August 15, 2011 | San Deigo, CA | Press Releases

ESET Survey: Online Users See Dangers in Kids’ Internet Activities

For children, summer is a time for play, enjoying holidays and spending time at home in front of the computer playing games, web surfing and chatting with friends. Naturally, preoccupied parents can hardly watch over every cyber-step their child takes online. ESET encourages parents to discuss the potential dangers on the Internet with their child and to help has prepared some tips on how to help keep them safe while online.

Internet users worldwide are aware of the potential dangers facing children online, according to the findings of the Online Security Brand Tracker*, a global research project commissioned by ESET and carried out by InSites Consulting (April - May 2011) with analysis from United Consultants. The research found that more than half of internet users (53.7 percent) regard exposure of children to inappropriate content as at least 'quite a big threat.'

“There are few simple safety rules parents and kids should keep in mind to steer children away from dangers while they are surfing the web,” says Sebastian Bortnik, Awareness and Research Coordinator at ESET center in Buenos Aires.

Five tips for parents:

·         Assign your child a username: Children should have their own account on a PC, including username. It is the only efficient way to control his/her activities on the Internet. Also, make sure that the system administrator is always an adult.

·         Keep your antivirus software and parental control tools updated.

·         Monitor browsing records: If you find these records were deleted, it is a sign that you should have a conversation with your children.

·         Keep an eye on your web camera: Make sure it is disconnected while not in use.

·         Check your kids' social network configurations: A Facebook wall that is shared in a public way, with no restrictions, may pose a risk to a child's security.

In addition, ESET's global network of researchers offer these five suggestions:

·         Use parental control tools: These may be used to parents' advantage - both in browsers and in antivirus software. ESET Smart Security 5, slated for release in mid-September, offers a useful parental control feature, which allows users to block websites that may contain potentially offensive material. In addition, parents can prohibit access to up to 20 pre-defined website categories. Beta version of the product is currently available for free download.

·         Do not send confidential information over the Internet: A legiamate vendor will never be request your information by email or chat. What's more, banks never request your account data and/or your PIN via email. It is critically important to instill this knowledge in your children.

·         Do not reply to harassing messages: If your child receives harassing messages on the Internet, teach them not to respond. In general, the offender wants this kind of reaction from kids. This kind of situation should be diffused by parents, and if it recurs, inform law enforcement authorities.

·         Not everything online is true: Children should be told that not all the information on the Internet comes from a reliable source. It is easy to get opinions published on the Internet, regardless of factual basis. As a result, users should be very careful when relying on the information they find online.

·         Open communication: Communicating openly with your child is vital to their online safety. Open lines of communication, both on the Internet and face-to-face, are important ingredients for increasing a child's safety in cyberspace.

About ESET
ESET is on the forefront of security innovation, delivering trusted protection to make the Internet safer for businesses and consumers. IDC has recognized ESET as a top five corporate anti-malware vendor and one of the fastest growing companies in its category. Trusted by millions of users worldwide, ESET is one of the most recommended security solutions in the world. ESET NOD32 Antivirus consistently achieves the highest accolades in all types of comparative testing, and powers the virus and spyware detection in ESET Smart Security and ESET Cybersecurity for Mac. Sold in more than 180 countries, ESET's global headquarters is in Bratislava, Slovakia, with distribution headquarters for North America located in San Diego, California. ESET also has offices in Buenos Aires, Prague, Krakow and Singapore and is represented by an extensive global partner network. For more information, visit http://www.eset.com/ or call +1 (619) 876-5400.

*Note: Online Security Brand Tracker wave 5 is a global research project measuring brand performance of leading security software products in the home segment. The survey is representative of 1.6 billion internet users across six continents. Its objective is to gain knowledge of current situation and trends on key markets; obtain market information and interpretations to manage sales and marketing activities of ESET, as well as technological development of its products. The number of selected countries was 49; field work was carried out by InSites Consulting (Belgium) on online panels of respondents, with analysis conducted by United Consultants (Slovakia) throughout April – May 2011.