Nine in 10 parents have not installed cybersecurity on child’s digital device

A minority of parents have protected their child's digital device, changed the default settings or monitored their online use

Children are more vulnerable to cybercriminals because of their personal digital devices, cybersecurity experts have warned.

A survey by security firm Kaspersky found that only 13% of parents have installed online security software to the phone, laptop or tablet used by the child.

The survey also found that 87% of parents don’t limit the amount of time their children spend online and 49% had never reviewed the default settings on their child’s device.

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The survey was conducted by Arlington Research and asked 1,000 parents about the way they allow children to use internet-enabled devices.

With reports of even toys being used to spy on children, and children as young as three-years-old owning social media accounts, it is clear the dangers are real – for homes and schools as well as children.
– David Emm, Kaspersky

These unprotected devices are a ‘chink in the armour’, Kaspersky warn, and put the cybersecurity of the whole home at risk.

Other findings from the survey include:

  • 42% of five to seven-year-olds now own a tablet
  • 92% of children aged five to 15-years-old go online
  • 60% of five to 15-year-olds use a tablet or laptop

David Emm, principal security researcher at Kaspersky, said: “While younger children are becoming more tech-savvy, they are not protection-savvy by nature and lack the understanding to know about the dangers that being online can present.

“With reports of even toys being used to spy on children, and children as young as three-years-old owning social media accounts, it is clear the dangers are real – for homes and schools as well as children.”

Emm suggests parents be more willing to supervise internet usage and encourage conversations about online safety.