online threats:

With a significant number of adults also worrying about the threats facing inexperienced older relatives online, particularly in the form of scams and malware, it is important that these parents under pressure have the software and support they need to keep their loved ones secure.

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