December 14, 2019
Cybersecurity

Online Threats against PHL Homes Increase; Children in Danger

Kaspersky Lab says online threats against Philippine homes have increased and, as a consequence, young children are also at risk, especially if parents do not take much care. The Russian cybersecurity company also has solutions to help parents on this aspect of safety and security online for their children.

(SDN) — PHILIPPINE homes and, therefore, children are more at risks as online threats increase.

Among the threats to children online include — but not the only ones — pornography, pedophiles and cyberbullying.

The information is from Kaspersky Lab, the Russian cybersecurity vendor, as it strongly advises Filipino parents to keep a closer watch on the online activities of their children.

Kaspersky executives brief members of the media on Thursday, June 6, in Makati City about the dangers to children who are now becoming digitally active even at a younger age.

“Kaspersky strongly advises Filipino parents to keep a closer eye on their children’s online activities on the heels of soaring web threats the company has been monitoring in the country,” the company said in a statement.

It cited its latest data which confirmed that 82.46% of web threats from January to December 2018 have attempted to attack home users in the Philippines.

Other information from  its gathered data it recorded is a 230% increase on annual web-based infections in the Philippines for 2018 at 31,887,231 versus 2017’s 9,487,775.

The cybersecurity firm said the above-cited web threats were scanned and blocked by its products when its users accessed websites or downloaded online files.

“About 33.39% of the country’s population currently make up the 0-14 age group while 19.16% comprise the 15-25 age bracket according to statistics from data portal IndexMundi,” it said.

Kaspersky

Kaspersky’s latest data revealed the categories of websites that were the most popular among Filipino children, which they have either visited or attempted to visit from their computers, such as:

1. software, audio and video — 42.04%
2. internet communication sites (social networks, messengers, chats, and online forums) — 29.17%%
3. e-commerce (online stores) — 16.04%
4. news — 4.76%
5. computer games — 3.76%

The Russian firm collected its data about the Philippines covering the period from May 2018 to May 2019. It said the data served to confirm that kids are now fast moving towards the use of mobile devices for their online activities instead of using computers.

At the same time it warned about the negative online life, including for children, as Yeo Siang Tiong, general manager at Kaspersky Southeast Asia, pointed to children’s vulnerabilities.

“The younger set is undeniably the most connected of all age groups today. Some even have their digital presence laid down long before they are even born — the consequence of our inherent nature of sharing that has crossed over to the internet world. And when these kids get older, they exhibit curiosity, another primitive instinct, but which they do online albeit carelessly.

“Just as the internet has been used to empower individuals, communities and nations, so too can it be used to destroy reputations, steal identities and hurt the vulnerable, particularly our children,” Yeo said.

“When it comes to kids’ online safety though, we recommend that parents should step in so that the balance is tipped for good. By staying in constant contact with them plus getting a little help from advanced security solutions, parents can continue to harness the positive benefits of the internet and keep their children safe from online dangers simultaneously.”

In the Philippines, mobile broadband is becoming more affordable than fixed broadband and it’s one of the countries where Facebook offers its Free Basics service which allows users to get free access or what Filipinos refer to as “free data.” This enables anyone in the country with an internet-ready mobile phone to access the web instantly and without limits. Recent figures show Filipinos surf the net from two to 10 hours daily.

Kaspersky has solutions to help parents about the safety and security of their children’s online activities.

“As a cyber security professional and soon-to-be-dad myself, the online security of my child is surely going to be one of my foremost concerns. We’re lucky that, as modern-day parents, we’re now presented with an array of tools to safeguard our children from online threats so parenting becomes easier. We don’t need to protect them the old-fashioned way anymore!” as pointed out by Eunice Quilantang, Pre-Sales manager for Kaspersky Southeast Asia.

“Kaspersky Safe Kids is one solution that empowers parents to be fully aware of their kids’ online activities without the need to check their devices frequently and still respecting the children’s privacy.”

Kaspersky Safe Kids is a feature in Kaspersky Total Security (KTS). With this module, parents can now:

1. Manage the child’s screen time
2. View the child’s location using a GPS tracker with a real-time online map
3. Know the child’s device battery level so they can be warned to recharge the device
4. Monitor their public Facebook activity
5. Block access to adult websites and content for most platforms

Kaspersky Total Security is available online at https:/www.kaspersky.com at P2,764 (1 device for 1 year), P3,801 (1 device for 2 years) and P3,455 (3 devices for 1 year). KTS can also be purchased from the on-demand subscription service through Smart Communications firm where a single license costs Php30 for 7days (Text KTS30 to 8933) and Php120 for 30 days (Text KTS120 to 8933).

Some top tips from Kaspersky experts for parents to help internet-proof children:

1. Have the talk regularly. Be involved in children’s online activities from an early age so this is the established norm. Encourage communication so you can both learn from each other and to help build mutual trust.

2. Set boundaries. Ensure that children know what is acceptable and what is not. Also make them aware of the consequences of going somewhere that they shouldn’t or using tech when they shouldn’t be. This should be reviewed as child gets older.

3. Use available resources. Understand that there’s a lot of help as you raise digital children. Use the resources provided by some companies or organizations such as parental control software as well as tips and techniques to better manage kids who use digital devices. Also remember that not everyone has the same parenting style and that is OK — pick and choose what is right for you and your family. If a situation ever seems like it is going out of control, especially with cyberbullying or pedophiles, remember that you can get help from the local law enforcement agency. (SDN/Kaspersky)

Featured image of kids with smartphone courtesy of Pixabay.

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