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Parents Concerned About Internet Dangers, But Are They Protecting Kids?

An F-Secure survey shows that less than half of parents globally have software that ensures safe Internet use on computers their children use, and even fewer on kids’ mobile devices.

Helsinki, Finland – November 5, 2013: Although the majority of parents express concern about their children’s Internet usage, the number of parents who actually use family protection software on computers and mobile devices their kids use is comparatively low, according to an F-Secure survey.*

78% of parents globally are concerned about the content their children may be exposed to when surfing the Internet, such as porn, violence, racism, and drugs. 75% of parents express concern about their children spending too much time online and that their real social life may suffer. And 97% of parents think there is a need for kids to be educated on safe use of the Internet and digital services.

However, when it comes to software tools that ensure safe use of the Internet and digital services, only 40% of parents employ it on computers their children use, and 22% on their kids’ mobile devices. This despite the fact that 60% of children under 12 own at least one mobile device with Internet access such as a phone, tablet, MP3 player or handheld game console.

“Our study clearly shows that that parents are aware of the importance on protecting their children online. Using different digital devices is natural for children today,” says Sami Visti, Senior Product Manager at F-Secure. “But it shows also that parents are challenged on how to make sure using these devices is safe. We at F-Secure believe that software tools are an easy way for parents to enable the children to use these devices safely.”

Of all countries surveyed, the US had the highest number of reported use of family protection software, with 59% using it on computers kids use and 39% on kids’ mobile devices. Colombia, Malaysia, Chile and the UK followed, with just under half using it on computers. Sweden and Finland had the lowest numbers, with only a quarter using family protection software on computers their kids use.

In other findings, 43% of parents are concerned that their children may be spending too much money on applications and other digital goods that can be bought with just a few clicks of a mouse. 81% are concerned about their children getting in contact with potentially dangerous Internet users.

Family protection for computers and mobile devices

For family protection features that keep kids safe on the PC, parents can install F-Secure Internet Security. With Internet Security, parents can choose to filter out the kind of Internet content they don’t want their kids to access and they can set limits on kids’ browsing time. F-Secure Internet Security also protects computers from viruses and other digital threats and safeguards while banking and shopping.

There’s also protection for kids’ mobile devices. F-Secure Mobile Security, in addition to protecting from digital threats and in case of loss or theft, offers parental controls, with the added feature of shielding kids from inappropriate apps.

And for under one euro per year, parents can install F-Secure Child Safe to iPads and iPhones. Child Safe is a browser that ensures kids don’t see harmful content when browsing the web.

*The F-Secure Digital Lifestyle Survey 2013 covered web interviews of 6,000 broadband subscribers aged 20–60 years from 15 countries: Germany, Italy, France, the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Finland, Poland, the USA, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Australia and Malaysia. The survey was completed by GfK, April 2013.

More information:
Safe & Savvy blog: Kids and the Internet: Why parental controls aren't enough

F-Secure – Protecting the irreplaceable

While you concentrate on what is important to you, we make sure you are protected and safe online whether you are using a computer or a smartphone. We also backup and enable you to share your important files. Our services are available through over 200 operators around the world and trusted in millions of homes and businesses. Founded in 1988, F-Secure is listed on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki Ltd.
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For more information, please contact
F-Secure media relations
Ulla Toivanen
Tel. +358 40 7520688