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Digital Parenting: Children’s consumption of dangerous internet contents exposed!

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The lockdown and stay-at-home lifestyle induced by Coronavirus pandemic has exposed most parents in Nigeria to the danger of contents consumed by their children and wards on the internet.

This is according to a survey just carried out by Kaspersky, which revealed that 25 per cent of Nigerian parents claim they have come across something in their child’s social media account that seemed suspicious and dangerous.

“Elaborating on what it exactly was, they mention groups or public pages they join (56%), posts that they publish or share (50%), people they interact with (31%), video on their page (31%) and private messages (19%),” the survey revealed.

In addition to this, it was found that 34 per cent state their child has seen or listened to something that seemed suspicious to them, be that videos, music or photo which child which.

Note that the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has forced families to spend their free time mostly at home.

So far, staying at home has also translated to spending much time using different Internet connected devices, and for clear reasons, children’s growing online activity can cause lots of worries to their parents.

According to the report, “34 per cent of the parent state their child has seen or listened to something that seemed suspicious to them, be that videos (68 per cent), music (43 per cent) or photos (25 per cent).

Obviously, this data shows the need to explore the interests of children, to make sure everything is okay or if it is necessary to take action.

However, not all the parents realise these looming dangers of having their children corrupted online as only 19 per cent of the guarding angels befriend their children via social networks in order to be connected with their kids.

“Sometimes real communication is not enough and the parents have to look carefully at their children’s webpages.

“It gets harder and harder for parents to keep up with the pace of the modern evolving world. They are often left out of the picture as they simply do not catch up with trends that emerge way too fast.

However, it is possible to stop this backlog by communicating with your child and ensuring your presence on the Internet – to build trust and a good relationship with your child you have to know what you are talking about with them,” states Maher Yamout, Senior Security Researcher at Kaspersky.

In order to eliminate groundless suspicions about your child’s digital life and to secure their presence on social media, Kaspersky strongly recommends that parents learn more on the topic of children’s cybersecurity.

It said the parents should explore modern trends, apps and the way of behaviour that has to be adopted in order to safeguard against dangers.

“Communicate with your child and define the boundaries which are not meant to be crossed: discuss with them safe locations both real and webpages and install a reliable security solution such as Kaspersky Safe Kids (www.Kaspersky.co.za/safe-kids) to monitor your child’s activity successfully,” it further recommended.

The “Digital Parenting” survey was implemented in conjunction with Toluna research agency in the end of 2019 – beginning of 2020 and 5000 respondents from META region and Baltic states participated in the survey.

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