Weapons and porn: Children still at risk of inappropriate content online

Kaspersky Lab wanted to know how safe the internet is for children, and it turns out – it’s really not. Anyone surprised?

More than two-thirds (68 per cent) of users of Kaspersky Lab’s Parental Control technologies encountered inappropriate or dangerous content online, a study has shown.

The Kaspersky Lab study ‘Children Online’ says adult content, gambling and sites carrying information about weapons were among the most prevalent threats detected by Kaspersky Lab’s protection technologies.

More than half (59.5 per cent) of users encountered pornography, and over a quarter (26.6 per cent) landed on websites dedicated to gambling.

Every fifth user stumbled across sites featuring weapons, and almost the same number of people were confronted by strong language.

China, the USA, Germany, the UK and Russia were the countries with the greatest frequency of detections registered by the Parental Control module of Kaspersky Lab’s protection solutions.

“To protect young people, we recommend that adults choose protection solutions with Parental Control technologies and make full use of safe “children” modes in search engines and applications that allow access to multimedia content and which are used by children.

"Although Parental Control technologies can block access to websites with content that is dangerous or distressing for children, they cannot offer reliable protection in situations where safe-by-default web services like social networks or chats are misused by predators or users conducting cyberbullying campaigns,” said Konstantin Ignatev, Web Content Analysts Group manager at Kaspersky Lab in an official press release.

Previous research carried out by Kaspersky Lab shows that YouTube’s ‘suggested’ videos which sit alongside clips or episodes of popular children’s television programmes such as Peppa Pig, Rastamouse and Dora the Explorer, actually mean that on average, children are just three clicks away from content better suited to a more mature audience.