Kaspersky Study Finds Youngsters Unaware of Online Friends Risks
Article by George Norman
On 08 Feb 2011
Kaspersky Lab, company that offers award-winning antivirus and mobile security software for home and corporate users, has made public a study that shows young people are not aware of the risks they expose themselves to by socializing with online friends. The study, which was conducted by YouGov, showed that 43% of people with internet access who have online friends, have never actually met these friends in real life.

The percentage is even bigger among young people. 54% of the people who took part in the study, aged 18 to 24, have online friends that they have never met in real life. This figure is worrisome from a simple point of view – these young people are basically sharing information with strangers. Remember that scene from Surrogates when the morbidly obese guy was the one controlling the hot girl? If you’ve never met someone in real life, how can you be sure they are who they say they are?


Here are some other figures the study brought to light:
- 49% of parents with children under 18, have no idea what their children are doing on their internet-enabled mobile phones. These parents do not monitor their children’s mobile web habits. The remaining 51% of parents do monitor their children’s mobile web habits, even though their children consider their mobile phone as private abn personal.

Kaspersky Lab made these figure public in honor of the Safer Internet Day. Organized yearly by Insafe, Safer Internet Day promotes the safer use of online technology and mobile phones. The event puts a special emphasis on children and youngsters safely using online technology and mobile phones. For 2011, Safer Internet Day’s slogan is “It’s more than a game, it’s your life” and focuses on users’ virtual lives.

Kaspersky Lab emphasized the fact that it is committed to help children stay safe online and help parents keep their children safe online.

“A parent instinctively wants to protect their child from harm,” said Managing Director of Kaspersky Lab UK, Malcolm Tuck. “That may not always be possible, but there is much we can do to minimize the danger, both in real life and in the virtual world. We also believe that technology alone is not the answer, which is why our dedicated website www.kaspersky.co.uk/safer contains advice and guidance for parents, guardians and children. Protecting young people online means talking to them about the dangers and giving them the confidence and control they need to surf safely.”

In related news, Yahoo! announced it is supporting Safer Internet Day as well. It is supporting it with global online safety resources. Read more about this here.

Tags: Kaspersky Lab, Safer Internet Day, Insafe
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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