Porn sites the top concern as parents worry about the dangers of the internet

New research from ESET, the pioneer of proactive protection and the maker of the award-winning ESET NOD32® technology, has today revealed that parents are feeling increasingly concerned about the inappropriate content their children are seeing on the internet.

40 per cent admit they worried about kids visiting terrorist sites and 60 per cent worried about pornography sites and 47 per cent worried about their children visiting gambling sites.

The survey studied the attitudes of 441 UK parents and also revealed 79 per cent of parents would choose to block their child from using social media websites while doing their homework, highlighting just how hooked children are to modern technology. Other findings revealed that despite concern about the sites their children are visiting, 70 per cent of parents still trust their child to use the internet responsibly. However 30 per cent of parents admitted that they have no idea what time their child logs off the web at night.

Commenting on the findings from the study, Mark James, security specialist at ESET, said: “I find these figures quite astounding and it shows how scary a place the internet has the potential to be. One of the best ways to minimise the risk of children visiting seeing illicit content online is to monitor internet usage and teach kids about internet safety.

"One of the biggest problems is that parents treat their child’s internet usage like watching television – they do not expect them to see inappropriate content, however the harsh reality is that kids are curious and want to explore the internet, even when they know it’s wrong.”

When parents were asked if their child had ever received any internet safety training; 41 per cent had received training at home; 35 per cent had received training at school; 18 per cent revealed they did not know whether their child had received training, while 7 per cent said their child had received no training whatsoever. Parents were also asked if they felt the training their child had received was adequate and 62 per cent of parents said yes, 4 per cent said no, and 34 per cent were unsure.

"Parents should be proactively encouraging their children to do internet safety courses so they are aware of how to use the internet responsibly. The training will teach children about threats on the internet and how cybercriminals lure their victims.

"While it has always been strongly advised that children should be supervised when using the internet, this advice is rarely taken. Parents do not view the internet as a place that could cause any immediate danger to their child as the places they visit on the internet is done in the comfort of their own home.

"This is not a good attitude to take and the internet should be treated with caution as there are a number of online threats which could also have a physical impact on their child,” continued James.

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