September 29, 2011 | Press Releases

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

ESET offers Top Ten Tips to Boost Children’s Online Safety

BRATISLAVA - Summer is for children the time for play, enjoying the holidays ... as well as spending time at home in front of the computer playing games, web surfing and chatting with friends. It also comes as natural that pre-occupied parents can hardly watch over every cyber-step their kids and teens are taking online. Even though we encourage parents to discuss the potential dangers on the Internet with their children, and to help ESET has prepared some tips on how to keep kids safer in cyberspace.

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 –  carried out by InSites Consulting (April - May 2011), and analysis made by United Consultants – more than half of internet users (53.7 percent) regard “exposure of children to inappropriate content” as at least “quite a big threat”:  25.9 percent regarded it as “the biggest threat”, 14.6 percent as a “very big threat” and 13.2 percent as “quite a big threat”.*

“There are few simple safety rules parents and kids should keep in mind. To steer away from dangers while children 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 tool updated
•    Monitor browsing records: If you find it was deleted, it is a sign you should have a conversation with your children.
•    Keep an Eye on the Web Camera: Make sure it is not connected while not in use.
•    Check your kids’ social networks configuration: A Facebook wall that is shared in a public way, with no restrictions, may pose a risk to children’s security.

In addition, ESET’s global network of researchers offers these five suggestions:

•    Use parental control tools: These may be used to parents’ advantage - both in browsers and in antivirus software. The Release Candidate version of ESET Smart Security 5 offers a useful "Parental Control" feature, which allows to blocks websites that may contain potentially offensive material. In addition, parents can prohibit access to up to 20 pre-defined website categories. The latest, fifth generation of ESET’s flagship product offers this ever-so important layer of security (Release Candidate version of the product is available for free download). Please note that ESET Smart Security 5 is currently in the Release Candidate phase of testing and may not contain all the functionality envisioned in the product’s final version slated for release mid September.
•    Do not send confidential information over the Internet: Your information will never be requested by e-mail or chat. What’s more, banks never request your account data and your PIN. It is critically important to instill this habit in your children.  
•    Do not reply to harassment messages: In case your children receive harassment messages on the Internet, teach them not to take reprisals. In general, the offender wants this kind of reaction from kids as it increases further their desire to harm them. This kind of situations should be diffused by parents, and if they recur, inform law enforcement authorities.  
•    Not everything online is true: Children should be told that not all the information published on the Internet comes from a reliable source. Nowadays, it is rather easy to get opinions published on the Internet. That is why users should be very careful when relying on the information online.
•    Open Communication: Communicating openly with your children is vital for their security. It is a much better policy to encourage them to share their fears and interests than to repress these with punishment. An open family environment and communication, both on the Internet and face-to-face are important ingredients of increasing children’s safety in cyberspace.

About ESET
Founded in 1992, ESET is a global provider of security solutions for businesses and consumers. The Company pioneered, and continues to lead, the industry in proactive threat detection. ESET NOD32 Antivirus holds the world record for the number of Virus Bulletin "VB100” Awards, and has never missed a single “In-the-Wild” worm or virus since the inception of testing in 1998. ESET NOD32 Antivirus, ESET Smart Security and ESET Cybersecurity for Mac are trusted by millions of global users and are among the most recommended security solutions in the world.
The Company has global headquarters in Bratislava (Slovakia), with regional distribution centers in San Diego (U.S.), Buenos Aires (Argentina), and Singapore. ESET has malware research centers in Bratislava, San Diego, Buenos Aires, Prague (Czech Republic), Krakow (Poland), Montreal (Canada), Moscow (Russia), and an extensive partner network for 180 countries.



* 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.