One in Two Kids Has Been Harassed Online, Save the Children Says

Some 90% of children aged 7 to 17 use at least one social network each day and over half have fallen victim to cyberbullying or other forms of online harassment, Save the Children says.

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A third of children surveyed have been exposed to sexual or pornographic content in the past 12 months – with the internet now as common a source of pornography as television, film and video.

In relation to online bullying, 6% of 7-17 year olds have been sent nasty or hurtful messages online, and 3% have sent such messages. Over half of those who received bullying messages were fairly or very upset, Save the Children says.

Some 1.8 billion images are uploaded to the Internet each day, including 720,000 (0.03%) that depict child sexual abuse, making monitoring online platforms for uploads impossible. Nearly 500 images of sexually abused children will be traded online every 60 seconds. One in five girls and one in 10 boys will be sexually abused by the age of 18, according to HOTforSecurity.

Bitdefender supports Safer Internet Day (SID), an international event organized February 9th each year to promote safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones, especially among children and young people across the world.

Here are some tips and tricks for parents who want an active part in their children’s lives, online as well as offline:

  • Place the family computer where you can see the monitor.
  • When children create social media accounts, help them use privacy protection features. Encourage them to restrict the information exposed, and make sure they know their online friends in real life.
  • Set rules for computer use for your children. Talk with them about why you are concerned.
  • Advise your children not to respond to spam, instant messages or e-mails with obscene or aggressive content.
  • Advise your kids to be careful installing Android apps. Some contain aggressive adware and malware capable of sending messages to premium numbers. Install games and other Android apps only from official market places.
  • Use antivirus softwarewith Parental Control that watches over kids online. Bitdefender Parental Control is available as a standalone application and is included in Bitdefender Internet Security and Bitdefender Total Security. Parental control blocks inappropriate content, restricts Web access between certain hours and helps parents remotely monitor their children’s online activity

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