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Parents fearful for children's safety online

  • 26 March, 2008 19:17

<p>According to a research from F-Secure, the global leader in providing security as a service through Internet Service Providers and mobile operators, the majority of parents in both USA and Europe are worried about their children's safety while using the Internet. Only 5.5 per cent believe their children are totally safe, with a further 18 per cent feeling somewhat safe.</p>
<p>Nearly half of the parents questioned disagree with the statement that 'my kids are safe online'. F-Secure found that despite the widespread availability of parental controls for Internet usage, parents are fearful about their children's safety while using the Internet.</p>
<p>Fears for children's safety were worst in Germany, where 77 per cent of parents disagreed that their children are safe online. People felt safest in the UK, where 38 per cent disagreed - however, only four per cent of UK parents felt their children were totally safe, compared to seven per cent in Canada and six per cent in the USA and France.</p>
<p>Children's exposure to questionable material was also a major concern for parents around the world. Just 7.5 per cent strongly agreed that their children are not exposed to questionable material, with nearly half of respondents disagreeing with the statement 'my kids are not exposed to questionable material online'. Parents in the US and Canada felt most confident that their kids are safe from such material, with 12 per cent in both countries strongly agreeing with the statement.</p>
<p>Parents in North America were also most confident that their children do not exceed time limits they set for time spent online: 27 per cent in the US and 23 per cent in Canada strongly agreed that their children keep to online usage time limits, with numbers dropping to 17 per cent in Europe, F-Secure's research found.</p>
<p>"Parents are clearly aware of the potential dangers facing their children online, but it is saddening that more don't feel empowered to protect their children by limiting their time online and controlling the content they're exposed to," said Pär Andler, Director of Communications and Brand at F-Secure.</p>
<p>Andler continued: "Responsible parenting now includes being responsible for your children's online safety, but this doesn't need to be a major headache. Internet security software often comes with 'parental controls' as standard, so you can prevent children from being exposed to questionable content and take simple steps to avoid Internet mis-use, such as setting limits to the time children spend online. Parents are right to be cautious, but this should not prevent the family from taking full advantage of the fantastic opportunities the Internet can offer to children in terms of education, creativity and social connectedness."</p>
<p>For more information about F-Secure's parental control tools, please visit http://www.wellness.f-secure.com/.</p>
<p>About the research</p>
<p>The survey was carried out by a third party in January 2008 across 1,169 Internet users aged 20-40 across the US (225 respondents), Canada (228 respondents), the UK (227 respondents), France (256 respondents) and Germany (224 respondents). F-Secure asked respondents a series of basic online security questions and, using a Likert scale, asked them to rate the extent to which they were confident in the security of given online activities.</p>
<p>About F-Secure Corporation</p>
<p>F-Secure Corporation protects consumers and businesses against computer viruses and other threats from the Internet and mobile networks. F-Secure's award-winning solutions are available as a service subscription through more than 160 Internet service providers and mobile operator partners around the world, making F-Secure the global leader in this market. The solutions are also available as licensed products through thousands of resellers globally. The company aspires to be the most reliable security provider, helping to make computer and smartphone users' connected lives safe and easy. This is substantiated by the company's independently proven ability to respond faster to new threats than its main competitors. Founded in 1988 and headquartered in Finland, F-Secure has been listed on the OMX Nordic Exchange Helsinki since 1999. The company has consistently been one of the fastest growing publicly listed companies in the industry. The latest news on real-time virus threat scenarios is available at the F-Secure Data Security Lab weblog at http://www.f-secure.com/weblog/.</p>

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