Parents failing children in online security

A recent study on the use of the internet has revealed that parents are not doing enough to protect their children online, ultimately putting their security at greater risk. Only four in ten parents said they took active steps to monitor their children’s online activity; one in four use parental controls on search engines; and only 13% have specific software installed on their PC to ensure their children are using the internet correctly.

These statistics are the worrying results of a recent Ipsos MORI survey of 313 parents with children aged 16 or under commissioned by BitDefender, an award winning provider of innovative internet security solutions. The findings are even more alarming when put into a wider context; they follow BitDefender’s recent revelation that during the first six months of 2010 the UK was one of the top five countries in the world harbouring ‘malware’, the term used to describe software that is designed to do harm.

“More and more children have access to internet content as a combined result of more households getting an internet connection, the increasing availability of lower priced devices such as laptops designed purely for browsing and the explosion of social networking platforms,” said Nick Billington, Managing Director of BitDefender UK & Ireland. “In spite of this, our survey clearly shows that too few parents are adequately protecting their children from the very real threat of pernicious content and cybercrime.”

Key survey findings:

  • Four in ten parents take active steps to monitor their children’s online activity
  • One in four parents put parental controls on search engines
  • 13% of parents have specific software installed on their PC to ensure their children are using the internet correctly.

Billington continued, “Children are regular users of email, instant messaging, social networking and online games meaning they are open to all kinds of cyber threats. The statistic that just 13% of parents have some specific software installed on their computer to prevent any fraud or violation is very worrying. We advise that all parents ensure their child’s computer and the family PC have a strong internet security solution in place, preferably with parental controls, in order to combat the wide variety of online threats.”

BitDefender’s Total Security 2011 software includes a unique Parental Control feature that enables parents to monitor and control even when they are away from home.

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