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2012 Press Releases

More Young Adults Engage in Risky Online Behavior : Trend Micro Urges Parents to Take Immediate Action to Protect Kids FromThreats

Taipei Jan. 19, 2012 – In today’s world, the Internet has become a necessity, not only for adults, but also for children. Today’s youth increasingly rely on the Internet—in fact, a recent research from Synovate shows that 1 in 3 children said they could not live without it! In Taiwan, about 26 percent of children use the Internet for over three hours every day , and th is ratio significantly increases to 50.2 percent over weekend. In the US, 90 percent of teens are online. In the Philippines, 19 percent of kids who are 13 to 17 are into Facebook. In South Korea, 15 percent of children and teenagers are addicted to I nternet/video games. This statistic, coupled with the fact that the Internet can also be a hotbed for several types of criminal activity, could be seen as a cause for concern for many parents. Trend Micro Incorporated (TYO: 4704; TSE: 4704), a global cloud security leader, here shares tips on how to keep children safe online by considering: 1) what reaches their children, and 2) what their children share.

What Reaches Children

Material that is pornographic, violent, self-destructive (ie: eating disorders, substance abuse, etc.), inaccurate, or extreme are considered unsuitable for children; yet in South Korea, 90 percent of children are exposed to obscene material by the age of 12, and in Taiwan, 25 percent of children have been exposed to pornography on the Internet.

Moreover, unwanted contact, which comes in two forms—online grooming and cyber-bullying—is another threat that parents should be aware of. A study shows that one in seven children who are regular Internet users receive sexual solicitations online, and one in three is exposed to unwanted sexual material.

The fact that the Internet can be a relatively anonymous place means that children might feel more emboldened to act in a manner different from their usual behavior. In fact, one in ten (12 percent) parents say their child has experienced cyberbullying while 24 percent of parents say they know of a child in their community who has experienced cyberbullying.

Parents should also be on the lookout for aggressive or undesired commercialism, closely monitoring the line between content sharing and advertising, sweepstakes, and requests for personal information. They should also be concerned about web threats such as spyware, hack attacks, viruses, and other malicious software.

What Children Share

Trend Micro has detected a shift in terms of data disclosure. One of the predictions for this year is that the new social networking generation will redefine the meaning of "privacy,” being more likely to reveal personal data such as email addresses, cell phone numbers, and school names to other parties. Moreover, the various applications and services available online mean that children can readily access files such as movies, music, and software; however, these might be illegal, or might be malware in disguise that could infect the user’s system.

What Parents can do

A study conducted by Trend Micro reveals that while 83 percent of parents claim to be worried about their children’s online behavior, but only 30 percent actually visit their children’s SNS profiles to see what they are doing online. Although not all young people will encounter these risks, the more they are aware of these potential hazards, the more likely they are to be safe online. This awareness, combined with technology, common sense, and critical thinking, can help to make sure the Internet is in fact a great and safe place for children.

Trend Micro recommends several safety tips and resources to help parents keep their children safe and secure online. Parents can follow these "3 Rs”:

  • Relate. Parents should constantly talk and communicate with their children. Having open communication with children means that they might be more forthcoming with their online habits and activities, or with possibly unwanted contact. Trend Micro recently released a free eGuide on how parents can do "the talk” with their children regarding online protection.
  • Re-learn. Sometimes, kids know more about computers and the Internet more than their parents. Thus, parents must keep up with the latest technologies so they can understand the online environment better. Keeping themselves up-to-date with the latest information about threats, knowing the privacy settings of sites, and downloading security tools (e.g., parental controls, web filtering) and software, will help parents add an extra layer of protection against the risks that may reach their children.
  • Regulate. Parents and children should agree on which sites kids can visit and apps they can access, as well as on the time limits for using the Internet and other social devices. Keeping computers in a common area or limiting the access rights to mobile devices will also help parents regulate their kids’ online activities.

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About Trend Micro Internet Safety for Kids & Families:

Founded in 2008, the mission of Trend Micro Internet Safety for Kids & Families is to enable and empower kids, parents, teachers, and schools around the world to make the Internet a safe and secure place for today's youth. ISKF does this through a worldwide employee volunteer program, grants and donations to eligible organizations, strategic partnerships with organizations working to protect youth, educational programs, and a robust series of online tips and solutions for parents, educators, and youth. For ISKF's free Internet safety tips, tools and advice, visit: www.trendmicro.com/internetsafety/


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