Network Security

10-year-olds break safety rules set by parents to hide cyber-lives

Forty-two percent of 10-year-olds believe they have the skills to hide what they've been doing online from parents. By age 13, this figure rises to 70 percent.

New research by Kaspersky Lab reveals that children as young as 10 actively attempt to hide their cyber-lives and circumnavigate the rules set by their parents to govern internet use in the home today. One thousand children between the ages of 10 and 15 were polled.

Of the 10-year-olds surveyed, 10 percent hadn't discussed their online behaviour with a parent despite easy access to and ownership of their own digital devices. Over half (51 percent) of them own a tablet and 33 percent own a smartphone.

Of those that did have rules put in place to safeguard them from dangers and threats, 27 percent admitted to logging onto the internet at a friend's house to get around these. Because of this, children have been exposed to content containing bad language (42 percent), violent material (28 percent) and pornography (11 percent).

“At 10, many children appear mature and confident enough to handle internet-enabled devices, but parents seem to overlook their impulsive and often naïve nature. For young people exploring, experimenting and taking their first steps online today, it's vital parents take an active role to mentor them, discussing the risks, threats and dangers to define what constitutes safe, responsible behaviour online,” said David Emm, principal security researcher at Kaspersky Lab.

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